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New Bill Pushes To Legalize Marijuana in Oklahoma

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Sen. Connie Johnson has consistently proposed legislation to legalize marijuana in Oklahoma, but opposition comes quickly and the bills don't go far. Sen. Connie Johnson has consistently proposed legislation to legalize marijuana in Oklahoma, but opposition comes quickly and the bills don't go far.
OKLAHOMA CITY -

A state lawmaker is not giving up her fight to legalize marijuana in Oklahoma. She's been at it for seven years, but so far, she has yet to see success. Still, she's vowing to keep trying.

Sen. Connie Johnson has consistently proposed legislation to legalize marijuana in Oklahoma, but opposition comes quickly and the bills don't go far.

"This is straight up a health issue. We have criminalized it in Oklahoma," said Johnson.

Twenty states across the country have legalized marijuana in some form. So far though, Colorado and Washington are the only two to legalize the drug for recreational use.

"Colorado being our next door neighbor is significant," said Johnson.

Johnson has been fighting to loosen laws on marijuana use. She believes the fight to make it a reality in Oklahoma is stronger now, more than ever.

"And the fact that when I first took up the banner on this issue, it was because I listened to the people who said to me, we need this, we need this in Oklahoma," said Johnson. "There are people suffering."

"For us to continue to spend money, locking up non-violent people, and we've got 49 people serving life without parole for marijuana," said Johnson.

"Less than one percent are in for possession, and if you look at those, most of those are in there because you have multiple offenses," said Mark Woodward, Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics.

OBN believes legalization will create greater accessibility and a regulatory nightmare.

"It also opens it up to a lot of criminal elements who take advantage of these opportunities to sell bulk quantities," Woodward said.

"I'm looking for the happy medium," said Johnson. "What can we do to help our veterans, to help our children."

Johnson's bill would make it legal for people 21 and older to buy up to one ounce of marijuana. Last year her the bill was voted down 2 to 5.

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