The Oklahoma legislature recently passed a measure that heightens penalties for people who purchase medical cannabis and sell non-cardholders the product.
The History Behind Oklahoma’s Senate Bill 1367
After State Question 788 was passed, legislators needed to establish both a framework and guideline for the industry. This led to the combination of medical marijuana and criminal law reform, which enabled a person to lawfully purchase marijuana and then resell the drug to a person without a medical marijuana card and only face administrative fines. This ultimately constitutes drug dealing, but was punished with the severity of a traffic infraction. Senate Bill 1367 addresses this loophole and makes the activity a criminal offense.
Penalties Increased by the Bill
The measure increases the fines imposed on individuals who either intentionally or improperly divert marijuana prescribed for medical usage from $200 to $400 on the first offense. For second convictions, individuals face fines between $500 and $1,00. If someone is convicted a third time, the individual is at risk of losing their medical marijuana license. Additionally, the measure increases fines for either the sale or transfer of medical marijuana to unauthorized entities to $5,000 for first violations and $15,000 for second or greater violations.
One legislator commented that this bill is focused on penalizing the “black-market” industry for medical marijuana as well as people who deal drugs rather than college students who share marijuana with friends but do not exchange money.
Remember, if you are determined to be in possession of an illicit substance in Oklahoma, you can end up being charged with possession with intent to distribute. This can, in turn, lead to serious penalties. The extent of the penalties is influenced by the amount of drugs you possess as well as what kind of drugs you are determined to possess. If you are charged with selling drugs, you should understand what methods you have available to defend against these charges.
The Future of the Legislation
The bill now awaits the signature of Governor Stitt. If Governor Stitt signs the bill, the measure will become effective on November 1, 2022.
Potential Defenses to Possession Charges
Various strategies exist to defend against drug possession charges in Oklahoma. Some of the ways that a person can defend against these charges include:
Contact a Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you or a loved one is charged with a marijuana-related offense, one of the best steps that you can take is to promptly contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. Contact attorney Tracy Tiernan today to schedule a free case evaluation.