On Tuesday, June 26th, 2018, Oklahomans voted to legalize medicinal marijuana, making the Sooner State the 30th to do so. With approximately 99% of precincts reporting, 506,740 people said yes to State Question 788, representing roughly 56% of those who voted.
Given the fact that Oklahoma is largely considered a red state, this marks a historic move for medical marijuana advocates nationwide.
Oklahoma’s Medical Marijuana Market Potential
With a population of roughly 3.93 million people, Oklahoma is just a tad smaller than Oregon in terms of potential patients.
Despite also having a recreational marijuana program, Oregon’s medical marijuana program has enrolled over 45,000 patients as of the Oregon Health Authority’s most recent quarterly report. We can expect a similar number of patients, if not higher, in Oklahoma given the fact that recreational marijuana is still very much illegal in the state (and country, for that matter).
Since State Question 788 allows patients over 18 years old to get a medical marijuana card with the signature of a board-certified physician, it’s important to note that over 75% of Oklahomas population qualifies.
Beyond adults, minors can also get a medical marijuana license in Oklahoma as long as they have the signatures of two board-certified physicians as well as their parent or legal guardian.
Oklahoma’s Medical Marijuana Qualifying Conditions
You’re probably asking yourself ‘how could 75% of Oklahoma’s population qualify for medical marijuana without 75% of Oklahomans having cancer, epilepsy, or another life-threatening condition?‘ This is where Oklahoma is unique.
Unlike other states, it seems as if Oklahoma’s medical marijuana program will not be based on an arbitrary list of qualifying conditions. Rather than posting a black-and-white list of ailments that qualify a patient for medical marijuana, the state may leave it up to those who know best – patients’ physicians.
This may be the most logical system for determining who qualifies for medical marijuana. After all, doctors already take the Hippocratic Oath holding them to the promise that they will “do no harm” to their patients. Meanwhile, the politicians that would typically determine the list of medical marijuana qualifying conditions just recite an Oath of Office affirming that they’ll support and defend the Constitution.
Why let an elected official determine whether or not your ailment is severe enough, when you could leave it up to a medical professional?
Despite the extremely restrictive limitations on medical marijuana research, 30 states have officially legalized medicinal cannabis. Thanks to overwhelming amounts of anecdotal evidence and undying support from marijuana advocates, patients in Oklahoma can rest easy knowing help is on the way.
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