There are now less than 30 days for the signatures to be submitted.
Oklahomans for Health are on the road reaching every place they can. If you would like to help with these efforts or find out where to sign please visit http://www.oklahomansforhealth.com/
The last count nearly two weeks ago was 75,000 signatures, that is about half of the required but to account for invalid signatures they must collect at least twice the required of 156,000.
On Sunday, July 13, a fundraiser for Jaqie Angel Warrior was held at LaFortune Park in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Jaqie is a 24 month old baby who is receiving CBD oil out of Colorado to treat her seizures related to epilepsy. The family must travel back and forth to Colorado as they have a home, family, job, and support network in Oklahoma. They are like so many other medical cannabis refugees who must live temporarily in Colorado which often creates an even greater hardship on the family.
This is the second fundraiser that has been held for Jaqie Angel. The event included a raffle, BBQ, and guest speakers. Drug Policy Reform Network of Oklahoma brought in the speakers which included Chip Paul – Chairman of Oklahomans for Health, Jay Ramey – Tulsa Attorney, and DPRNOK board member and former gubernatorial candidate, Dax Ewbank.
Mr. Paul gave an update on the current medical marijuana initiative which now has just 30 days to collect the necessary signatures needed to be on the ballot in November. The most recent count was 75,000 signatures collected but that does not include the uncounted petitions yet to be turned in. 156,000 valid signatures are required. In order to ensure that number is met, they need to collect 250,000-300,000.
Tulsa attorney, Jay Ramey is very outspoken about police abuse of power and speaks frequently on knowing our rights regarding police encounters. He presented a condensed version of his ‘Know Your Rights’ speech and distributed his ‘Know Your Rights’ business cards.
Dax Ewbank recently campaigned in the gubernatorial primary and is a Drug Policy Reform Network board member. He presented a talk that encompassed the injustices committed in the name of the war on drugs, the insensibility of current drug policy, and philosophical points regarding marijuana use and the fundamental right to use it without fear of being incarcerated, having children removed from their homes, and lives torn apart.
Oklahomans for Health volunteers were present and a petition was available to sign. If anyone is interested in volunteering or needs petition locations please visit Oklahomans For Health website.
The documentary film crew attended and recorded footage and conducted interviews. Local media, KJRH Channel 2 Tulsa aired a report on the event which you can view here.
We are grateful to have been part of this event as we continue to work on educating the public and changing the drug policy of Oklahoma to support personal choice, personal responsibility, health freedom, and individual rights.
US News reports that two initiative campaigns are underway in Oklahoma to legalize marijuana for both medical and recreational uses. If either passes, it will add to the swelling movement to nullify unconstitutional federal laws prohibiting marijuana.
The federal government currently bans marijuana for any use. But constitutionally, the feds lack any authority enforce a prohibition on marijuana. No delegated power to regulate marijuana within a state exists. That role rightly remains with the state and the people.
This is often a topic of heated debate among cannabis activists. It will be interesting to see how this turns out for them.
“In the marijuana reform movement, there are various splits and ideological factions. A diverse mix of all political types, we’re kind of well-known for infighting. Of all the rifts between us, though, these days there’s none bigger than the divide between repealers and legalizers.
Put simply: Those who favor the repeal of marijuana laws (as in those rules would be replaced by virtually nothing) make the case that prohibition and the cannabis black market–in all its various forms–are the true harm. They cite that for most adults, cannabis is a beneficial herb and food that should not be taxed or regulated.”
I had the pleasure of being the guest speaker at the Metro Tulsa Civitan Club’s weekly meeting today. Joanna Francisco, secretary of Drug Policy Reform Network, accompanied me. I spoke about cannabis legalization. I briefly discussed the war on drugs, how cannabis is medicine, and who the true victims of prohibition are. Someone even brought brownies so this was a fun crowd! Everyone at the meeting was genuinely interested in the issue. They asked excellent questions and I hope that they share what they learned with their family and friends.
During my talk, I mentioned the story of two Oklahoma girls, Jaqie Angel Warrior and Avagrace Spencer. Jaqie Angel and her family traveled to Colorado this weekend and Jaqie received her first dose of CBD oil. Here is an update from her mom, Brittany:
“Jaqie received her 1st dose of medicine yesterday afternoon…Yay! Its been a journey to say the least and right now we are just trying to get settled in and rest. The medical marijuana oil is already working! Yes, I said already. Just with 2 doses I’ve already noticed more alertness. She can see my face better and is more full of life. I know we made the right decision to do this for her.
I spoke to Mary Fallin’s director yesterday, Mr. Cody. He laughed at me as I cried to him on the phone telling him we wanted to return home with Jaqie. It burnt me up inside. The phone call was recorded and will be released by the week’s end. All of our friends and supporters feel free to call Fallin’s office and ask for her public response in regards to my letter to her about baby Jaqie.
Our family is blessed and happy to be here giving Jaqie the medicine she needs! BUT, at the same time this is very lonely for us. We have no one here. The kids have been crying because they miss their friends and school and they just want to go back to their home. This is so heartbreaking for me as a mom. But at least Jaqie Angel has access and is receiving the medical marijuana oil she needs. This is the most important factor in all this and I know things in Oklahoma will change soon. It’s my personal mission in life to see to it.”
Meanwhile, Avagrace is still waiting. She cannot travel to Colorado unless her mother and father legally separate as he is in the military.
Why does a family need to separate, uproot and leave behind their home, support network, and jobs to receive life saving medicine for their children that is available across an arbitrary line? Why are they pleading to exercise their very basic rights? Who is accountable for this gross infringement upon their rights? If a parent was withholding life saving medicine to their child, how would they be treated? How about when the government does it? Should government dictate what treatments people are allowed to use or should that be a decision made by the individual and their health care provider?
When will this injustice upon the people of Oklahoma end?
Lisa Bowman – President Drug Policy Reform Network of Oklahoma
If you would like us to speak to your group please contact us. 918-609-3095 DrugPolicyOK@gmail.com
Your baby suffers from life threatening seizures 100 times or more a day. Conventional medicine is ineffective, causes dangerous or undesirable side effects, and there is not much more doctors can do. However, there is a safe, effective treatment that other children are using. Their seizures have decreased dramatically and they are doing things they were unable to do before. They are off their dangerous pharmaceutical medications. It truly is almost a miracle.
A veteran lives with PTSD. He is prescribed anti-psychotic medications, anti-depressants, or a cocktail of psychotropic pharmaceuticals. In many cases they do not help and also have some serious dangerous side effects. However, there is a safe, effective treatment that others are using and they no longer need pharmaceuticals.
A cancer patient who has opted for highly toxic chemotherapy and radiation is experiencing severe nausea, loss of appetite and pain. She is prescribed very strong anti-pain meds, anti-nausea meds, and a slew of others to offset the effects. However, there is a safer alternative that would alleviate pain, nausea, and increase appetite therefore reducing or eliminating the pharmaceuticals. This treatment has also been shown to cure some cancers.
The treatment referenced is plant based and has curative and preventative qualities. It could benefit many people in many ways, so it must be available to all, right? Wrong. It is only legally accessible to a few. It is cannabis a.k.a. marijuana. Here in Oklahoma if you possess this plant or any of its derivatives you are criminalized and if caught, your life could change in a heartbeat in a very negative way.
I attended a fundraiser this past weekend for a little girl named Jaqie Angel Warrior. She is 19 months old and suffers from multiple seizures daily. Her life could be taken by one at any moment. She has had many hospital stays in her short life. The family is traveling to Colorado to get her potentially lifesaving cannabis oil which has been used successfully with many other children who live with epileptic seizures. The fundraiser was created to help offset the expenses. Moving to Colorado is not as easy as simply packing up and moving. It creates a hardship for the family who has a home and support network in Oklahoma.
Colleen Scarlett-Stice organized the fundraiser and has a baby boy who suffers from seizures. One of the speakers, Andee Cooper, also has a son diagnosed with Lennox Gastaut.
The Drug Policy Reform Network of Oklahoma brought in three speakers for the event. Porter Davis of Oklahoma City is a longtime activist, former representative in the Oklahoma legislator, and has held many other political offices. He is an advocate of cannabis freedom and he highlighted the beneficial qualities of cannabis and why everyone should have free access to it.
Chad Moody, also from Oklahoma City, is a defense lawyer specializing in drug offenses. He stressed the civil rights violations of current Oklahoma drug policy and how it relates to Constitutional law. Andee and Jaqie’s mom, Brittany, followed up with heartfelt, tearful testimonial about the struggles with their children and how the drug laws are impacting their lives.
Meanwhile, Brittany, has contacted Governor Mary Fallin numerous times begging for an executive order to allow CBD oil for her baby and the countless others who could benefit from it. What is disturbing though, is that people are having to beg for permission to exercise their rights to use whatever treatment that they choose to use. Why are legislators dictating medical treatment? Why are they preventing people from using a safe, effective treatment while many FDA approved legal medications are extremely harmful and dangerous? Some people will choose to use cannabis and will obtain it illegally thus making them criminals. Some are willing to take that risk but many cannot. I met Jaqie’s family. I spoke with them personally and I saw their little girl. How could the powers that be morally criminalize these people for doing whatever was necessary to save their little girl?
Is withholding potentially lifesaving medicine an act of aggression? Are those doing so accountable for the deaths of others who have been denied access based on absurd drug policy? What is the proper role of government in this issue? Is the role of government to protect individual rights? If that is true, their actions are not supporting this.
Some believe the cannabis issue should not be a priority right now and there are more pressing issues on which we should focus. We do not agree. The Drug War in general is the single most pressing issue in our society for numerous reasons. People, including innocent children, are suffering and dying or are being locked in cages for exercising their natural rights. This is a human rights issue and an extreme abuse of power by the government. It must be addressed immediately.
The real crime is preventing peaceful people from exercising their rights and locking them up for possessing a plant that has never caused one fatality and contains many curative and preventative health benefits. If legislators such as Senator Newberry, Senator Barrington and Governor Fallin are not willing to have a conversation or stand up and protect liberties then they are not fulfilling their job requirements. Unfortunately, individuals have little recourse for reprimanding representatives. The cannabis issue is not going to dissipate and quietly disappear before their next election. It is expanding, growing louder, and gaining momentum. It would be wise for the politicians to start listening to the citizens of Oklahoma and stop harming the most vulnerable among us. The government violence must cease and we will not stop speaking out, exposing politicians, and educating the public until it does.
Lisa Bowman, President Drug Policy Reform Network of Oklahoma, can be reached at Dprnok1@gmail.com