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Energy companies opposed medical marijuana in Oklahoma

August 3, 2018

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Records show that energy companies were the biggest donors to an Oklahoma campaign against medical marijuana.

Oklahoma Ethics Commission records show nearly half of the roughly $1.3 million donated to the committee opposing medical marijuana came from the energy industry, The Tulsa World reported . The committee, titled SQ 788 Is Not Medical, received donations from April 1 to June 30 from companies in Oklahoma, Colorado and Texas.

Oklahoma voters approved the implementation of a state-run legal medical marijuana program on the June 26 ballot despite the well-funded opposition campaign.

Oklahoma City-based Devon Energy and Continental Resources were among the firms that contributed $100,000 or more to the campaign against the state question. Texas-based Newfield Exploration Co. also contributed $100,000 or more.

A Devon spokesman said a medical marijuana program would create challenges for employers.

Other donors expressed concerns over the lack of protections for employers. The Tulsa Regional Chamber felt that the state question didn’t properly balance the needs of those using medical marijuana with the needs of employers, law enforcement, schools, landlords and health care providers, said Chairman Steve Bradshaw.

Other large donors to SQ 788 Is Not Medical included the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber, which gave $190,000, and the Chickasaw Nation, which donated $100,000. The Oklahoma Hospital Association and Oklahoma State Medical Association contributed a total of $100,000.

The Yes on 788 campaign supporting the initiative mostly saw small contributions from individual donors. Only two donations surpassed $5,000. New Health Solutions Oklahoma, a cannabis industry group, donated the largest amount overall at about $220,000.

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Information from: Tulsa World, http://www.tulsaworld.com

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