The History of Marijuana in Oklahoma

Oklahoma is known for having some of the strictest marijuana laws in the United States, with a history that dates back as early as 1933, when the state outlawed all forms of marijuana. This prohibition came as part of the nationwide trend to restrict cannabis. By 1983, Oklahoma introduced a program to rid the state of marijuana, "Back in the early 80's, we were getting hundreds of thousands of plants. Now we're cut down a little bit, and a I think this year we have got 92,000 plants." The State Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs saw a few early busts when the program first began that shaped Oklahoma’s position on marijuana.

Jim Montgomery, a paraplegic from the waist down, is an example of one of the most extraordinary cases in Oklahoma. Montgomery was arrested with two ounces of cannabis, which he consumed to relieve muscle spasms, though he was tried and convicted with intent to distribute, for possession of paraphernalia, for unlawful possession of a weapon, and for maintaining a place for users of controlled substances. The jury sentenced him to life in prison, plus sixteen years, which the judge and prosecutor found appalling, reducing his sentence to ten years. Now, Oklahoma continues to punish possession with jail time, so the state continues to fight for legalization.

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Few other entrepreneurs in the cannabis space have their hands in quite as many ventures as Lorne Gertner. Currently dubbed the "godfather of the Canadian cannabis industry," Gertner told Civilized, "If we could live through normalization, we could change the world." Hailing from the fashion industry, this Toronto native says he's on a mission to "make the world a better place through cannabis and design excellence." The only catch is, well, normalizing cannabis — and that's where Gertner's keen eye for style comes in. "In the old days, you were going to be different or you were going to be normal," said Thom Antonio, Gertner's friend, creative director, and collaborator of 35 years.

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