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As the Utah Jazz and OKC Thunder battle in the first round of the NBA Playoffs, the states of Utah and Oklahoma are doing battle over another adversary: marijuana.

A recent news story said, “The push for legalized marijuana has moved into Utah and Oklahoma, two of the most conservative states in the country, further underscoring how quickly feelings about marijuana are changing in the United States.”

To be specific, Oklahomans will be voting on June 26 on State Question 788, which has been presented to the public as a medical-marijuana measure for the Sooner State. But is it truly medical marijuana?

According to new research published by a coalition of SQ 788 opponents, the measure more closes resembles recreational marijuana legalization, than a careful implementation of medical marijuana. How? Consider these facts:

  • “Unlike a normal doctor’s prescription, a medical marijuana license under SQ 788 lasts two years.”
  • “In addition to MDs and DOs, five other types of physicians (including veterinarians, dentists, optometrist, podiatrists, and chiropractors) will be able to sign a medical marijuana license. There is NO requirement for these ‘physicians’ to have attended medical school.”
  • “The threshold for justifying a medical need is extremely low as a patient only has to ‘articulate a medical need’ to qualify. Simply saying you at times have a headache will grant a 2-year license.”

These three facts, added with other concerned features of the measure, suggest that it’s a stretch to call SQ 788 “medical marijuana.” In fact, it could be called downright misleading. In a recent Baptist Messenger column, I discussed the matter more comprehensively.

Regardless of your position on medical marijuana and its legitimacy, we all can agree that every Oklahoman ought to research the specifics of the proposed ballot measure. Because about the time the NBA Playoffs are wrapping up, Oklahomans will be voting on this game-changing law.