Last Update: May 21, 2015
Oklahoma passes high-CBD law
2015 emerged as an important milestone for Oklahoma — it is the year the state joined the ranks of those that provide legal protections for seriously ill patients who might benefit from cannabis strains high in cannabidiol, one of the active ingredients in marijuana. Gov. Mary Fallin signed into law HB 2154, known as “Katie and Cayman’s Law.” Sponsored by Rep. Jon Echols and Sen. Brian Crain, the law allows access to high-CBD (also known as low-THC) cannabis oil for patients with severe forms of epilepsy and other serious seizure conditions, when recommended by a doctor. While this is an important step in the right direction, the state lacks any regulated mechanism for the production of state-compliant cannabis oil for patients to use. Please take a moment to ask your state representative and senator to support regulated in-state access to cannabis oils for qualifying patients in Oklahoma.
As with all current laws providing access to high-CBD products, Katie and Cayman’s Law is very limited and leaves behind most patients who could benefit from whole-plant medical marijuana and its various products. For a closer look at HB 2154, click here. For a broader look at CBD laws and where they fall short, take a look at our analysis available here.
In addition to issues with HB 2154’s workability, it leaves behind patients with cancer, intractable pain, and other serious illnesses — along with the strains they could benefit from. No seriously ill Oklahoman should be left behind. Please take a moment to ask your senator and representative to support a law that would help seriously ill patients gain access to a medicine that is safer than many prescription medications without making them criminals.
Learn more about Oklahoma's marijuana laws
With the potential penalty of up to one year in jail, and a mandatory two years for second and subsequent offenses, Oklahoma ranks third in the nation in strict penalties for possessing an ounce or less of marijuana.
Based on reports of arrests provided by state law enforcement to the FBI, in 2012, state law enforcement arrested over 9,349 people for marijuana-related offenses, over 91% of which were for possession only. During the same year, over 78% of all reported rapes and 90% of all moter vehicle thefts went unsolved. African Americans in Oklahoma are 2.9 times more likely than whites to be arrested for possession of marijuana, even though blacks and whites consume marijuana at similar rates. Check out this recent report by the ACLU on how the war on marijuana is often a war on black Americans.
Please also take a minute to ask your legislators to end this destructive and wasteful policy by legalizing marijuana for adults and regulating it like alcohol.
If you have not done so already, please subscribe to our free legislative alert service to stay up-to-date on the status of marijuana policy reform in Oklahoma.