Policy

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

 

Advertisements

Kill the Bills

Lawmakers need to validate their existence. They often use their positions to inject their own personal views, agendas, and values into the process rather than *serving* their constituents and protecting their rights. This is why they make so many bad laws designed to victimize peaceful people and grow the state. They also like to pretend you’re a child and they’re your daddy, or mama, or even doctor, and force decisions on you that they believe are in YOUR best interest.

how-to-avoid-the-authoritarian-parenting-style

From denying people a healing plant gifted to us by mother nature to further suppressing our ability to petition our government because someone is afraid that the people of Oklahoma are indeed ready to legalize marijuana, the nanny state legislators of Oklahoma are putting a foot down – right on our throats!

nanny.state_.liberty

I’m not paying you, legislators, (albeit involuntary with my tax dollars) to make decisions regarding my health or wealth. And to further insult the intelligence of Oklahomans, we are told that we don’t understand the bills, we don’t understand what we’re voting for. Really?! Well, what does that say about YOU, then, Mr./Mrs. Legislator?

I’m a grown woman. You’re not my daddy, or my mama, or my nanny, or my doctor or any of those things to my own child. Stop using (abusing) your position at the capitol to practice medicine or *force/deny* medical treatments for people…ever. It’s shameful. That is not your job.

Duim-omlaag-groen-plat

If I could, I’d fire you.

 

Kill Bills SB1120 and HB1603

Politicians Muddle SQ788

You’ve heard that saying, “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.”

This was penned by a Nazi propagandist. The Reefer Madness campaign created in the ’30s by the head of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, Henry Anslinger, created a massive lie and media campaign to persuade people that marijuana was evil and deadly despite studies proving the contrary.

As SQ788 draws closer to a vote on June 26th, the opposition is surfacing with its share of false statements and outright lies.

Former Oklahoma Assistant District Attorney and current gubernatorial candidate, Gary Richardson, recently appeared on KOCO News 5 and shared some misinformation regarding SQ788 – Medical Marijuana bill. Based on his statements in this video, it is apparent that Mr. Richardson doesn’t fully understand the bill as he claims.

He says he wants a doctor to have access to whatever will help the medical conditions of his patients (SQ788 allows doctors the legal authority to do exactly that which they currently do not have). He says, (50 secs into the video) “You don’t even have to have a medical condition to a get a two-year script. You can go in for a mosquito bite and get a two-year script.”

This is false.

You do indeed need a medical reason/condition for a doctor’s recommendation to obtain a medical marijuana card and doctors need the legal protection to do so. SQ788 does not list qualifying conditions and perhaps that is one reason why Mr. Richardson is giving false information. There are legitimate reasons why qualifying conditions are omitted in SQ788 but that is not the same as excluding the requirement for a medical condition. This point is being twisted.

There are some who are using their platform to intentionally spread misinformation about SQ788 but the ill-informed can do just as much damage. It’s imperative that we speak up, out, and create a dialogue with those who are being misled, whether deliberately or intentionally.

Please reach out to these organizations for information, education, and speaking engagements.

Yes On SQ788

Oklahomans for Cannabis Facebook

Drug Policy Reform Network of Oklahoma

Vote ‘Yes’ on June 26th. Last day to register to be able to vote on SQ788 is June 1st.

SQ788 FAQs:

All applications for a medical license must be signed by an Oklahoma Board certified physician.

There are no qualifying conditions. A medical marijuana license must be recommended according to the accepted standards a reasonable and prudent physician would follow when recommending or approving any medication. No physician may be unduly stigmatized or harassed for signing a medical marijuana license application.

SQ788 FAQS

Understanding No Qualifying Conditions SQ788

Senator Ervin Yen, district 40, has penned a so-called medical marijuana bill that includes strict qualifying conditions which would neglect far too many patients who desperately need it to restore and improve their quality of life.

There has been criticism from the opposition regarding the no qualifying conditions of SQ788 and that it is a recreational bill in disguise.

The language in SQ788 clearly states that a doctor must recommend cannabis to a patient. Then, the patient will have to obtain a medical cannabis card and that card will be required to obtain the cannabis. A “casual use” bill this is NOT.

There are no qualifying conditions because, as with other medications, treatments, and supplements, doctors and patients will determine the best form of treatment for the patient’s health – not politicians. Yen’s bill does not even allow for PTSD that so many of our veterans are suffering from.

Qualifying conditions also neglect people like Shelly Garrison McMillan who suffers from Interstitial Cystitis (IC).

She explains, “This is why Medical marijuana works for IC, we have cannabinoid receptors inside the bladder. Over a dozen patients have committed suicide in the past year from lack of pain control. Medical marijuana can bring remission if you get the FECO (full extract cannabis oil) or raw juice. The best relief I have had since 1997 was the cookies in Colorado. I have hopes of getting to remission once I can go on the FECO oil.”

In other states with qualifying conditions, IC is not included. She could possibly obtain a recommendation (prescription) based on intractable pain but would be under scrutiny for refusing to take other medications with dangerous side effects or electing expensive, invasive surgery. She stresses, “The no qualifying conditions in SQ788 is crucial to patients with rare diseases. Most nurses I speak to have never even heard of IC.”

The people who need it the most are on the front lines of the battle to legally access medical cannabis. Some are literally fighting for their lives. They are moms, dads, sisters, brothers, grandparents, and children who are suffering needlessly and working tirelessly despite their health conditions. Sadly, there seems to be a lack of humanity and understanding from certain legislators and politicians regarding this issue and they are willing to harm the most vulnerable among us.

Please go to the source and contact those who understand what this bill truly is. Have conversations with others who can explain the endocannabinoid system (ECS) and the science behind the need for medical cannabis. For every false statement echoing from the willfully ignorant or ill-informed, we must counteract even louder with the truth.

You can also reach out to these organizations for information, education, and speaking engagements.

Yes On SQ788

Oklahomans for Cannabis Facebook

Drug Policy Reform Network of Oklahoma

FAQS:

All applications for a medical license must be signed by an Oklahoma Board certified physician. There are no qualifying conditions. A medical marijuana license must be recommended according to the accepted standards a reasonable and prudent physician would follow when recommending or approving any medication. No physician may be unduly stigmatized or harassed for signing a medical marijuana license application.

FAQ SQ788

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

CAF

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.]

Read more

 

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

w620-4b48add9422f9d18dc0992f7e5de399f

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

drugpolicyprob

 


 

“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

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.

tshirt