Author: Drug Policy OK

An Open Letter to Senator Yen

The following is a letter that Dana McMurchy sent to Senator Yen. She is frustrated as he has not responded to her requests. We’d like to know who else shares in her frustration.

Dr. Yen,

I still insist on your response to my concerns about your bill, SB1120. I live in Oklahoma and thus you report to me. Yes, might be a surprising idea, but my taxes pay your salary. And if you bill Medicare or Medicaid for any of your professional services, then I pay part of that salary as well with my tax dollars.

In SB1120 you propose to be my physician by default. By virtue of this and the fact that I pay your state salary and also some of your “private anesthesiology practice fees,” I require that you respond thoughtfully and in person to my concerns. You should be working for me.

Would you not practice anesthesia on a patient without seeing them, knowing their particular background, and being responsible for their health and safety while under your care? Well, with this bill you do just that.  That is not acceptable.  It would be impossible for you to be an expert in Neurology, Primary Care, Pain Management, Surgery of all kinds where pain Rx drugs are prescribed, Internal Medicine & Rheumatology and Oncology (all are areas where medical cannabis can be helpful).  Are you even aware that it is almost impossible to overdose on cannabis alone?

From an old study: “No signs of toxicity or serious side effects have been observed following chronic administration of cannabidiol to healthy volunteers” (Cunha et al., Pharmacology 21:175-185, 1980), even in large acute doses of 700 mg/day (Consroe et al., Pharmacol. Biochem. Behav. 40:701-708, 1991) but cannabidiol is inactive at the NMDA receptor. Hence in spite of its potential use in treating glaucoma and seizures, cannabidiol has not been considered a neuroprotective agent that could be used to prevent glutamate-induced damage in the central nervous system.

What scientists have studied Cannabidiols more recently? And What did they find?

“This new found property makes cannabinoids useful in the treatment and prophylaxis of wide variety of oxidation associated diseases, such as ischemic, age-related, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases….”

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is an object of this invention to provide a new class of antioxidant drugs, that have particular application as neuroprotectants, although they are generally useful in the treatment of many oxidation associated diseases. … The cannabinoids are found to have particular application as neuroprotectants, for example in limiting neurological damage following ischemic insults, such as stroke and trauma, or in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and HIV dementia. “ This list is from the abstract only.  The FULL PATENT application (Patent # 6630507 – granted to the USof A government in 2003) includes autoimmune diseases, such as Crohn’s, age-related inflammatory diseases such as arthritis and Down’s syndrome, and heart disease. I challenge you to show me that you do not represent these people – in your district or in Oklahoma.

Senator Yen, I’m not going away. One of the benefits of being a pharmaceutical and then device rep is that I got paid well, well enough to retire at age 50. So I’m quite familiar with the risk of overly cozy relationships between doctors and big pharma. I have time to investigate the benefits of medical cannabis and time to talk with you.  You work for me and all the potential patients and their loved ones who live in Oklahoma.  I demand and deserve your time and thoughtful response to my concerns.  I know I speak for many who are busy working, struggling through pain and the side effects of the numerous pills pushed on them by well-meaning but uninformed at best, or simply misinformed, physicians. IF you are going to be my “De-Facto’ physician, then it is your obligation to at least meet with me.

Dana McMurchy

 

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Drug Policy Reform: The People vs A Few Legislators

Last Thursday a group of leaders from the Drug Policy Reform Network of Oklahoma (DPRN) went to the state capitol to discuss the essential oversight with many House & Senate members.

Original article

CANNABIS & THE SANCTITY OF LIFE

Last week Liberty on Tap hosted an informational gathering for SQ 788, a ballot initiative measure to legalize medical cannabis in Oklahoma. The vote for SQ 788 will take place on June 26, 2018. One of our speakers, a member of the Vote Yes on SQ 788 PAC, was Shawn Jenkins.

Shawn, a veteran of the U.S. Army, and his wife Lauren…(more) (more…)

Legislative Shenanigans – Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Bill

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Sitting in committee is a bill that would reform the current civil asset forfeiture policy in Oklahoma. Currently, your property and cash may be seized by law enforcement and kept even if you are never charged with a crime. You may fight to have your property and cash returned but it will cost you. Basically, your property is guilty until proven innocent but even then you will have to pay to get it back. This is obviously a very flawed policy so why would those in charge of protecting our rights refuse to support it?

Per Mark Morris: “Cops in Oklahoma are seizing and spending money taken from US citizens, often with no charges every being brought, to the tune of $18k per day over the past 15 years! It’s getting worse. What am I talking about? People traveling through our state with cash are being robbed at gun point by our police, who are then using it to pay off student loans and live rent free. That’s right.”

Anthony Sykes, the committee chairman, is refusing to hear the bill.  Why would he do that? How can a legislator unilaterally refuse to hear a bill? (Also a flawed policy)

Oklahoma asset forfeiture reform faces stiff opposition


OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – An Oklahoma legislator who wants to restrict when police can seize cash and other assets from people they suspect of drug-trade involvement – even without a conviction – fears his colleagues won’t have a chance to take up his idea this session.

The bill by Sen. Kyle Loveless, R-Oklahoma City, has been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee, but Loveless says efforts to reach chairman Sen. Anthony Sykes have gone unanswered. He’s turned to his constituents to help plead his case, asking them to call the Senate leadership to request that his bill be heard.

Sykes did not return requests for comment Thursday or Friday.

Read more

Institute for Justice fellow: Oklahoma has chance to lead with forfeiture bill


[When civil forfeiture pays the bills, police and prosecutors have an incentive to take as much property as possible. Since 2000, law enforcement agencies have collected almost $99 million in forfeiture proceeds. That incentive warps law enforcement priorities, diverting resources toward fat financial targets and away from pursuing justice. For that reason, a recent report from the Institute for Justice, “Policing for Profit,” assigned Oklahoma’s civil forfeiture laws a D-minus grade.]

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Committee Contacts – Reference: SB 1189


Chairman Anthony Sykes
405-521-5569
lewis@oksenate.gov

Vice Chairman Brian Crain
405-521-5620
crain@oksenate.gov

Corey Brooks
405-521-5522
brooks@oksenate.gov

Kay Floyd
405-521-5610
Floyd@oksenate.gov

AJ Griffin
405-521-5628
griffin@oksenate.gov

David Holt
405-521-5636
holt@oksenate.gov

John Sparks
405-521-5553
sparks@oksenate.gov

Rob Standridge
405-521-5535
standridge@oksenate.gov

Greg Treat
405-521-5632
treat@oksenate.gov

Roger Thompson
405-521-5588
Thompson@oksenate.gov

The REAL Elephant in the Room

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I would like to address Fallin’s first point, “Oklahoma’s drug possession sentences haven’t deterred substance abuse”. Most people thrown in cages for using drugs are not necessarily “substance abusers”. This says people who are charged with a drug “crime” are abusers which is a fallacy. Substance users (or abusers) do not belong in prison. Substance use (or abuse) is not an issue for politicians much like someone with an alcohol or prescription narcotic addiction wouldn’t be. According to this statement Jaqie Angel Warrior and Austin’s Answer are criminals and substance abusers.

Her next statement, “These sentences tend to send some non-violent offenders into prison”. Incarcerating a person for a drug offense alone is a non-violent “offense”. There may be other, perhaps violent, crimes that this person may have committed, but the charge for drug use or even distribution is non-violent.

Her last statement, “live alongside violent offenders whose bad influences can make non-violent offenders worse”. This is almost a nonsensical statement. Incarcerating non violent “offenders” is a crime. Many people locked up for drug offenses aren’t merely “non-violent” they are peaceful people who are now subjected to violations by not only other inmates but the agents of the state charged to “care” for them.

While sentencing reforms are absolutely necessary the real elephant in the room is Oklahoma’s horrible Drug Policy. People are dehumanized for their personal choices and most often the only violence arriving from their choices is from the state via incarceration, guns pointed at them, homes invaded, children removed from loving homes and traumatized by doing so.

These are great talking points but let’s see some action. Lawmakers seem to be more concerned with frivolous things rather than addressing a real human rights violation that is Oklahoma Drug Policy.

The Drug War is good business for the state. It won’t loosen its grip easily or willingly. The CCA (Corrections Corporation of America) and GEO (formerly Wackenhut) have both engaged in state initiatives to increase sentences and create new crimes. The CCA sent a letter to 48 states offering to buy public prisons in exchange for a promise to keep them at 90% occupancy for 20 years. The prisons are for profit, yet still use tax dollars for funding and lease out captive labor to big business. With the private-public prison industry there is a contractual agreement to keep prisons at a certain capacity which of course is incentive to incarcerate people even for non-violent drug offenses.

The problem is not solved by enacting more laws, it is solved by protecting rights. Locking people up for non-violent drug offenses does not support liberty or freedom, it instead feeds the state, victimizes peaceful people in the form of taxation and incarceration, it keeps people out of the work force, and makes it much for difficult for them to attain a quality of life once released. Change will only occur with push back from those that are violated by these laws and that includes all of us. – Lisa Bowman

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“Oklahoma’s State of the State is now in the history books and we can see what is important to us. Mary Fallin acknowledged that our drug laws and penalties are not working and that the resulting prison load is hard on the budget. Not that this has inspired fresh thinking about individual liberty and personal responsibility, but she is looking for some changes in the sentencing structure. She would give more discretion to prosecutors to reduce charges away from a felony and reduce the sentencing requirements for those convicted. This requires us to accept that 15 years is an improvement over life without parole and think it is a good thing. First and second time offenders could get off without doing prison time but I wouldn’t hold my breath thinking it is going to happen very often.” Clinton Wiles

Peace Fest 2015

Drug Policy Reform Network of Oklahoma will be there! Drop by to sign the Medical MJ petition and buy a T Shirt to promote ending the drug war and declaring peace!


By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter

Over 60 organizations will come together at the 30th annual Fall Peace Festival creating a cornucopia of entertainment, information and items for holiday shoppers. The event is free and open to everyone.

The family-friendly festival will be held on Saturday, November 14, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., in the Civic Center Music Hall’s “Hall of Mirrors”, 201 N. Walker, in downtown Oklahoma City.

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Highway Robbery and The Drug War

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By Joanna Francisco

 

 

 

 

 


There are people who feed, house, and clothe their families by the income generated off laws that target a segment of the population for possessing a plant that, like so many other plants (maybe some in your garden right now), has medicinal properties.

policesackmoney

Some people may use this plant NOT to combat symptoms of Crohn’s Disease, Lou Gehrig’s Disease (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis or ALS), Multiple Sclerosis, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Intractable Epilepsy, PTSD, or Chronic Pain, but rather, just like some people enjoy a beer at the end of the day, for relaxation.

But is that a valid justification for some to, by using government as the weapon, target partakers of a particular plant in order to fund their lifestyle? Or is that immoral? Should not these people who enrich themselves via unjust laws at the expense of the wealth of the public and the liberty of the convicted find useful work that is supported by the free market?

Small government pro-free-market people understand that ending the drug war is the solution.

The War on Drugs is Immoral. Help end it and declare peace.

https://drugpolicyok.wordpress.com/donate/

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3 Absurd Reasons for Banning Drugs

Did you know the war on drugs is founded on racist principles? Prof. Stephen Davies shows the historical thought process behind banning drugs. One of the main reasons drugs were banned initially is because people were concerned drug use would lead to interracial relationships. Can you imagine someone making that argument today? Yet it was a principle reason for some of the laws banning drugs that we still have. Other reasons for banning drugs included fear of conspiracies and the misguided notion that the government somehow has a right to the productivity of its citizens. All three of these reasons are truly absurd, but all three were historically used as arguments that contributed to the war on drugs. If these are the arguments on which the drug war is founded, can we be sure it’s a war worth fighting for?

 

Katie and Cayman’s Law and Oklahomans for Health Initiative

Gov. Mary Fallin has signed a bill allowing a medical pilot program for cannabis oil.

The bill, known as “Katie and Cayman’s Law,” would allow medically supervised use of cannabis oil. Parents say that it is effective in treating children with epileptic seizures.

We are happy to see some progress in this area however, this bill will help only few and still leave many Oklahoma families living as medical marijuana refugees in Colorado.

It is wise to consider safety when using any kind of medication or treatment for ailments. However with so many other states effectively using medical marijuana to treat a vast array of diseases and disorders, limiting clinical trial studies to a very small handful of children here in Oklahoma is slowing much needed progress. While politicians believe they should be regulating medical treatments, people are suffering needlessly because their right to choose their own treatment is being denied.

Oklahomans for Health is preparing for the next initiative petition effort for medical marijuana by encouraging people to register to vote so that they may sign the petition as well as vote for the measure if it makes it to the ballot. They are also holding fundraisers throughout Oklahoma to support their efforts.

While Drug Policy Reform Network of Oklahoma supports full legalization we are watching this initiative closely and will reserve commentary until we have had the opportunity to review the language. This initiative though will allow the opportunity for all patients to access medical marijuana and this is one more step towards drug peace.

Drug Policy Reform Network of Oklahoma is dedicated to educating Oklahomans on the failure of the drug war, spreading awareness about the benefits of currently illegal drugs and supporting other initiative efforts.

If you would like to help us in our efforts to bring about Drug Peace and end the Drug War, please consider making a donation to our organization. With a $20 donation you will receive one of our T Shirts that will help spread awareness and the message that it’s time to end the war on drugs which is a war on our personal freedoms.

Click on photo to navigate to our donation page.

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