Increased Testing?

The OSBI is raising concerns if voters approve the medical marijuana state question on the ballot next week. The following statement was released:                                                                                                                               

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) has fielded questions from the media and citizens on the impact of State Question 788, should it pass and be codified into law. Significant public safety and health concerns surround State Question 788, particularly as it is written. A report by the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics (OBN) can be found at https://www.ok.gov/obndd/documents/Medical%20Marijuana.pdf. This report details researched findings on “medical marijuana”, including dispelling widespread inaccurate information. In addition to the points enumerated by OBN, State Question 788 directly impacts the operations of the OSBI. In states that have either “medical marijuana” programs or have legalized marijuana, there have been significant increases in driving under the influence of drugs cases, including arrests of drivers, traffic collisions, and traffic fatalities. Other states with “medical marijuana” have reported a massive increase in these types of cases.  Currently, the OSBI performs the majority of all toxicology testing in the state on blood samples drawn from drivers who are suspected to be driving, operating, or in actual physical control of a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs. Marijuana is one of those drugs and remains a Schedule 1 drug under both federal law and state statutes. Even at a conservative increase of doubling the number of cases, this translates to a cautious estimated cost of more than $3 million for testing, personnel, equipment, and other services to ensure timely testing of not only those blood kits, but also to prevent the creation of a backlog of other forensic testing services. Additionally, the OSBI currently tests for the presence of marijuana or its derivatives in an individual’s blood. Should the need to quantify the amount of marijuana or its derivatives to determine “impaired” or “intoxicated” levels, similar to those for alcoho l, additional resources would be required to research, develop protocol, purchase instrumentation, etc. for this testing. The estimated cost should this additional provision occur is $1.5 million. In its current state, State Question 788 reads “No person holding a medical marijuana license may unduly be withheld from holding a state issued license by virtue of their being a medical marijuana license holder. This would include such things as a concealed carry permit.” The requirements and restrictions of the licensing of “concealed carry permit[s]” is found in the Oklahoma Self-Defense Act (21 Oklahoma Statutes 1290.1 et seq.). The 9th Circuit Court of Criminal Appeals decided on August 31, 2016 in Wilson v. Lynch (14-15700) that Wilson, a holder of a medical marijuana registry card, could be lawfully prohibited from purchasing or possessing a firearm under federal law [18 U.S.C. Sec 922(g)(3)]. The proposed language of State Question 788 appears to be in dire ct conflict with federal law regarding the possession and purchase of handguns, and thereby in conflict with Oklahoma Self-Defense Act licensing laws, rules, etc.

 

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