Pro-marijuana group in Marshall Co. pushes pot petition - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Pro-marijuana group in Marshall Co. pushes pot petition

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MARSHALL COUNTY -- Pro-marijuana supporters in southeast Oklahoma are getting in on a statewide push to legalize pot.

A bill that would have made marijuana legal and taxable in Oklahoma recently failed to make it past a senate committee.

Now, a statewide network of marijuana supporters is picking up where they left off.

A bad accident ended Vicki Gaylor's 20-year, award-winning career as a truck driver.

"Two back surgeries, shoulder surgery, some bulging discs in my neck but I forge forward," Gaylor said.

Forging forward now includes the help of prescription painkillers which she says she'd prefer to live without.

Instead, Gaylor says she'd like to try a more natural form of treatment: Medicinal marijuana.

"That should be my option to at least try to see if it'll help," she said.

Last week, the group Reform OKC began pushing a petition to decriminalize marijuana in Oklahoma City.

Supporters in 35 counties statewide are now backing the mission.

Gaylor is leading the effort in Marshall County by sharing information online and creating a Facebook page that more than 800 people have "liked" in the past two weeks.

"Oh absolutely, a lot of response," she said. "And this is just one page."

Organizers say the petition calls for voters decide whether the punishment for possession of pot should be changed from jail time to a maximum $500 fine.

"We really need to be doing more to help people get off of drugs and make positive healthy choices," Mark Woodward, spokesperson for the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics said.

Woodward believes the change would be dangerous.

"We're concerned there will be more people on our streets, driving motor vehicles high on drugs, showing up at work. So it can impact every aspect of society by legally allowing more people to freely be high on drugs," Woodward said.

But Gaylor remains confident that the pro-marijuana movement will achieve its goal and that the rest of the state will follow.

"It's a beginning," she said. "Hopefully we'll go completely legal."

The petition needs 6,200 signatures within 90 days to make it onto the ballot for Oklahoma City municipal elections in March 2015.