Oklahoma is one of the most staunchly conservative states in America. But some attitudes seem to be shifting as the vote to legalize medical marijuana draws near.
On Tuesday, Oklahoma will vote on a ballot initiative that aims to legalize medical marijuana. In a state that traditionally takes a tough stance against drugs, legalizing medical marijuana seems like a pipe dream. But things are changing in Oklahoma. Just two years ago, the southern state voted to make all drug possession charges misdemeanors as opposed to felonies.
This change is something Danny Daniels—an AR-15 toting, anti-abortion, evangelical Christian pastor and Trump supporter—says he's witnessed first-hand.
"Some people said I couldn't be a pastor and support medical marijuana, but I would say most of the people I know, including the Christians I pastor, are in favor of it," Daniels told TimesUnion. He says his own opinion on the matter changed after he began working in hospice care and saw how cannabis helped many of the patients he worked with.
The proposed medical marijuana bill still has plenty of opponents though. Some argue that it's too broad, containing no list of approved conditions, or outlines for obtaining a medical license. Oklahoma governor Mary Fallin (R) has stated that if the measure is passed she would call Legislature back for a special session to develop regulations for sales and use of cannabis.
Still, the desire for medical marijuana in Oklahoma is strong across all party lines, according to political pollster Bill Shepard.
"When you can get a large majority of the Democrats and independents and a third to a half of Republicans to support you, you can get anything passed in Oklahoma."
If passed, Oklahoma would become the 32nd state to legalize medicinal cannabis.