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Oklahomans debate marijuana use, cite Bible quotes as state votes on medical pot

Oklahomans debate marijuana use, cite Bible quotes as state votes on medical pot

Dina Al-Shibeeb
Oklohoma votes on marijuana

Tuesday is the day when people in Oklahoma, which has the strictest laws on cannabis in the United States, will vote to see if the majority want to legalize medical marijuana.

People in Oklahoma will vote on ballot initiative – Question 788 –  to legalize medical marijuana. If passed, Oklahoma could become the 30th state to legalize medical cannabis.

People in Oklahoma are said to be divided. With opponents say a “yes” vote will pave the path to a vote for recreational marijuana.

Those who argue against legalizing marijuana for medical purposes include prominent medical, business, religious, law enforcement and farm and ranch organizations — say the state question is anything but simple, Newsok reported.

However, others, including devout Christians, see it as a must.

Theological hypocrisy

A day before the historic vote, U.S. Sen. James Lankford, an Oklahoma City Republican and former Baptist preacher, who is against the legalization of marijuana, said he received a mail, accusing him of theological hypocrisy and claims the Bible supports marijuana use.

The message, quoting from Genesis, said:

“I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.”

Lankford described the mailer as “bizarre.”

He said attempts to justify marijuana use with biblical quotes are “the ultimate irony” and an effort by marijuana proponents to “twist reality” to win the vote.

“It was just a really bizarre attack to try to use Scripture to be able to support people smoking more marijuana,” Lankford said in an interview Monday to Newsok.

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“I certainly don’t think that the Bible encourages more parents to get high and all the side effects and things that happen with marijuana use.”

So far, Oklahoma already allows for use of cannabidiol oil, or CBD, with a doctor’s authorization. But the oil is limited to a small amount of THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, which also has medicinal value.

“People are suffering,” said Chip Paul, co-founder of the group that circulated the petition to get the issue on the ballot. “People are suffering in silence. Some people are treating themselves illegally. All these people need a legal outlet to be able to use this medicine, so it’s critical that we pass this now.”

Meanwhile, the FDA on Monday has approved its first marijuana-derived medication for epilepsy. Who knows, the FDA approval could encourage people in Oklahoma to vote – Yes.

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