Gov. Fallin signs into law revised medical cannabis guidelines
Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin has approved and signed into law an amended set of emergency regulations governing the use of medical cannabis in the state. This came less than a week after the state Board of Health gave the revised rules its own approval.
Fallin described the revised regulations as “very basic” and said she believes that they are the best option in the development of a proper regulatory framework.
The revised guidelines replace the ones that were adopted earlier in July and are less restrictive.
The old regulations were heavily criticized by the state’s medical cannabis advocates and by the state attorney general. In fact, two cannabis advocacy groups had filed lawsuits that challenge these old rules.
Specifically, the new rules eliminated the ban on the sale of smokable forms of cannabis and the requirement that a pharmacist be present in all dispensaries. It also took out the provision requiring women of childbearing age to take a pregnanct test.
Green the Vote leaders admit to inflating signature counts for recreational pot petition
Last week, it was reported that Green the Vote, the group that has been gathering signatures to get adult-use marijuana on the ballot, already has the requisite number of signatures. The group had stated that they already have more than 132,000 signatures to place State Question 797 on the ballot. This is already more than the 124,000 signatures needed.
However, on Tuesday, Green the Vote leaders have admitted that, contrary to their previous announcement, they do not have the necessary numbers yet.
Green the Vote leader Issac Caviness told supporters on Facebook Live that the numbers were actually just estimates, not actual counts. According to Caviness, the number of signatures is closer to 78,000.
Green the Vote board member Joshua Lewelling assured supporters that nothing is changing. He said they still need signatures and “that last push” as the group still intends to deliver petitions to the Capitol.
Another board member, Dody Sullivan, however, left the organization over the matter. She said that she finally found north on her moral compass.
Sullivan and Caviness had seen cannabis petition drives fail in the past. So, when they started this round of signature drive and the numbers were on the low side, they agreed on a plan to release a weekly signature count that was not accurate.
The plan, which was unbeknownst to the rest of the group’s board, is meant to keep people in the movement motivated.
Caviness said that regardless of what happens, whether or not they get the signatures, he accepts that he has let supporters down. He explained, though, that it was not his intention to hurt the movement and mislead anyone. He only intended to inspire in order to get the thing done.
Caviness offered to resign from the organization, but Lewelling declined to accept his resignation. Lewelling stressed that the priority was getting signatures gathered and delivered by the deadline — which is today.
As for Sullivan, she said that she felt the need to come forward because she made the “mistake of trusting someone not trustworthy.”
Caviness said that when Sullivan realized that the numbers were “whatever she came up with,” she panicked and bailed on them. She left the group high and dry, he added.
It is still not clear how this news will affect the movement as Green the Vote still needs to take the petitions to the Capitol. However, it is still unlikely that the issue would appear on the general election ballot this year.