With medical marijuana the new normal in Oklahoma, we have the hindsight to see the ignorance of prohibition and the research to show how its health benefits outweigh any downside, real or imagined. If medical marijuana opened our eyes to the potential economic benefits of full-on recreational cannabis, a new report indicates the COVID-19 pandemic may be kick in the ass we need to finally take the leap.
“An Oklahoma lawmaker confirmed he will begin work on a bill that would allow adult use of recreational cannabis, saying the idea is “worth exploring” especially in light of sustained economic downturn during the COVID-19 emergency.”
That’s right folks! Skipping right past the competing recreational marijuana petitions — which are all but doomed given COVID-19’s impact on signature-gathering — one Oklahoma lawmaker says he is stepping up to the pot plate. And all it took was a perilous pandemic that essentially shut down the Earth’s entire economy!
Here’s what our new favorite Republican, Oklahoma Rep. Scott Fetgatter of Okmulgee, said about the recreational marijuana bill he is working on:
“If you did a full-access program and put the revenue in the general revenue fund, relieve some of the taxes on the medical program, the medical patients and put the tax over on the recreational side, you could potentially add $100 million to the budget,” Fetgatter said.
The proposal aims to create a new recreational marijuana program separate from the state’s medical marijuana program. Our not-new favorite Tulsa attorney, Ron Durbin, who’s been in Oklahoma’s medical marijuana mix from the very beginnings of SQ 788 told Tulsa World that…
…COVID-19 “has essentially killed 807 and 811” but that people in the cannabis community were worried about “the next iteration” of a recreational petition. He said it made sense for the Legislature to take up the subject instead.
“The only question is whether there’s going to be enough support in the Senate to get it through. We just don’t know the answer to that,” Durbin said.
Let’s hope the answer is a resounding, “Hell yeah!” With oil and gas in the tank and this global health crisis rapidly unfolding, Oklahoma needs an economic lifeline. The state is already expecting a revenue failure for fiscal year 2020.
If ever there was a time for Oklahoma lawmakers to set aside petty piousness, it is now. We’ve already established that Christians love weed, too — what is there to lose? This viral disaster has been enough to force the banner of pro-recreational weed into our politicians’ hands. That may be the one silver lining in our small, skunky cloud.
—Stay safe, wash your hands, and puff puff keep it to yo self for now!