Oklahoma Lawmakers Approve Life Imprisonment for Making Hashish
I am so glad I live in California. Here, if I so desire and obtain the proper doctor’s premission, I am allowed to grow, cultivate and consume up to 18 marijuana plants. I can compress and heat the glandular hairs from those plants, called “kief” in cannabis vernacular, to make hashish. I can then smoke that hash to my heart’s content. And it’s all perfectly legal under my state’s fabulously progressive medical marijuana laws.
Then there’s Oklahoma. Ah, Oklahoma! A state that actually passed a law that allows law enforcement officials to conceal evidence of hate crimes motivated by race or religion from federal authorities. A state which does not recognize crimes against sexual minorities as hate crimes. A state in which cooking hashish may soon result in spending the rest of your life behind bars.
That’s right, the good folks in the Oklahoma state legislature have approved a bill– House Bill 1798– that would make hash-making a felony and punish first-time offenders with a minimum mandatory sentence of two years in the slammer, and a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. Get convicted a second time, and your sentence will be doubled and you can kiss suspended sentences or parole goodbye.
Life in prison for processing a plant that has been used for medicinal purposes for nearly 5,000 years? Yup, Oklahoman lawmakers are one smart bunch. That’s why they overwhelmingly voted in favor of House Bill 1798; it passed the House by a vote of 75-18 and breezed through the Senate, 44-2. This, by the way, is the same House that voted to outlaw Shari’a law in a state where about 0.16% of the population is Muslim.
Mark Woodward, a spokesman for Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs (because marijuana is soooo dangerous), told the Associated Press that the bill should “send a message” that illegal drugs won’t be tolerated in the state.
Current marijuana laws in Oklahoma, a bastion of enlightenment on the high plains, must be too lenient. After all, when 25-year-old mother of four Patricia Spottedcrow and her 50-year-old mother Delita Starr sold $31 worth of marijuana to undercover cops, who obviously have nothing better to do in a state with a murder rate that is nearly 25% above the national average, the soft-on-drugs judge practically let the two women walk– they only got ten years each. Ten years for selling $31 worth of a plant.
Of course, House Bill 1798 must still be signed into law by Governor Mary Fallin. But she is a Republican. And she is an Oklahoman. And in this bumblefuck backwater, a state where you can still be fined $2,500 and locked up for a year for giving your boyfriend a blowjob, consider this a fait accompli.
Man, am I glad I live in California!
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