Veterans strongly supported SQ 788
“At the Sallisaw VFW, no one is lighting up marijuana. If they do, they will have to go outside,” Charlie Brown, retired veteran and Quartermaster at the Sallisaw VFW, said.
Although State Question 788 (to allow cannabis for medical use) passed with 55.6 percent or 3,545 voters in Sequoyah County who were in favor of the ballot measure, there were 2,826 who voted against its passage..
The passing of the measure would allow Oklahoma residents to grow, sell and use cannabis for medicinal purposes. It would also establish a system of dispensaries, growers and processors under the Oklahoma State Department of Health.
“We're excited about it. No one's taking advantage of it yet but they're talking about it,” Brown, a retired Sallisaw veteran, said.
“I don't think there will be any purchasing until the rules and guidelines are established. I have heard Aug. 26 is when that will take effect. In the mean time, the CDB (cannabis) oil is legal to buy. People don't get high off of that but it does have a lot of health benefits.”.
Brown, who is a retired master sergeant in the U.S. Air Force, said the veterans strongly supported SQ788 for several reasons. “I think we had a good turnout voting in favor of the measure,” he said.
Brown said veterans are mainly prescribed opioids for pain and the medicinal marijuana will now provide an alternative source to relieve pain without the addiction and side effects caused by opioids.
“We now have an alternative source for pain and for problems with PTSD,” he said. “Opioids is killing many of our vets because it damages the liver and the meds the hospital gives veterans for pain and other health problems cause many of them to go around in a zombie state,” Brown has said.
Brown said he has been “very open” about supporting SQ788 for several reasons.
“For one it's all natural. Here we have people who are addicted to pain meds and alcohol trying to lessen their pain but cannabis is a natural plant,” Brown said.
Brown said there are many different strains of marijuana that provides relief for different health problems. I think they're going to need some time to study all this before it can be purchased,” he said.
Health officials said the measure is “unique” because it does not list the conditions that would qualify a person to use medical marijuana.
Common qualifying conditions in other medical cannabis states include epilepsy, cancer, multiple sclerosis and glaucoma.
Mary Fallin, Oklahoma governor, said a special session will be held to discuss the regulatory framework of the cannabis program. A final draft of the legislation will be made public before it is enacted, state officials have said.
“We hope cannabis will do for us what it did for Colorado,” Brown said.
“Maybe less people dying from opioids.”