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Gun Seizure Workaround High on Priority List for Medical Marijuana Working Group Co-Chair

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Clifton Adcock/Oklahoma Watch
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Nearly three months into its work to develop comprehensive regulations for the state’s medical marijuana program, Oklahoma’s Medical Marijuana Working Group is not yet ready to issue recommendations.

One goal, however, is clear.

"The federal government has issued a memorandum that says if you have a medical marijuana card, they can seize your guns. I have every intention — and I bet I’ll be joined by every member of this committee — to pass a bill next year that says, 'Law enforcement officers for the state of Oklahoma, don’t enforce that,'" said Rep. Jon Echols, a working group co-chair.

Marijuana is still classified as a Schedule I drug by the Drug Enforcement Administration.

"If the feds want to come down and do it, then they can do what they gotta do," Echols said about seizing guns from medical marijuana cardholders. "But our law enforcement officers are not going to do that. And that’s the only way I know in my mind how to handle it."

Oklahoma had approved licenses for 5,111 medical marijuana patients as of Oct. 1.

The working group continues its work Wednesday, tackling another area impacted by federal law: finance and banking.

Matt Trotter joined KWGS as a reporter in 2013. Before coming to Public Radio Tulsa, he was the investigative producer at KJRH. His freelance work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times and on MSNBC and CNN.