US OK: Forfeiture Fray
The Oklahoman, 18 May 2015 - Senator Denies Claims That Plan to Change Law Is Grab for Money A state senator has upset law enforcement officers across the state by saying the state's drug money forfeiture law needs to be changed to protect the innocent.
US OK: LTE: A Malignant Cancer
The Oklahoman, 15 May 2015 - I agree almost completely with David Read (Your Views, May 8): Drugs are not the "harmless recreation" that is the viewpoint of liberals and, unfortunately, a lot of conservatives. Drugs destroy lives. Do I need to point further than Skyla Whitaker and her friend? Walking on a familiar country road and shot by a recreational drug user? What will it take to wake this country up? More people need to realize that the purpose of the law is to protect society, not to let criminals off time and time again in order to satisfy some sociological sense of guilt. The law has many safeguards to protect people who are wrongly accused, but if someone is guilty, they need to be locked up, period. If the prisons are overcrowded, more prisons need to be built. These kind of people aren't harmless. Users and dealers are a malignant cancer and need to be treated as such. Arrell D. Martindale
US OK: PUB LTE: Treatment Is Cheaper
The Oklahoman, 15 May 2015 - Regarding "Momentum building for justice reform" (Point of View, May 9): J.C. Watts recommends "shortening prison sentences for nonviolent offenders - or diverting people from prison altogether" to reduce prison costs. What he doesn't say: Nonviolent offenders are drug users supporting their addiction selling drugs to other users. Oklahoma isn't the place to rethink 100 years of failed attempts to control narcotics and "dangerous drugs" by criminal laws prohibiting possession or sale of drugs. It started with the federal Harrison Act (opium, 1912), leading every state to prosecute drug users/sellers since the 1930s. Former Congressman Watts and his task force on federal corrections reform need to determine whether criminal justice systems are suitable for folks addicted to drugs. They may discover drug addictions increased during the "war on drugs." Invest taxpayer money in treatment programs. That's much cheaper than doubling Oklahoma's prison population. Transfer narcotic enforcement officers to street patrols. Let them arrest real criminals.
US OK: PUB LTE: Time To Declare Peace In Failed Drug War
The Oklahoman, 10 May 2015 - Regarding "Law an example of why more reform is needed" (Our Views, May 3): When it comes to preventing drug use, mass incarceration is a cure worse than the disease. The drug war is not the promoter of family values some would have us believe. Children of inmates are at risk of educational failure, joblessness, addiction and delinquency. Not only do the children lose out, but society as a whole does too. Incarcerating nonviolent drug offenders alongside hardened criminals is the equivalent of providing them with a taxpayer-funded education in criminal behavior. Prisons transmit violent habits rather than reduce them. Nonviolent drug offenders are eventually released, with dismal job prospects because of criminal records.
US OK: Editorial: Positive Step
Tulsa World, 06 May 2015 - We applaud Gov. Mary Fallin's decision to sign legislation allowing a medical pilot program that uses a nonintoxicating derivative of marijuana - medicinal cannabis oil or CBD - to help children with seizure disorders. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Jon Echols, R-Oklahoma City, was carefully written to allow for tightly controlled investigational medical studies that can be conducted in a safe, responsible and scientific manner.
US OK: Editorial: Law an Example of Why More Reform Is Needed
The Oklahoman, 03 May 2015 - LAW AN EXAMPLE OF WHY MORE REFORM IS NEEDED OKLAHOMA'S three-strikes law for drug felony convictions, on the books since 1989, underscores the importance of policymakers occasionally reviewing state statutes to determine whether there's a better way to handle crime and punishment. The answer, generally, is yes.
US OK: I Will Die In Prison For A Nonviolent Crime
The Oklahoman, 03 May 2015 - With State Prisons Over Capacity, Some Are Calling for Reversal of Harsh Law Kevin Ott drew his first strike when he was arrested for a small bag of methamphetamine in his pocket in 1993. A year later, authorities caught the self-described country boy from Okemah with marijuana plants growing at his home. That strike got him 15 months in prison.
US OK: Legal Marijuana Could Be Coming To Oklahoma A On Tribal-Owned
The Oklahoman, 19 Apr 2015 - While the picture is still blurry, legal marijuana could be coming to Indian country in Oklahoma. Such a possibility may seem far-fetched, but recent policy pronouncements by the U.S. Department of Justice are making the once unthinkable a real possibility. While marijuana is still illegal in all of its forms in Oklahoma, more than 20 states have legalized it for either medical or recreational use. Nonetheless, it is still illegal in all states under federal law to manufacture, distribute or dispense marijuana.
US OK: PUB LTE: Cannabis Prohibition Is The Problem
The Oklahoman, 05 Apr 2015 - Regarding "Colorado defends pot laws against Oklahoma, Nebraska legal attack" (News, March 28): Aaron Cooper, a spokesman for Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, has it backward in claiming that Colorado's legalization of cannabis has negatively impacted surrounding states like Oklahoma and Nebraska. Rather, cannabis prohibition is responsible for negatively impacting Oklahoma, Nebraska and the entire country. Further, they're unable to grasp what is taking place. Colorado government isn't promoting commercialized cannabis, but rather regulating the God-given plant. Oklahoma and Nebraska leaders fail to realize what they're actually doing is forcing the black market to regulate cannabis instead. While Oklahoma and Nebraska leaders may wish to force the black market to continue regulating cannabis, Colorado voters decided to force government to do the inevitable job instead. Recent polls indicate continued growing support for that decision. Polls also indicate Oklahoma and Nebraska citizens wish to end cannabis prohibition.