Republican Leaders: Health Dep't Rules Limit Citizens' Civil Liberties, Freedoms
TULSA, Oklahoma - Oklahoma’s Attorney General is assigning a team of lawyers to advise him about the last-minute restrictions put on the state’s new medical marijuana industry.
The move comes as two top republican leaders blast the Oklahoma State Department of Health over those rules.
The republican leaders in the state’s two largest counties are demanding the state health department respect the vote of the people on State Question 788.
“This is a civil liberties and freedoms issue,” said Tulsa County Republican Party Chairman David McClain.
The chairmen of the Tulsa and Oklahoma Counties Republican Parties are united in speaking out against the board of health’s recent regulations on medical marijuana.
McClain says the recent limitations unfairly go against the will of the voters.
“Medicinal marijuana must be treated with the same respect as any other prescription drug that is legal in the State of Oklahoma,” he said.
McClain says the state government should respect the vote of the people and what they voted on.
Green the Vote activist Shelley Freeman agrees.
“The fact that the people, 57 percent of our population that came out to vote, wanted something and our legislature and representatives of the health department went against that boldly knowing that it would upset the people, that’s a problem,” said Freeman.
The Oklahoma State Board of Health recently imposed rules such as excluding smokable marijuana and providing limits on the amount of THC grown in flowers.
McClain says these regulations are outside the authority of the health department.
“It limits doctors, it limits a number of things, but mostly it limits the civil liberties and freedoms of the people of the State of Oklahoma,” declared McClain.
The GOP chairmen are calling on legislators to take action now.
“We’d like to see a special session and some new framework around the regulation,” said McClain.
Freeman says, “we just want sensible regulations and laws regarding cannabis.”
Several lawsuits have been filed in response to the health department’s new regulations.
The health department must begin its license application by July 26.