TULSA, Okla. - The teenager had pink cheeks from the cold and a
matter-of-fact tone as she explained why she had started using
methamphetamine after becoming homeless last year.
"Having nowhere to sleep, nothing to eat - that's where meth comes
into play," said the girl, 17, who asked to be identified by her
nickname, Rose. "Those things aren't a problem if you're using."
She stopped two months ago, she said, after smoking so much meth over
a 24-hour period that she hallucinated and nearly jumped off a bridge.
Deaths associated with meth use are climbing here in Oklahoma and in
many other states, an alarming trend for a nation battered by the
opioid epidemic, and one that public health officials are struggling
to fully explain.
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The medical marijuana "Unity Bill" that sets up a basic legal
framework for the implementation of State Question 788 will take
Nearly three dozen other new laws will also take effect this week.
Here's a look at some of the new laws.
Also known as the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana and Patient Protection
Act, House Bill 2612 sets up a framework for regulating Oklahoma's
medical marijuana industry.
The lengthy bill that was a compromise between legislators and those
in the medical marijuana industry sets guidelines for marijuana
testing, tax collections, seed-to-sale product tracking, packaging,
employment and more.
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A year after medical marijuana became legal in Oklahoma, state
lawmakers and marijuana advocates seem to have found a balance in
implementing State Question 788 and moving the industry forward into
the near future.
Sweeping legislation -- the result of a major compromise between
legislators and cannabis advocates -- to regulate the medical
marijuana industry will go into effect later this month.
Meanwhile, there are whispers of an initiative petition to put the
question of legalizing recreational marijuana to a statewide vote,
which could shake up Oklahoma's fledgling marijuana industry and the
new regulatory framework.
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Creation of a Cannabis Commission to regulate medical marijuana in the
state was approved by the Oklahoma House of Representatives on
Thursday night with no votes to spare.
House Bill 3468, by Rep. John Jordan, R-Yukon, sets up an independent
commission that would be activated if voters approve State Question
788 on June 26. That question would legalize medical uses of medical
marijuana, although opponents say its broad construction would
essentially make policing recreational use impossible.
"If you're for full-on recreational marijuana, this is not your bill,"
Jordan said in explaining the bill.