By Darcy McConnell, LADC, LPC
Twenty-three states and the District of Columbia currently have laws legalizing marijuana in some form or another. Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington have legalized marijuana for recreational use. It is undisputable that we are living in a campaign era when it comes to the role of marijuana in American society. That being said, it must be recognized that there are many truths and mistruths out there regarding the health and safety of marijuana consumption. Unfortunately, credible research on either side of the debate is lacking.
Oklahoma State statute defines marijuana as a schedule I drug. Schedule I includes substances with the following characteristics: high potential for abuse; no accepted medical use in the United States or lacks accepted safety for use in treatment under medical supervision. State law holds an individual in possession of marijuana guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by confinement for not more than one year and by fine not exceeding one thousand dollars. Consequently if during the period of any court-imposed probationary term or within ten years of the date following the completion of the execution of any sentence or deferred judgment for such violation, one commits a second or subsequent violation, shall upon conviction, be guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment in the custody of the Department of Corrections for not less than two years nor more than ten years and by a fine not exceeding five thousand dollars.It seems that many individuals in the 15-30 age range possess extremely permissive beliefs about the smoking and consumption of marijuana. Sadly, these blasé beliefs seem to contribute to the perpetuation of criminal drug abuse and arrests. Regardless of personal beliefs about any certain subject the law is to be respected and will be enforced. I especially ask parents of young people to become educated about marijuana related laws in our state so that their beliefs too do not become jaded by campaign propaganda. Oklahoma enforces some of the harsher marijuana laws in the nation and a criminal background is very hard to overcome in today’s society. Edmond Family Counseling is the community’s resource for counseling, substance abuse testing, educational programming, and community outreach projects. Has your teen downloaded the BeEdmond app? It’s the number 1 resource for teens in the Edmond area. Stay connected to stay safe! Follow BeEdmond on twitter: beedmond1.