J. Patrick Quillian, P.C.

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Oklahoma medical marijuana laws get overhaul

Marijuana laws around the country have been changing. Oklahoma is no different. In 2018, voters approved the legalization of cannabis for medical use. Since then, the marijuana landscape in this state has undergone rapid changes.

The changes continue, too. For instance, even though medical marijuana is legal, recent legislation has put additional limits on its possession and use.

Current laws

State Question 788, which legalized medical marijuana, has been in effect since July 26, 2018. Under the current law, a doctor can prescribe marijuana upon his or her discretion. A patient issued a marijuana license is allowed to possess the following:

  • Eight ounces of marijuana in their home
  • One ounce of concentrated marijuana
  • Six fully-grown marijuana plants
  • Seventy-two ounces of edible marijuana
  • Six marijuana plant seedlings

The law also restricts penalties for anyone possessing up to 1.5 ounces of marijuana. Under these circumstances, a person who has a medical condition but does not possess a medical marijuana license can only be charged with a misdemeanor and a fine of no more than $400.

Changes to the law

Last month, further legislation, known as the medical marijuana "Unity Bill," was signed into law. The law establishes a system for dealing with and regulating medical marijuana.

Despite bipartisan support for the bill, there are still those who worry about certain aspects of it. For instance, the law allows employers of "safety-sensitive" positions to find out if employees have medical marijuana licenses. "Safety-sensitive" positions include:

  • Operating motor vehicles or heavy equipment
  • Firefighters
  • Patient care and child care
  • Handling hazardous materials
  • Any position that includes carrying a firearm

Supporters of the bill applaud its safeguards. However, marijuana advocates say that this part of the law has the potential to violate patients' privacy. They also argue that the regulations may be government overreach.

Marijuana possession still illegal

While regulations surrounding medical marijuana have loosened and changed in Oklahoma, it's critical to know that marijuana is still illegal on the federal level.

Considering the overlap in laws and the fact that state laws are quickly changing, even simple possession could quickly evolve into more serious charges. Therefore, if you're charged with drug crimes, you may want to talk to an attorney to help you navigate the complex legal landscape.

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