OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla._State Senator Constance Johnson of Oklahoma City has introduced senate bill 2116 that would allow marijuana to be used for medicinal and recreational use.
Wednesday, supporters of the bill showed up at the state capitol to rally behind that effort to get marijuana legalized in Oklahoma. More than 300 stood, spoke, and listened to state legislators and advocates talk about the positives of cannabis. People from all sides of the political spectrum were there in support of state bill 2116 to legalize marijuana for recreational or medicinal purposes.
Marty Piel, who testified in front of a senate committee on medical marijuana, has a 6 year old granddaughter with Dravet syndrome. She started taking cannabis oil and shortly after her first dose, her seizures became less frequent, she learned 20 new words, and wrote her name for the first time.
"A year ago I wouldn't have been in favor of anything. Mainly because I was afraid it was a gateway to who knows that. But when you have a granddaughter, a 6 year old granddaughter that you can't control the seizures in then you look for what works," said Piel. He also said medical marijuana would decrease her drug cocktail of 24 different medicines that could affect her internal organs.
Aside from the health benefits, State Senator Constance Johnson said there are many more benefits to legalization, "We will see the prison rates go down, we will see children no longer dying, we will see veterans not committing suicide. We would see the billion dollar cash crop that's in Oklahoma perhaps benefit education, and roads, and public safety."
Supporters and advocates of marijuana say this will happen soon. "We're not going anywhere. They would like to believe that we are a minority but there is actually more people in Oklahoma that support this than do not. Progress is happening and it's happening right here in Oklahoma and people need to get ready for it because we're not going anywhere," said advocate Valarie Lambert.
The use of hemp is another reason why so many want marijuana legalized. Some of the supporters said if marijuana becomes legalized they would like to see the taxes go to education. Whether you are for or against legalization of marijuana, Senator Johnson says she wants all Oklahomans to take a stance and call their representative at the capitol.