Mon, March 31, 2003
Despite its reputation as strict on drug policy, plans to decriminalize marijuana possession in Oklahoma are advancing. Members of the House Criminal Justice Committee voted Tuesday to move forward a Senate bill that would make possession of an ounce or less of the drug a misdemeanor punishable by a fine.
Original Senate language proposing the change was removed before the House saw the bill this week. However, Rep. Bill Nations (D-Norman) told committee members he would work to restore that language when it comes to the House floor later in the session.
Nations told committee members that an agreement mirroring the proposed legislation already exists between Norman law enforcement officials and the Cleveland County district attorney's office as a way to reduce court congestion.
Nations also told the committee that Oklahoma Highway Patrol and other law enforcement agencies support such a change.
The bill will next go to the full House for consideration.