As numerous states, especially those in the west, have moved to decriminalize marijuana possession for medical and/or recreational uses in recent years, the state of Oklahoma has not budged on its strict criminal laws against the recreational use of marijuana, which can send a convicted defendant to prison for years for a first offense. But a dent has at least been made in Oklahoma’s strict anti-marijuana laws in the past few years with increased protections for the use of cannabidiol - usually referred to as “CBD” - products in the state, with a recent measure now stating that any federally approved use of CBD will not be considered within the state’s definition of marijuana.
What is CBD?
CBD products are those that made from cannabidiol, one of 113 cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. Cannabidiol accounts for 40% of the cannabis plant, although it is much less well known than its more famous fellow cannabinoid THC, which is the psychoactive compound of the cannabis plant that provides a “high” to recreational users.
In recent years, CBD products have become more common, allowing users to ingest the products, rub them on their skin, or inhale them through vaporization. Users, purveyors, and some medical observers have indicated that CBD oil provides benefits in the areas of pain reduction, inflammation, and reducing anxiety, although scientific findings on these topics are limited.
Oklahoma’s Growing Tolerance of CBD
In the past few years, several bills have made their way through the Oklahoma legislature to open up uses for CBD, including one bill that makes it legal for researchers in Oklahoma to use CBD in research trials. The most recent bill, House Bill 1559, was signed in April by Governor Mary Fallin and changes Oklahoma’s drug laws to exclude from the definition of marijuana, “any federal Food and Drug Administration-approved cannabidiol drug or substance…”
CBD and Marijuana Remain Illegal For Now
The next logical question for any Oklahoma resident seeking to legally use CBD is determining what FDA-approved CBD products exist at this point, and the answer is none. But, by preemptively creating a state legal framework for the in-state legalization of FDA-approved CBD products, persons seeking the benefits of CBD need only look to the federal government for the go-ahead at this point.
Notably, the citizens of Oklahoma will also be voting next year on Oklahoma State Question 788, which, if passed, would legalize the possession and use of marijuana for any medical reason if prescribed by a state-licensed physician. But, as with CBD, the use of marijuana for medical or recreational purposes remains illegal in the state of Oklahoma for now, and a person facing criminal charges for marijuana should take all necessary steps to avoid conviction and/or mitigate the consequences.
How to Fight Your Oklahoma Marijuana Possession Charges
Oklahoma City criminal defense attorney Patrick Quillian worked as a Oklahoma district attorney, so he has the experience of working on the other side and understands how to best fight your case and work towards a dismissal of charges, not guilty verdict, or favorable agreement with reduction of penalties and charges. Contact the office of J. Patrick Quillian, Attorney at Law, today at 405-896-9768 to schedule a free consultation to see what his criminal defense team can do for you.