OKLAHOMA: Oklahoma Republican legislators, such as Sen. Dan Newberry of Tulsa, are rallying Republicans to support anti-cannabis legalization. They use divisive rhetoric such as calling supporters of cannabis legalization “liberals.” As a Republican myself, I am curious: When did using legislation to allow government to trump the rights of individuals become conservative? When did refusing to hear bills because of personal beliefs become conservative? When did eroding liberties by advocating for the nanny state to micromanage our lives become conservative?
The misinformed public is an ally in the prohibition cause, but that demographic is shrinking. The demographic that concerns them though is the educated and well-informed one working together despite political labels. Ending prohibition is not a liberal-conservative battle. It is a fundamental right.
I went to the Capitol on Feb. 12 with many other fellow Republicans supporting reform to cannabis laws. Only two senators attended the medical cannabis committee hearing that day. There was a special Capitol event in November, when families, scientists and doctors shared stories and educated people.
Yet the response to cannabis supporters by legislators is often “more information is needed.” Although information, studies, and real-life cases were all delivered to their doorstep, most turned a blind eye and a deaf ear. Their statements sadly reflect their unwillingness to make informed decisions, displaying a militant ignorance on this issue.