The Owasso Police Department issued an announcement on its Facebook page last Wednesday dispelling rumors claiming that it has mishandled the enforcement of the state’s new medical marijuana laws.
According to the post, the rumors state that Owasso officers have intentionally attempted to circumvent the laws by arresting legal license holders found in possession of cannabis on the technicality of failing to obtain a CDS tax stamp.
“This is simply not accurate,” the post says.
On the social media site, Owasso PD referenced only one arrest being recorded in Owasso for a CDS tax stamp in recent months, the details of which have been reportedly taken out of context.
The incident, which occurred on Monday, June 10, involved an Owasso officer stopping a vehicle for alleged speeding and insurance violations.
Inside the car, officers found a loaded stolen handgun, ecstasy pills, around 120 grams of marijuana packaged in small baggies, numerous other empty baggies, empty pill containers, over $1,000 in cash and other items indicative of the sale of illegal drugs. The suspect was arrested for the weapon violation, possession of stolen property and a variety of drug offenses, the post says.
Although the suspect did have a valid medical marijuana license, he was in possession of more than the legally allowed limit for personal use and had the intent to distribute or sell the drugs.
According to the post, possession of more than 42 grams of marijuana in Oklahoma with the intent to distribute or sell also requires the purchase of a tax stamp. As such, the arresting officers added the charge of failure to secure this stamp.
“Possession of a medical marijuana card does not exempt a cardholder from the numerous other alleged criminal offenses encountered during this traffic stop, including the stolen handgun and illegal possession of schedule I narcotics (ecstasy pills),” the post says.
The department said it hopes placing this incident in context will provide further clarification to ease concerns about the improper enforcement of the state’s new medical marijuana laws.
“Transitions resulting from substantial changes to the law are often difficult for everyone involved, including the police as we try to implement/adjust our strategies,” the post says. “Our goal is always to protect the community and enforce the laws in a manner that is consistent with the intent of the legislators and voters who enacted them.”