Oklahoma Marijuana Laws

The Sooner State is not in any hurry to advance into the 21st century when it comes to drug related criminal offenses, especially those involving marijuana.  This is probably a good thing for Oklahoma defense lawyers and privately owned, for-profit prisons, but it’s not so great for those citizens who could benefit from the medicinal qualities of cannabis or those who engage in recreational use of the fairly benign substance.     drug crimesWhile 20 U.S. states and the District of Columbia have now enacted laws allowing for use of cannabis in treating qualified debilitating medical conditions (and four more states are in the process of enacting new medical marijuana statutes), the State of Oklahoma still enacts archaic laws that continue complete marijuana prohibition. The state recently passed a law that created a “zero tolerance” for THC levels in the blood of a person driving a vehicle, making Oklahoma one of the American states where law enforcement can legally screen drivers for the presence of marijuana in their systems using saliva, urine and blood tests.  Anybody who refuses to take the test is subject to revocation of his/her driver’s license for approximately 6 months and those drivers who fail the marijuana screening procedure face a misdemeanor charge, $1000 fine and up to 1 year of incarceration in one of Oklahoma’s not-so-fine jails. Oklahoma joined 10 other U.S. states when it passed House Bill 1441 and a recent amendment, making it illegal to have even trace amounts of any “Schedule I” drug in a person’s system, although the bill does not specifically mention marijuana.  Interestingly, the bill also does not mention any drugs on the “Schedule II” list, which includes cocaine as well as every prescription drug placed on the market by big pharmaceutical companies, which isn't at all surprising considering the money those companies (not even discreetly) put into the pockets of America’s politicians! Although proponents of the new bill insist it is an effort to promote safe driving in the State of Oklahoma, many residents feel that House Bill 1441 is specifically designed to target, criminally charge and incarcerate otherwise law abiding citizens who choose to use marijuana.In 2011, authorities in Oklahoma reported 17,794 drug-related arrests and 40,686 alcohol-related arrests and these statistics contribute to the feelings of many who believe law enforcement’s continued practice of targeting the generally passive users of marijuana is a waste of the State of Oklahoma’s valuable resources, which could definitely be better spent elsewhere. If you find yourself in this situation you need a good drug lawyer.

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