Oklahoma drug 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

 

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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…)

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.

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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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Victories and Next Steps

Oregon and Alaska became the third and fourth states to legalize marijuana.

http://touch.capitalgazette.com/#section/-1/article/p2p-81873295/

In Oklahoma, Fallin has won the gubernatorial election. She is very much opposed to supporting and protecting one of our most basic rights to use cannabis. Meanwhile, medical cannabis refugees from Oklahoma are still stuck in Colorado, separated from their families and support network. The cannabis freedom battle continues on in this state. Drug Policy Reform Network of Oklahoma will be busy working with legislators, educating people, and supporting other initiatives in the coming months and years. Oklahomans For Health has regrouped and will be working on another medical cannabis initiative. It will take much of our time and resources to accomplish this.

A membership with Drug Policy Reform Network of Oklahoma, a non profit organization, is only $10/annually. As a member, you can attend meetings, join in the discussion and become eligible for election onto our board. We also accept donations to support our efforts to change drug policy in Oklahoma that supports and protects the rights of the individual. We are a small group of volunteers and all donations and fees go directly to the operation of the organization and costs incurred with our activism.

Membership

Donate

Changing drug policy and abolishing unjust drug laws is more than a drug issue. It is a human rights issue.

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Re: Governor Fallin’s Press Release – Support of Medicinal Use of CBD

Governor Fallin’s press release today announcing her support of medicinal use of CBD oil is a mere breadcrumb. While this low THC oil could benefit a very small demographic of children, it limits life saving, life improving medicine to others and continues to victimize a large group of people who suffer from cancer, cancer treatment side effects, veterans with PTSD, multiple sclerosis patients, chronic pain sufferers, and children who require higher doses of THC to control seizures.

Twenty three states with legal medical marijuana have already proven the effectiveness and benefits of medicinal cannabis for a number of ailments. For Oklahoma legislators to propose such strict, limited trials on CBD only use is a step backward. There have been numerous studies and ongoing research across the country beyond CBD only oil and Oklahoma families who have become medical marijuana refugees to Colorado have given personal testimony which was presented at the state capitol along with doctors and researchers. Governor Fallin and all but two representatives were missing in action during those presentations. The Governor should be protecting the rights and liberty of the people of Oklahoma. Instead she is dictating who can and cannot exercise their right to health freedom and medical treatment. To regulate and enforce such a limited bill would be a nightmare and resource hog.

Oklahomans for Health has created a petition initiative that supports medicinal marijuana access for everyone who needs it which will result in fewer people being locked up for exercising a fundamental right.

Fallin’s statement is disingenuous and does not support the people of Oklahoma. She flip flops on issues based on the potential votes she could gain. If she, and legislators, performed in accordance with their proper roles, marijuana prohibition would have been repealed a long time ago.

She has repeatedly denied a conference with a very outspoken mother whose two year old daughter, Jaqie Angel Warrior, has become a medical marijuana refugee in Colorado. Fallin has not proven herself a servant of the people but rather a government expanding, liberty encroaching, politician.

Her timing of this statement is also curious considering Oklahomans for Health is wrapping up signature gathering this week and will be submitting signatures on Friday.

While we are encouraged to see legislators ready to have a conversation on this topic, they are lagging behind as the people of Oklahoma have taken steps forward and become proactive on this issue despite the obstacles and hurdles they have had to overcome. Whether the required number of signatures is met or not, the people have made a clear statement that it is time to change Oklahoma’s drug policy.

To support a truly compassionate and reasonable policy, please sign the petition. There are only two days left to do so. You can find petition sites on their website: Oklahomans for Health

Please contact Drug Policy Reform Network of Oklahoma if you have any further questions or comments at DrugPolicyOK@gmail.com.

Prohibition is Violent

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.

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 are not willing to have a conversation or stand up and protect personal freedom then they are failing in their job. Perhaps the problem is that their very job title requires a stream of arbitrary laws to validate their existence. Unfortunately, individuals have little recourse for reprimanding representatives. The cannabis issue is not going to dissipate and quietly disappear. 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.


To help support the organization in it’s efforts please consider donating or membership.

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