Oklahoma Veteran Awaits Medical Marijuana License

Thursday, August 30th 2018, 7:22 pm
By: Amy Slanchik

A Green Country veteran is one of the first in the state to get approved for a medical marijuana license. 

The latest numbers from the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority show less than 400 Oklahomans are approved so far after voters passed State Question 788 back in June.  

8/22/2018 Related Story: Apply For Medical Marijuana License Starting Saturday

The Army veteran applied for his license on Monday and is already expecting a card to arrive in his mailbox any day now. 

Retired Army Specialist Michael Velasquez returned from his second deployment to Iraq back in 2008.

"I didn't know how to cope with the world, because you know, 17 years old, I joined the military," said Velasquez. 

Now, he's fighting his own battles at home. 

He said his PTSD causes anxiety and depression and he also suffers from back pain. 

"I've been prescribed Zoloft, Clonazepam, Xanax, all of that I chose to stop taking," Velasquez said. 

Now, he's turning to marijuana.

He said for the past two years, he's been driving to Trinidad, Colorado every two weeks to smoke.

"I've been relying on CBD oil here locally to keep me going until I can make that trip. It gets expensive," Velasquez said.

But those trips will soon come to an end. 

The Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority said according to the emergency rules for State Question 788, patients who are approved can start growing their own plants on September 3rd. 

Michael will be ready. 

"I plan to grow somewhere in a field with a six-foot fence, where nobody can get to it," Velasquez said. 

And while he will have to wait for his plants to grow, he's thankful for quick approval from the state and for a solution he said won't give him the side effects of prescription drugs.  

"I love Oklahoma. And Oklahoma's changing. It's changing for the better," he said. 

The OMMA has received more than 2,000 patient and 1,000 business applications so far.