OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The new executive director of the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority said she was not against marijuana on Friday after an opinion piece she wrote against the passing of SQ 788 surfaced.
Adria Berry is the fourth managing director in three years. In the past, She wrote an opinion piece while working for the State Chamber published on Tulsa World. The only problem is that the State Chamber vehemently opposed the passage of SQ 788, as did Berry’s statement. However, she told KFOR in an interview on Friday evening that her position was not and never was against marijuana. However, she is against the language that was written in the question of the state.
“I know it is perceived as anti-marijuana and I hope to prove the opposite to people because that was never my intention,” Berry said.
The new managing director worked just days after her appointment to clear the air on the issue. The new role for her raised eyebrows after Tulsa World released its opinion piece entitled: “SQ 788 means more risks, fewer rights for employers.”
“It was never anti-medical marijuana,” said Berry. “Ever.”
In the article Berry described the state issue as “problematic”. She discussed several issues that she claimed were at the forefront of the state issue, such as employer rights, drug testing, and issues that would limit drug-free jobs.
“The question of state was really broad,” said Berry. “I mean objectively broad.”
“Oklahoma is the national champion for medical programs,” said Jed Green, the director of Oklahomas for Responsible Cannabis Action and director of voting “Yes” to the SQ 788 campaign.
He also called Oklahoma’s medical marijuana program wonderful and powerful. Almost 10 percent of Oklahoma’s population, around 375,000 people, have a medical marijuana card. However, he also pointed out some problems.
“Ultimately, the biggest problems in our program are not the pot, but the policy,” he said. “We basically have a little too much bureaucracy when making decisions.”
Green knows Berry and calls her a professional while saying his organization welcomes her. He also claims that while this is the fourth Executive Director in three years, the problems go beyond that.
“The record is that the director has limited power and is not the one in charge of OMMA,” said Green.
With over 8,500 producers and 2,300 pharmacies in the state, both Green and Berry point to structural flaws in the regulation of the industry.
“It was a government issue that didn’t really take into account much of the regulatory framework that was needed in our state to get this program off the ground,” said Berry.
“There are structural flaws in our regulatory system that we believe government leaders will not be able to muster the political will to fix,” Green said.
Berry said she hasn’t had the time to delve into the details of anything or come up with a full plan since she is just getting started. However, she has outlined her top priority as managing director. She said this was to ensure inspections of facilities and ensure they are operated in accordance with the law.
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