Looks like we in Oklahoma might start treating marijuana with only a modicum of insanity. A bill in the house to treat possession of a ounce or less of pot as a misdemeanor punishable by a fine, has been allowed out of committee and is headed to the full house. The following appeared in today?s Daily Oklahoman:

Lawmakers’ plans to decriminalize marijuana possession may not be up in smoke yet.

Members of the House Criminal Justice Committee voted Tuesday to move forward a Senate bill that could make possessing an ounce or less of the drug a misdemeanor punishable by a fine.

Original Senate language proposing the change was removed before the House saw the bill this week.

Rep. Bill Nations, D-Norman, told committee members he would be working to restore that language to the bill when it comes to the House floor later in the session.

Nations told committee members the bill’s effect would be to have police officers treat marijuana possession the same as they might a traffic ticket.

He said an agreement mirroring the law change already exists between Norman law enforcement officials and the Cleveland County district attorney’s office as a way to reduce court congestion.

“And there is support for this sort of movement on this issue from the Oklahoma Highway Patrol and other law enforcement agencies,” Nations said.

Sen. Bernest Cain, D-Oklahoma City, authored the bill. It goes next for consideration by the full House.

Jack Money
The Daily Oklahoman (03/27/2003)

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