Oklahoma Gov. Supports Limited Form of Medical Marijuana; Petiti - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Oklahoma Gov. Supports Limited Form of Medical Marijuana; Petition Closes Friday

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SOUTHERN, OKLAHOMA -- Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin announced Wednesday she supports the legalization of an oil derived from cannabis. And while she's still against fully legalizing medical marijuana, some supporters could see her stance as a step in the right direction. 

"Very surprised," said Brian Jordan. 

"Yeah.. I'm really surprised to hear it," said Andrew Contreras.

On Wednesday, Governor Fallin asked lawmakers to support CBD oil, which is an oil derived from the marijuana plant. 

"As a mother I'm certainly very sympathetic to mothers and children who are facing epilepsy and seizures," she said. 

Research suggests CBD oil may be effective to treat toddlers with rare conditions that cause seizures and strokes. 

"As governor I am not for legalizing marijuana in Oklahoma," she said, "nor am I for legalizing medical marijuana in the state of Oklahoma."

Her announcement comes two days before supporters will hit their deadline to get 156,000 signatures to qualify for the ballot. 

"Early last week we were somewhere around 130," said Zach Seikel with "Oklahomans for Health", "we could be, we should be really close right now." 

Local ophthalmologists say marijuana has been found to have a small therapeutic effect for glaucoma patients. 

"We have medications you can use once a day," said Dr. William Plauche, with RGB Eye Associates, "put a drop in, in the evening, lowers the pressure for 24 hours."

Dr. Plauche says some of his patients continue to question the use of medical marijuana. He says there are better drugs available to treat glaucoma, but that further studies need to be done. 

"If you're doing a study on a drug that's not approved," he said, "or not only not approved but illegal in most states, it's very difficult to get a legitimate study." 

No matter the outcome Friday, backers of medical marijuana say the fight will continue. 

"Worse comes to worse and it doesn't happen?", said Seikel, "I'm fully geared up and ready to go.. and try it again. I'm going to keep fighting and fighting until it's legal."

Backers of the broader proposal to legalize medical marijuana have until 4:45 p.m. on Friday to submit 156,000 signatures to qualify for the ballot. Governor Fallin says she does not support that measure.