“House Bill 2121 is everything about Oklahoma getting friendly with the pot industry,” said Pruitt. “Legal okra is not only dangerous in that regard, but there will be a financial impact as millions of law enforcement dollars are used to fly over hundreds, if not thousands, of backyard gardens determining if citizens are growing legal okra or illegal marijuana,” said the attorney general, referencing how okra and marijuana, as full-grown plants, are similar in appearance.
Pruitt, who spent millions of state tax dollars suing pot-wealthy Colorado for having a better idea, contends Denver’s pot legalization has made life difficult for Oklahoma law enforcement who have trouble focusing at work after pulling over dozens of smoke-filled cars crossing the OK state line from Colorado.
“A lot of our residents here in Oklahoma wrongly believe marijuana is now legal nation wide,” said Chad Nelson with the Oklahoma Highway patrol. “They go to Colorado, load up on product, then cross back into Oklahoma huffing and puffing like some Cheech and Chong movie,” said the Trooper. “They’re in complete shock when I tell them they’re going to jail.”
Todd Black, an activist for both the legalization of okra and marijuana, believes his state suffers from what he calls “tight-ass-ed-ness”.
“Here my state is a billion dollars in the budgetary hole yet our AG has all the money in the world to sue Colorado, where there’s a massive budget surplus thanks to the product our broke state is spending tax payer dollars to sue over,” sighed the 37-year-old IT tech. “I just hope we can export a hell of a lot of okra.”
by Shannon Kelding, Politicoat Sunday 4/3/2016
Weeks after being denied a hearing before the US Supreme Court, to argue over travel and tourism dollars lost to neighboring pot-friendly Colorado, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt says he will not contest plans to make the growth, sale, and consumption of okra legal in the Sooner State.
The Oklahoma state senate has signed, and will forward to the Governor’s desk, HB 2121 officially legalizing the recreational use of the seedy Ethiopian plant. State Rep Charles Fullerson is the bill’s author.
“Our intent with okra legalization has nothing to do with a back door into the pot industry. It’s simply a way to bring more revenue into our cash-strapped state while allowing local okra growers safely out of the shadows without fear of felony prosecution,” said the two-term representative.
State Attorney General Pruitt, who unsuccessfully sued Colorado over its legalization of marijuana, is not opposing okra decriminalization but believes it sends the wrong message.