The following is my response to Brian Hobbs of the Baptist Messenger. Article linked in text below.
The previous article you wrote on SQ788 received responses from several Oklahomans correcting some of the misinformation that was asserted therein. However, I am seeing some of those same points of misinformation repeated once again in this article. Since this is a very important matter – a matter of life or death for many Oklahomans that have been waiting for this safe and effective medicine to become legal and regulated in Oklahoma – I feel morally obligated to speak up on their behalf.
There is nothing intrinsically immoral about using a plant for healing. There is nothing in Scripture that instructs or allows us to use the force of earthly governments to prevent sick people from treating their diseases with a plant that was more than likely created for this very reason. For more details on this topic, look into the Endocannabinoid System which God has created you, me, and every other human and mammal with. SQ788 recognizes the existence of this, the body’s chief regulatory system and acknowledges the plant that perfectly complements it as a valid means to restore health.
The first point I would like to clarify is your citing of the two year limit on a medical card. House Bill 3468 which is the most current legislation in play will possibly serve as the enacting legislation for SQ788. It amends this issue of concern you have with SQ788 through Section 9.B.5.f. which states that the physician “SHALL (5.) produce a treatment agreement. A physician shall document a written treatment plan that includes, but is not limited to (f.) a specific duration for the marijuana authorization for a period NO LONGER THAN twenty-four (24) months. This means that doctors can use discretion in issuing recommendations to patients with regard to the duration of the recommendation. It is highly possible that you were unaware that the legislature is already working on the enacting legislation for SQ788, so this should simply bring clarity to the point you made. A larger point is that SQ788 is statutory. It is completely amendable by the legislature and the legislature, in fact, must act before there is any sort of medical cannabis industry in Oklahoma.
Your next point of concern is the claim that “(i)n addition to MDs and DOs, five other types of physicians (including veterinarians, dentists, optometrists, podiatrists, and chiropractors) will be able to sign a medical marijuana license. There is no requirement for these physicians to have attended medical school.” However, the language of SQ788 specifically states that “(a)ll applications for a medical license must be signed by an Oklahoma Board certified physician” and that a “medical marijuana license must be recommended according to the accepted standards a reasonable and prudent physician would follow when recommending or approving any medication.” It is neither reasonable nor prudent for a veterinarian to prescribe to humans. It’s neither reasonable nor prudent for a dentist to prescribe for cancer treatment. It’s neither reasonable nor prudent for an optometrist to treat Crohn’s patients. The physicians must be Board Certified and prescribing out of the normal bounds of the scope of their practice would subject them to losing their medical licenses. Whatever standards they are currently subject to will not be altered under SQ788.
Your third point of concern was with the fact that SQ788 does not enumerate a finite list of qualifying conditions. This is correct. However, as I just mentioned, SQ788 requires that recommendations be made in a reasonable and prudent manner. You said that claiming to have frequent headaches would grant a person a license. This is untrue. The patients are not the final say in whether or not they qualify for a medical card. Patients, in fact, need more than just a recommendation. The recommendation is part of the application that goes to the regulating agency which will be created by the legislature for approval.
I believe there is much hyperbole being used to influence voters. It would not be such a serious issue if people’s lives were not at risk of being directly impacted in a very detrimental way should SQ788 fail.
Although I am not a paid employee of the faith community, I am a member of it and I would ask that you stop bringing a false report to the people under the pretext of religion. Be a Caleb. Be a Joshua. Trust in the Father and do not use a fear-based false report to attempt to sway the people as the 10 rebellious spies did. It didn’t go well for them and it did not go well for the people who believed their false report.