Dr. Ervin Yen, candidate for Senate District 40 in the June 26th primary, issued the following statement today concerning his views on SQ 788, the ballot question to authorize medical marijuana in Oklahoma:
“I am not opposed to all medical uses of marijuana. I support the use of medical marijuana for illnesses and diseases with peer-reviewed, clinical evidence to support its use. As a physician, I am not comfortable with the use of any drug without sufficient evidence documenting its effectiveness and safety. I completely support medical marijuana use by patients undergoing chemotherapy, those with chronic wasting diseases, Multiple Sclerosis and other diseases.
My objections to State Question 788 are based on my experiences as a physician and lawmaker. A constitutional amendment must be enforceable and easy to understand, but State Question 788 is neither of these. I do not support SQ 788 for several reasons, among others:
- The language does not specify which types of “physicians” can prescribe marijuana. I believe decisions about prescriptions and other treatments should be made by allopathic or osteopathic physicians;
- There are no qualifying conditions for marijuana, meaning people could be approved for a prescription for virtually any reason–even those where there is no clinical evidence supporting marijuana as effective treatment
- It will diminish the idea of “drug-free workplaces” and create confusion and uncertainty for businesses;
- It is so vaguely written that it is, in effect, recreational marijuana. I support responsible medical uses for marijuana, but the language in 788 is too broad to be effectively enforced.
- Cities and towns will not be able to regulate second-hand smoke from marijuana; and
- Cities and towns will be banned from passing zoning ordinances relating to medical marijuana.”