mary fallin

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

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When Will It End?

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

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