Parents, lawmaker rally for medical marijuana at State Capitol
Could pot ever be legal in Oklahoma? It's a question one lawmaker has asked for nearly a decade.
Saturday dozens met at the State Capitol to get the ball rolling on possible medical marijuana legislation. Among them were parents Kelli and Jason Dodson.
"It's the worst thing that could possibly happening your life, to have a child who receives a diagnosis that is basically a death sentence," Kelli Dodson said, talking about her daughter Katie who has Dravet syndrome. Dravet is a rare form of epilepsy that could shorten her life.
And her body's already rejected nearly 20 different medications.
"They've all had side effects of their own, some of them have increased her seizures," said Jason.
That's why the Dodson's are calling for change. Asking Oklahoma lawmakers to allow CBD, or low dose marijuana used for medical purposes.
"It's an uphill battle but it's one that we have to begin," said state Senator Connie Johnson (D - Oklahoma City).
Oklahoma has some of the toughest marihuana laws in the country. And the Dodson's believe loosening of those laws could help Katie.
"It's helping a lot of kids like her with the same conditions, and we would definitely want the chance to try it to find out for sure," Jason said.
But Johnson has re-introduced the idea for 8 years, and has gotten nowhere.
"Policy-makers are behind the people when it comes to understanding the value of treatments from medical marijuana," she said.
Most people who attended the session at the Capitol Saturday back the idea.
"Of course Oklahoma should be the very next state to do this and it should be done tomorrow," Ryan Underwood said.
For now, the fight to change the state's pot laws is not an optimistic one.
"Pretty much 1 percent, 0 percent of the policy makers in Oklahoma are willing to embrace this reality," said Johnson.
A realization that's creating a dilemma for the Dodsons who are worried about their daughter, but want to keep her life as normal as possible.
"We're proud Oklahomans," Kelli said, "we come from generations of Oklahomans. We shouldn't have to move to Colorado to get a treatment that has already been legalized there."
In Oklahoma, anyone found with pot could face up to a year in jail for their first offense and between two and 10 years for their second.