Before passage of Senate Bill 788, getting pulled over with weed in your car was an experience to be avoided at all costs (especially for a brown guy). We were all just one unfortunate, inefficient air freshener away from having a police officer turn man’s best friend into tail-wagging snitch.
After SB 788, I’m still a brown guy, so I make sure to always drive very responsibly with my hands at the ten-and-two position and cannabis out of arm’s reach. But for now, I can rest assured that if I get pulled over for being brown on Tuesday, my status as a card-carrying medical marijuana patient is known only to my doctor and my bud tender.
But if the cannabis overlords at the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Association have their way, that could end — thanks to Senate Bill 1030.
From the OMMA website:
“SB 1030 requires OMMA to share information displayed on medical marijuana licenses with the Oklahoma Law Enforcement Telecommunications System. OMMA is currently evaluating implementation timelines for this data infrastructure.”
The only way anyone should know I’m a medical marijuana patient is if I tell them and present my OMMA card — especially law enforcement. SB 788 was written and implemented in a way that protects patient privacy, and a lawsuit filed Monday in Tulsa County District Court seeks to keep it that way.
From the Tulsa World:
The owners of a Tulsa medical cannabis clinic are among the plaintiffs in a newly filed lawsuit that seeks to block information on patient licenses from appearing in a law enforcement database.
Isn’t it funny how all I need to legally possess synthetic heroin is a little bottle with my name written on it, but we need to set up an entire database to let people know I’m allowed to possess a plant?
Tulsa World on attorney Ron Durbin, who filed the lawsuit:
He argued cardholder status could single patients out for what he called “disparate treatment” and asks for all licensed patients to be legally declared a class for litigation purposes. The lawsuit also requests a legal interpretation regarding which types of licenses fall under the requirement for disclosure in OLETS and an injunction preventing the OMMA and OSDH from sharing patient license information without a court order.
As a (mostly) law abiding citizen, I have no issue presenting my OMMA card when proof is required. But if you don’t think there are some cops out there who will take advantage of the knowledge they’ve pulled over a cannabis user — or worse, target one for a traffic stop with no other reason than a scan of a vehicle’s tag — you’ve been living under a rock. And that’s not the kind of stoned we like to condone around here.
Thank the Dogg-Father Snoop for the good folks at Durbin Law Firm, whose lawsuit filed Monday in Tulsa has already resulted in a short-term victory. OMMA released a statement on Tuesday agreeing not to share any patient data with law enforcement until the courts decide the issue:
The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) and the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA) are aware of potential discrepancies in the language of SB1030. The agency welcomes the opportunity to receive direction from the court on this issue.
It is also important to emphasize that no patient data has been shared with any agency or the Oklahoma Law Enforcement Telecommunications System (OLETS), and no information will be shared until the court has decided this question.
I guess that’s all we can ask of any good overlords!
No matter the outcome, you can expect The Happy Ogle will have something to say about it. Until then, stay safe folks!