The Norman Transcript

Local news

May 4, 2012

War on drugs is ongoing

NORMAN — Efforts to make marijuana available for medical reasons in Oklahoma are still alive, despite legislative defeat of such matters, the director of the state Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control said Thursday.

“I can tell you there’s a big push out there, and it’s bigger today than it was yesterday,” Darrell Weaver told the Norman Rotary Club.

He said legalizing marijuana for any reason sends the wrong message to young people. Colorado, which legalized marijuana, has a higher rate of youth marijuana use. Sixteen states and the District of Columbia allow marijuana use for medicinal purposes.

Senate Bill 573 — authored by Sen. Constance Johnson, D-Oklahoma City — was introduced last year and was assigned to a Senate committee, but it never received a hearing.

“We’ve got so many drugs out there now. We’re just a drug infested society,” Weaver said. “We don’t need to put any more out there.”

He said marijuana is a gateway drug and said every drug user he has interviewed said they began with marijuana.

He said besides marijuana production, the state’s drug problems range from methamphetamine production and use, Hispanic drug cartels and prescription drug abuse.

Meth makers have moved to rural areas where there are fewer law enforcement officers.

“The drug cartels are here,” he told Rotarians, adding that violence among drug cartels in Mexico spills over into Oklahoma.

Weaver, an agent since 1987 and the bureau’s director since 2006, said there has been an 180 percent increase in drug overdose deaths since 2001. The majority of those are from prescription drugs.

He said Oklahoma leads the nation in prescription drug use per capita and is ninth highest in prescription drug overdose deaths.

“It’s truly killing Oklahoma,” he said. “We believe there are more than 300,000 Oklahomans with a prescription drug problem. There’s people in this room with a problem.”

Weaver said the agents and law enforcement officers are on the front lines of evil each day.

“It’s never-ending, the crises we deal with on a daily basis,” he said. “We have homeland terrorists and we have hometown terrorists. They are the criminal element that wants to destroy the good in our communities.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local news
  • Bad year won’t dampen peachy tradition

    PORTER — A rusting, silver-colored water tower tells visitors to this rural town between Muskogee and Tulsa that they’ve come to the “Peach Capitol of Oklahoma.” Residents of Stratford, the state’s other self-proclaimed peach capital, ...

    July 26, 2014

  • Union Market opens this fall on campus

    Shelves are being stocked as employees buzz around like busy bees and activities are in the last stages of prep as the University of Oklahoma anticipates the opening of its new eatery Union Market, located in the Oklahoma Memorial Union in ...

    July 26, 2014

  • OU football recruit under investigation in assault case

    An attorney representing Joe Mixon confirmed Friday evening that the highly-recruited Oklahoma running back is being investigated by Norman Police in connection with an incident in which a woman suffered multiple facial fractures early ...

    July 26, 2014

  • Campus Cornerassault

    Norman Police responded to an alleged aggravated assault at the Campus Corner Pickelmans Gourmet Cafe early Friday morning....

    July 26, 2014

  • OU physicist receives $1M grant

    A University of Oklahoma physicist has received a $1 million grant from the W.M. Keck Foundation to develop a quantum enhanced plasmonic sensor. The emerging field of physics known as quantum plasmonics will enable technology for sensing ...

    July 26, 2014

  • OU awarded Mellon Grant

    The University of Oklahoma has been awarded a $572,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for the development of a digital library of Latin texts of all eras. The Digital Latin Library — a Linked Open Data resource — represents a ...

    July 26, 2014

  • Veterans’ breakfast set

    Veterans are invited to a free breakfast from 6 to 11 a.m. Tuesday as Tiffany’s Restaurant, 101 S. Main St., hosts the second annual David Bolser Veteran’s Appreciation Breakfast....

    July 26, 2014

  • Junior Police Graduation First Junior Police Academy graduates

    The room went dark and a slideshow flipped through photos of children participating in the first Junior Police Academy as kids chattered excitedly, remembering what they had done over the past two weeks. Norman Police Department hosted ...

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Officials say transparency lacking in Wal-Mart zoning

    Norman city staff recently admitted to withholding information from the public regarding a controversial zoning change in southeast Norman. If approved by the city council, the proposal will allow a Wal-Mart supercenter at Cedar Lane and ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Nonprofit raises $3.9M-plus for new center

    The Center for Children and Families, a United Way of Norman partner agency, announced Thursday that it exceeded its public fundraising goal of $3.5 million and raised more than $3.9 million to complete the purchase and renovation of a ...

    July 25, 2014