Several bills were somewhat rewritten by joint conference committees and put up for final votes at the state capitol, in the past 24 hours.
Fetgatter called HB2601 "the cleanup bill", so it may be the last cannabis legislation of the year?
After the political world was rocked by the legalization of marijuana for medical use. In the 11 months since it's passage, there has been a rapid rollout and several agency attempts to derail it. But the program has far exceeded the projections of the govt. agency tasked with administering it (OMMA).
One of the prominent advocates at the capitol and around the state has been a pain management patient named Chis Moe. Sooner Politics editor in chief, David Van Risseghem sat down with Chris Moe (aka Uncle Grumpy) to discuss matters of drug policy reform.
Moe published a video of the hour long discussion. We're sharing it with our readers.
It had some technical difficulties, but here's the first 43 minutes of the hour long interview.
Rep. Jon Echols prevailed upon the legislature to fix a terrible problem that the 2018 legislature created for chronic pain sufferers. The Attorney General's effort to crack down on opioid abuse through tough criminal enforcement has led to terrible suffering made worse for the most vulnerable among us.
His legislation SB848, specifically rolls back the requirement that long-term chronic pain sufferers seek a new prescription every 30 days. It will now require a prescription every 180 days, when this becomes new law.
In Echols' floor speech, he explains that the opioide dangers lay primarily with new patients who's recent injury prescription turns into a long term habit.
Echols referenced his many letters from chronic pain sufferers who describe terrible difficulty in arranging and attending monthly appointments, since they are often homebound and their mobility is very difficult to accommodate.
The opioide law forbids the use of telemed appointments, refillable prescriptions, and other obstacles.
The Oklahoma lawmakers have largely taken a path of deference to the voters, in this first legislative session after the voters changed our laws on marijuana and hemp.
Last summer there was urgency and even panic about whether the implementation could happen without more legislative action. In the end, the lawmakers decided that the path of lesser regulation could prevail until the February scheduled date of the 57th Legislature.
But the Interim Study, led by Rep. Jon Echols & Sen. Greg McCortney, were at work with advocates and industry experts, to polish up a framework of needed structure so that the Health Dept could put product safety mandates into effect. HB2612 was signed into law by Gov. Kevin Stitt before spring break. It was referred to "the unity bill" because various private sector interests wrote most of it after resolving differences among themselves. The Unity Bill was the most important legislation because it replaces temporary 'emergency rules' which sunset later this summer.
The current published list of about 170 physicians would be replaced by a list of thousands.
The House gave final passage to a bill which corrects the policy of the State Health Dept on Medical Marijuana Recommendations. It now awaits the signature of the Governor. An emergency clause is included, which will make the policy effective immediately upon signage. On Wednesday, the House accepted all senate amendments of HB2613 and sent the bill to the governor. Coupled with SB162, which the governor signed on Tuesday, these changes mean greater continuity of care under a patient's current healthcare team.
What this will mean for patients is the ability to remain under the care of your own state-licensed physician and be able to implement treatment with cannabis medicines once your own physician's recommendation is certified by the Health Dept.
SQ788, which the voters passed last summer, was written with the intent of allowing any physician licensed to treat people in Oklahoma and certified by an Oklahoma board (Medical Doctor, Osteopathic Doctor, or Podiatrist) could begin recommending cannabis at their discretion. But the Board of Health decided to interpret the language far more restrictively and pretend that the language refers to being a "Board Certified Specialist" by an industry specialist board, rather than a state govt. board.
David Van Risseghem is the Publisher of SoonerPolitics.org. It is committed to informing & mobilizing conservative Oklahomans for civic reform & restored liberty. We seeks to utilize the efforts of all cooperative facets of the Conservative movement...