Legislators will also hold hearing Wednesday on bill to reduce excessive penalties for marijuana-related offenses
The Senate Health and Human Services Committee on Monday voted down a bill that would have allowed patients with serious illnesses to obtain and use medical marijuana if their doctors recommend it.
SB 710, introduced by State Sen. Constance Johnson (D-Oklahoma City), would allow patients with debilitating medical conditions to privately possess up to eight ounces of marijuana and grow up to 12 marijuana plants in their homes. Patients would also be able to obtain marijuana through state-sanctioned collectives.
Sen. Johnson said she considers it a victory that the bill was granted a hearing, since similar measures she’s sponsored for the past six years haven’t even been heard in committee.
“Substantial research has concluded that marijuana is an effective treatment for a number of medical conditions and associated symptoms,” said Mason Tvert, director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP). “It is inhumane to criminalize seriously ill people who are able to alleviate their pain and suffering through the use of medical marijuana.”
A hearing on a separate marijuana-related bill will be held Wednesday, Feb. 27 by the House Public Safety Committee. HB 1835, sponsored by Rep. Cory Williams (D-Stillwater), would remove marijuana from the list of substances for which a second or subsequent possession offense results in a felony conviction. Currently, a second marijuana possession offense is punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence of two to 10 years in prison.
“Every objective study on marijuana has concluded that it is far less harmful than alcohol to the consumer and to society,” Tvert said.
The hearing on HB 1835 is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. EST in Room 432A of the State Capitol Building.