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February 17, 2014

Pot and political suicide

NORMAN — Pardon the pun, but we don’t have very high expectations that any kind of marijuana legislation will pass the Oklahoma legislature this session, or in the foreseeable future, for that matter.

Oklahoma lawmakers — like the people they represent — tilt towards the conservative side. Giving a foothold for cannabis supporters, even going the medicinal route, would be political suicide.

State drug officials say they will resist any efforts to legalize marijuana, for medicinal reasons or not. Many of the state’s 27,000 inmates have drug possession convictions.

Perhaps the cost of incarceration will soften up some lawmakers. A second offense for possession of marijuana can result in a felony conviction of up to 10 years in prison.

State prisons are bulging at the seams and lawmakers can’t seem to appropriate enough to cover them each year. Prison insiders say it’ll take something like the 1973 McAlester prison riot to wake up lawmakers.

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