OKLAHOMA CITY, Oklahoma –
A bill to legalize medical marijuana in Oklahoma will go to a public vote this coming June.
But, even if the state question is approved, it could take years to implement.
Passing the measure is one thing. Jumping through all of the political hoops and bureaucracy to get it implemented is another thing altogether.
Passing the measure doesn’t automatically mean Oklahomans can get a medical marijuana card and begin using it.
The new law would be implemented by the embattled department of health, which has already said it doesn’t have the resources to do the job.
That would mean bringing in other agencies. Then, rules would have to be established governing distribution, growing, and enforcement.
“It’s about a two-year process. What they end up having to do is they propose those rules, then they have to get public comment, then after public comment, those proposed rules are then sent to the legislature for approval. They either get approved or disapproved,” said Representative John Paul Jordan.
Here’s the other fly in the ointment. The state department of health misspent $30 million, much of that federal money.
That means there’s a chance the federal government could temporarily take over operations at the department of health, said representative Jordan.
So, that could mean even more time to implement the measure.