TULSA, Okla. (KTUL) -- After years in prison for possession of marijuana, a Tulsa man now legally holds a medical marijuana card, with plans to open a dispensary.
Fifteen years ago, Hasian Burdex’ life looked a lot different.
“I was locked up, I didn’t get to see my family, my children, I lost what little bit I had out here in the world,” Burdex said.
Imprisoned for two years, after being convicted for having marijuana and planning to sell it.
“I had about an ounce and a half at my house,” he said.
But with Oklahoma’s year-old medical marijuana laws, he can start selling in a different way.
“My main mission is to not only have my own dispensary up and going, but also to help people get their cards, educate them about the legalities and care for those who can’t afford it,” he said.
Even with a felony conviction, he’s still able to get a license.
There is a catch, anyone obtaining a license cannot be convicted of a violent felony in the last five years, or any other felony in the last two years.
Two hurdles, Burdex has cleared.
“I never considered myself a criminal,” he said.
But the state did and his past has followed him to this point.
“I respect the law and I appreciate the law because it does protect us.”
But Burdex is struggling with the reality.
He’s now legally able to smoke something that put him behind bars.
“Just imagine if you had been incarcerated for smoking, how would you feel?” he asked.
Burdex says marijuana, despite a criminal conviction, has given him more freedoms.
“Marijuana was a pain reliever,” he said. “I always knew marijuana was more than just a drug to get high with.”
He’s grateful he will be able to share that, with future patients.
And hopeful to start a life without his haunting label.