Oklahoma: Medical Marijuana in OK
By Marika Lorraine, KFOR
OKLAHOMA CITY -- There's a move underway to legalize the use of medical marijuana in our state. Fourteen states have already done it. One Oklahoma woman tells us, when she tried to talk about the issue with her state senator, she ended up face-to-face with a number of law enforcement officers.
Denise Stahl lives taking 12 to 14 pills a day.
"I've been diagnosed with chronic Hepatitis C, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Arthritis, and Asthma."
Denise recently made a trip to the state capitol to discuss legalizing medical marijuana with her state senator.
She wanted to show him legislation drafted by a pro medical marijuana group called Oklahoma Compassionate Care Campaign.
"I feel very much like I was ambushed when I went in there," Stahl said.
The senator and a team of law enforcement officials were waiting for her on that day.
"I didn't mean to ambush her. I don't feel like she was, but if she felt that way then I apologize for that," said Sen. Cliff Aldridge (R).
Aldridge says he simply didn't know enough about the issue and invited some experts to join the talk.
One of those experts was Mark Woodward from the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics.
"I've heard this same story repeated over and over," Woodward said. "It does tend to be a gateway drug for many people. It opens a door and puts them on a path that often leads to other places."
He says the issue of legalizing marijuana for medical use sends the wrong message, that pot is okay.
Sen. Aldridge agrees.
"I just don't think it's something that's good for the state as a whole," Sen. Aldridge said.
But Denise says Oklahoma's laws are keeping her and others in pain from getting the help they need.
"We don't advocate it for everyone, only for medical use," Stahl said. "I just want to be able to have the same quality of life as everyone else."
Denise is not on her own; there is an organized group in Oklahoma dedicated to trying to change the state law so that doctors would be allowed to prescribe medical marijuana.