From the Front Lines

The Oklahoma Medical Cannabis Movement

by Chip Paul

You might have seen that Oklahomans For Health began calling for a grand jury investigation based on the actions of the Department of Health (Julie Ezell) and the Oklahoma Pharmacy Board (Chelsea Church) and their behavior toward SQ788.  Both before and after the election.  Ezell and Church were exchanging emails and text messages in what appears to be a “pay for play” scenario where Ezell would alter the rules under SQ788 to include a required on site pharmacist and also remove smokable marijuana from the program and in return Church appears to offer Ezell a far better job at the Pharmacy Board.

Even more troubling are the absence of any mention of the smokable marijuana removal or the on site pharmacist within ANY of the rules put up for public comment by the Oklahoma State Department of Health both before and after the June 26th election.  In fact, in an early July (pre-July 10th board meeting), in meetings with Ezell and Buffy Heater, where all the regulations were reviewed by members of Oklahomans For Health, not one mention was made of removal of smokable marijuana or a required pharmacist.

During the Oklahoma State Department of Health’s July 10th board meeting, we had “memo” being slide to all members of the board and we had one board member introduce the no smoking regulation and another board member introduced the on site pharmacist.

So, where did the memos come from?  Why is there a “disconnect” between what staff is working on and what pops out at the board level?  What was the involvement from the Governor’s office?  What was the involvement of other departments within the State Department of Health?  The Attorney General reviewed all rules and signed off on them, only to have to write a letter of censure later.

Lots of odd behavior..time we got to the bottom of it. 

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