OK Minority Leader pandering on pot

Senator Greg McCortney, R-Ada, Thursday afternoon issued a statement in response to the House Minority Democrat Leader’s earlier call for a special session on medical marijuana saying directly, “The Minority leader is wrong.”  He further noted the effort to “score political points by issuing a press release… is not leadership. It’s political pandering. Oklahomans deserve and expect better.” 

McCortney said, “At a meeting just two weeks ago, representatives from the Health Department agreed with my co-chair that the Health Department could right now work alongside our legislative working group to develop and implement testing regulations. And now that we have heard from national experts on testing, we intend to work with the Health Department on a proposal for testing regulations and present it soon.”

Earlier in the day, House Minority Leader Steve Kouplen, (D-Beggs), called on the Medical Marijuana Working Group to vote on a bill for immediate action in a limited special session.

“As Democrats, our top concern is that we proceed with a timely, safe and effective implementation of what Oklahomans voted for. We have a bill in front of us that was assembled by industry experts and a coalition of activist organizations, based on tested standards in successful programs, nationwide.” Kouplen said.

McCortney answered, “My co-chair and I informed the House minority leader of [the] goal after yesterday’s meeting. He still felt necessary to try and score political points by issuing a press release. That is not leadership. It’s political pandering. Oklahomans deserve and expect better. This legislative working group is making good progress. We’re doing in a few months what every other state has taken years to do.

“It’s most important to do this right rather than simply do it right now.

“We’re being deliberate and thorough in our work to ensure Oklahoma’s medical marijuana system is effective and successful in providing patients access to safe medication.”

McCortney is co-chair of the bipartisan, Senate and House working group on medical marijuana implementation.

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