A grassroots effort to legalize medicinal CBD oil, derived from the marijuana plant, has swept through Oklahoma.
The group Oklahomans for Health has been collecting signatures for the last three months in order to legalize that oil for medicinal purposes.
They delivered thousands of those signatures to the Oklahoma Secretary of State Friday.
They say the oil's medical benefits are tremendous for people with seizures, cancer, neurological disorders and other ailments, and they want people to be educated about the issue.
Chip Paul, the Chairman of Oklahomans for Health, says the automatic reaction of most middle-aged people when hearing anything about marijuana is just, "no." "We grew up in a time where marijuana was vilified and it was the bad guy, it was the outlaw," Paul says. He says the world has changed since then and the benefits have now been proven through research. "It's a whole different world," Paul says.
Paul says people should keep an open mind about the medical benefits of the oil. He says those who are suffering from medical issues could be free of their pain. "They shouldn't have to suffer because of their zip code," Paul says.
Paul says no matter what happens, they've gotten people talking about the issue. "We feel like, regardless of if we're successful in gathering our petitions, we've been able to influence and crack the door open at least a little bit to the decisions," Paul says.
He says about 40,000 new voters have registered to support legalizing the oil for medical reasons.
Paul says Governor Fallin's recent support of the oil has changed the game, but they will continue to collect signatures until the oil is medicinally legal.