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Oklahomans will soon have an opportunity to legalize medical marijuana by voting for State Question 788. This will allow us to have some of the freedom available in more prosperous states like California, Colorado and North Dakota. It may be late, but it’s a start.

Predictably, the gray, old men who live deep inside the box of hackneyed thinking are trying to stop SQ 788 from passing. If not for the shenanigans pulled by nationally infamous grifter and former Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, we’d have voted on this issue 18 months ago. Good ol’ Scotty just wanted to save us from our own choices and perhaps tilt the tables in the right-wing direction. And let’s not forget our whitebread moralist Sen. James Lankford (R-OK). Jim is telling us a “yes” vote will lead to recreational pot that would be “harmful to the social fabric of Oklahoma.” Well, despite Lankford’s scare tactics, the world has continued turning after most of the other states have moved forward on pot legalization in one form or another.

Certainly I hope he’s right that we’ll soon get rec’, but I have to wonder why the senator thinks the ongoing prohibition of pot helps families? I don’t know many parents who would like to see their kids jailed (or kids wanting their folks locked up, either) for pot. I am unsure how jail time and criminal records help anyone as the consequence for a victimless offense.

Geez, I wonder if Jim called the cops on kids caught with pot when he was director at Falls Creek Youth Camp from 1995 to 2009? Did he send those young wayward Baptists to juvie or just call mom and dad?

Back in my day …

When I was a teen in the ’70s, pot was about as common as 3.2 beer. My friends and I thought it would be “legal in the next five years.” Then we got paraquat President Jimmy Carter and Nancy Reagan’s war on drugs.

Next came occupational drug testing, which likely destroyed as many homes as criminal records. Probably more folks have been shut out of careers and good-paying jobs for a slip-up or indiscretion than all of the hot air blown about NAFTA. Since drug testing largely concerns past use rather than current impairment, testing is just a backdoor for enforcement.

The SQ 788 vote on June 26 concerns “medical marijuana,” which constitutes a legitimate treatment for a litany of ailments. Medical marijuana seems to be effective for controlling pain. Many of those kids from the ’70s are retired now and no longer subject to urinalysis, and they would like it for treating aches and pains in their hips and knees, arthritis and rheumatism and maybe just to feel better in general (not to mention treatment of PTSD, glaucoma, opiate addiction, seizures et al.).

Just think of all the money

SQ 788 could pass. After all, moral arguments prohibited alcohol, liquor-by-the-drink and gambling in Oklahoma, all of which seem objectively “worse” than pot. When alcohol and gambling finally became legal and regulated, folks (and states) made money off of them. Lots of money.

Maybe that’ll do it? Make medical marijuana profitable to the gray, old men! Or perhaps we should promise that all the tax money collected for the first year will go to Continental Resources, Devon Energy, the Koch Bros and churches? Lots of churches: The Oklahoma Baptists, Presbyterians and Catholics, prosperity preachers and faith healers will all get a piece — and, of course, we can give a big check to Falls Creek.