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Marijuana penalty in Oklahoma could ease

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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ Despite last week's largest pro-marijuana rally at the Oklahoma Capitol in recent memory, there is little appetite in the conservative Oklahoma Legislature to join states that have legalized cannabis, even for medical purposes.
 
But with a growing prison population taking more of the state's budget each year, even conservatives are showing a willingness to consider options other than longer prison sentences.
 
Governor Mary Fallin touted being ``smart on crime'' in her state of the state address, and longtime supporters of corrections reform are optimistic about Representative Jeff Hickman's election last week as House speaker.
 
Reform supporters have supported reducing criminal penalties for marijuana possession and Republican Senate President Pro Tem Brian Bingman says anything that could be done with treatment to address drug use and keep people out of prison would be cost-effective.

 

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