Oklahoma SB 1030, which will introduce changes to the way the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA) shares information with law enforcement agencies, is due to take effect on August 29.
The Senate Bill requires OMMA to provide law enforcement authorities with all the information mentioned on medical marijuana licenses, which includes both patients licenses — that may contain sensitive medical information — and businesses licenses. Police and other law-enforcement agencies would then be able to look up the license information online.
The supporters of the bill believe that the changes will make law enforcement easier for the cops in the event they detect marijuana during a traffic stop.
A close look at the bill, however, discloses a discrepancy, as pointed out by Tulsa attorney Rob Durbin. On one hand, SB 1030 sets up a “statutory obligation” for the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority to share all medical marijuana licensing data with the state’s law-enforcement telecommunications system; on the other, it seems to make an exception for license information of patients. As a result, Durbin himself has filed a lawsuit against the problematic discrepancy on behalf of Tulsa Higher Care Clinic Inc. and 11 registered patients.
Oklahoma has over 170,000 registered patients and the fact that law-enforcement authorities outside the state will be able to access a patient’s medical marijuana records is a huge concern about a patient’s privacy. The concerns are equally valid for caregivers and businesses.
Through the lawsuit, Durbin seeks to compel the Health Department and the state’s medical marijuana authority to clarify the conflicting words and phrases used in the bill. As of now, no other state in the US requires health agencies to share medical marijuana patient data with law-enforcement agencies.