Oklahoma eyes legalizing marijuana

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR-TV) – Oklahoma law makers will soon consider legalizing marijuana.

State Senator Constance Johnson has tried in the past to get legislation approved to legalize marijuana, but it has never passed.

This year she is trying again, introducing Senate Bill 2116. The bill would allow for the regulation and taxation of marijuana.

“I think we need to accept the realities that alcohol is a dangerous drug, prescription drugs are dangerous. Marijuana has not killed anyone,” she says.

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Narcotics hopes the bill does not make it through the legislature.

The bureau’s Mark Woodward says marijuana is a dangerous drug. He says while a person can take a drink of alcohol and not get drunk marijuana always causes a person to become impaired.

“The big difference is everyone who smokes marijuana gets intoxicated, becomes high off of it and becomes a safety risk,” Woodward says.

Woodward believes legislation like this sets a bad example for young people in our state.

He said, “We’re trying to tell kids to stay off drugs and then they’re seeing voters and legislators voting to legalize getting high on drugs. That makes our job as parents, law enforcement and educators a lot more difficult.”

Though Senator Johnson strongly believes the drug is not dangerous.

She said, “We’ve legalized alcohol, which is far more deadly and dangerous than marijuana.”

She believes Oklahoma is getting closer to legalizing the drug.

Johnson said, “We’re making progress. I think the things that happened in Colorado will mean more action and activism in Oklahoma.”

Senator Johnson says a recent poll shows most Oklahomans do in fact support the legalization of marijuana.

Her bill will be considered during the upcoming session, which begins February 3, 2014.

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