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May 29, 2014

Pushing for pot legalization

(Continued)

OKLAHOMA CITY —

“We’re very concerned about it,” he said. “We’re seeing the problems they’re dealing with in the states that have had it legalized.”

He said the legalization of marijuana in Colorado has been painted as wonderful, but “they’re dealing with a much darker situation that’s not getting the publicity.”

He cited concerns that drug cartels have moved into the state and opened dispensaries from which they are dealing and also shipping drugs cross-country and running money-laundering operations.

In addition, he said there are issues with fraud — people getting prescriptions who don’t really need it — and difficulty regulating the industry. He said there are already safer, stronger, more effective treatments for the illnesses people claim they need it.

“There’s a very small group that needs it for medical and a much larger group that wants it for recreational,” he said.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Dax Ewbank, who attended the rally that drew several dozen supporters, said legalized marijuana is one of those “taboo topics” in Oklahoma. He said he would legalize medical marijuana, if elected.

He noted supporters for medical marijuana have to overcome “100 years of propaganda" and a lot of money invested in a drug war.

“I’m not crazy about this bill, about that petition,” he said. “It’s a little bit too big government for me. However, what I am crazy about is getting people to think rationally and compassionately about this issue.”

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