senator yen

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….”


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



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


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.