Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

July 10, 2014

Medical marijuana petition circulating here

TAHLEQUAH — In the past year, two states – Colorado and Washington – have legalized the use of marijuana, and some Oklahomans are hoping the Sooner State will follow suit.

Two petitions are circulating that address the legalization of marijuana in Oklahoma. The petition for State Question 773 began this week and deals with legalization of marijuana for recreational, industrial, and medical use. The petition for State Question 768, or the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Amendment, was filed in April by a representative of Oklahomans for Health.

To help educate people and to gather more awareness and signatures, Oklahomans for Health has a mobile team traveling around the state. They will be outside the Tahlequah Public Library on Friday, July 18.

If these petitions gain the required number of signatures within the allotted time, they may appear on the Nov. 4 ballot as an initiated constitutional amendment. Oklahoma is one of 18 states that allows petition initiatives.

The secretary of state’s website states the amendment “allows for the classification of marijuana as a herbal drug regulated by the Oklahoma State Department of Health and permits the use of marijuana, under a physician’s guidance, for certain medical conditions including cancer, HIV, AIDS, hepatitis C, MS, and other conditions.”

According to Frank Grove, SQ 768 grew out of a grassroots movement and a collaboration between Oklahomans for Health, Policy Reform Network of Oklahoma, and the Oklahoma chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.

Grove was part of the initial group that formed after a Oklahoma rally for the legalization of marijuana in February. About a dozen people came together to draft the amendment and it was filed by Charles “Chip” Paul on behalf of the Tulsa organization, Oklahomans for Health. They have 90 days from the filing to gather 155,216 signatures.

“We are aiming to get 200,000 signatures, because we know a percentage of them will be invalid,” said Grove. “We’ve received tens of thousands so far, but we know some people are sitting on thousands of signatures that need to be turned in.”

Anyone registered to vote in Oklahoma may sign the petition. It must be on legal-size paper, and there is not an online version to sign electronically. It is a felony for a person to sign it if he or she is not a registered voter or is signing another person’s name.

Two stores in Tahlequah are gathering signatures for the petition: Evolution, 1761 S. Muskogee Ave.; and T&B Blasters, 704 S. Muskogee Ave.

Margie Close, manager of T&B Blasters, said the store has had the petition since May and is on its fourth sheet of signatures. She lets all her customers know about it and has had people come into the store just to sign it. Even people who claim to not smoke marijuana have signed it because they have learned of the medicinal benefits of the plant.

“We need to exercise our right to self-medicate,” said Close. “I don’t see how they can make nature illegal. Most of the benefits don’t come from smoking it, but from the oil. Edibles heal you from the inside-out.”

Her fellow employee, Josh Wolf, agrees. Wolf used to live in California and has a medical marijuana card from there. His son passed away due to complications from chronic seizures.

Doctors put the boy on multiple prescription drugs, and Wolf wishes he had known at the time that cannabis oil can help subside seizes.

“I’m not going to let anyone one suffer anymore,” said Wolf. “Cannabis without the THC doesn’t get you high; it just helps cure. People have the right to choose to have it or not.”

SQ 773 includes over 35 medical conditions that would qualify someone to get a medical marijuana license.

A person would have to fill out an application from the Oklahoma Department of Health, have a physician’s signature, and pay a fee for the lifetime license.

Along with the medical conditions, the amendment sets the quantity of marijuana or derivatives a person may possess and the amount of tax to be imposed, which is 7 percent of the total sale.

The tax proceeds will go toward financing the regulatory offices, and any amount over will be split between the Oklahoma State Education general fund and the Department of Health for drug and alcohol rehabilitation.

Requirements and details about applying for dispensary, growers, packaging, and transportation licenses are also in the state question.

Grove said the organization is having a difficult reaching people in rural areas.

Mostly volunteers have been using the Internet and word of mouth to inform the public. He came up with the idea to have a team of people travel throughout the state.

“Most people have been overwhelmingly supportive,” said Grove. “We’ll get hundreds of honks and maybe one middle figure a day from people driving by the mobile site. The most positive part so far have been the number of people in towns we visit that sign up to volunteer.”


Those who wish to learn more about the petition or sign up to gather signatures can go to www.legalizeOK.org. Follow along with updates from the Oklahomans for Health organization and its van at www.facebook.com/oklahomansforhealth.


Text Only
Local News
  • rf-poker-run-main.jpg Poker run

    Fundraiser was in the cards for local philanthropic group

    It was perfect weather, with temperatures in the high 80s Saturday, as boaters filled their vessels with friends for a fun afternoon on Lake Tenkiller. A crowd gathered at Cookson Bend Marina, and folks lined up to support a local charity event.
    As fundraisers go, the Beta Sigma Phi Mu Omega Poker Run last Saturday could be considered huge success, as nearly $9,000 was collected.

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • bilbrey-anthony.jpg Man arrested for blackmailing woman for sex

    Cherokee County sheriff’s deputies put a man behind bars Monday night after he allegedly tried to blackmail a woman by threatening to post nude photos of her on the Internet if she did not meet him for sex.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Peach_photo_2.jpg Peach crop lean, but fruit still available

    Summer is all about peaches in Porter – especially at Livesay Orchard.
    The Livesay Orchard is still busy a week after Porter’s annual peach festival. The orchard’s crop this year was cut in half from what had previously been expected, according to Kent Livesay, one of the owners of the orchard.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • jackson-jaymee.jpg Tot’s injuries prompt abuse charges for two local residents

    A Tahlequah couple was formally charged Tuesday with child neglect and child abuse after an 18-month-old girl was found with a number of injuries.

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • proctor-micah.jpg Pair accused of threatening man

    Two men behind bars at the Cherokee County Detention Center are accused of wielding a knife and gun and assaulting a man at a trailer park on West Keetoowah Sunday afternoon.
    Tahlequah Officer Reed Felts spoke with Reinaldo Flores, who told officers he heard a knock on his door and went to answer it.

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • Reach Higher an innovative approach to college

    The “Reach Higher” degree completion program is helping many Oklahoma students go back to school without drastically changing their lives.
    “This program is designed for working adults,” said Tim McElroy, program coordinator at the NSU- Muskogee campus.

    July 30, 2014

  • City attorney, others questioned chamber use of tourism tax

    Letters written in 2006 by City Attorney Park Medearis to former city councilor and Tahlequah Area Tourism Council board member Jack Spears suggest money from a hotel-motel tax could be disbursed through an agent other than the Chamber of Commerce, without voter approval.

    July 30, 2014

  • Hulbert council discusses Internet service

    During a meeting Tuesday night, members of the Hulbert Town Council discussed the possibility of Lake Region Electric Cooperative’s extending its cable and Internet service.

    July 30, 2014

  • ts-marching-MAIN.jpg Marching in step

    Tahlequah High School Orange Express Marching Band kicks off 2014 season with summer drills.

    The Tahlequah High School Orange Express Marching Band has added 30-35 freshmen to its roster this year, and drills began for the newest members last Thursday.

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • studie-roberta.jpg Woman accused of stealing cash, taking it to casino

    A 35-year-old Tahlequah woman is free on bond after she allegedly took $1,200 from a man who had been jailed for old warrants.
    Cherokee County sheriff’s deputies said they spoke with Jason Jones last week after Jones was arrested by park rangers for the outstanding warrants. Jones said he came to Oklahoma to see family, and when he was arrested, he left his wallet and cash with one of his daughters.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo


Do you believe school administrators and college presidents in Oklahoma are paid too much?

Strongly agree.
Somewhat agree.
Somewhat disagree.
Strongly disagree.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Amphibious Landing Practice in Hawaii Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA