Oklahoma Vice: Some alcohol, drug bills die in Legislature
The deadline for bills to make it out of committee passed this week and there were some casualties. Here's an update on the status of a few drug and alcohol bills that I've been tracking.
Senate Bill 211, authored by Our Lady of Perpetual Liquor Law Reform Sen. Stephanie Bice, R-Oklahoma City, would authorize counties to hold elections on allowing liquor stores to remain open on Sundays. The bill sailed out of committee with unanimous support and next heads to a vote of the full Senate.
Senate Bill 257, also authored by Bice, would have allowed children under age 12 to enter a liquor store in the company of a guardian. The measure never made it out of committee and is now dormant.
House Bill 1686, authored by Rep. Harold Wright, R-Weatherford, proposed doing away with sales tax on alcohol in favor of higher excise taxes. The bill saw strong industry opposition and died in committee.
Senate Bill 704 would have allowed industrial hemp to be grown in Oklahoma and authorize scholarly research on hemp cultivation and Oklahoma universities. Sen. Anastasia Pittman, D-Oklahoma City, envisioned the bill as a way to help diversify the state's economy. The measure did not receive a committee hearing is now dormant.
Senate Bill 745, authored by Sen. Ervin Yen, R-Oklahoma City Yen and co-sponsored by Rep. Jon Echols, R-Oklahoma City, would allow for clinical trials for medical marijuana in Oklahoma, including for patients with HIV/AIDS and people undergoing chemotherapy. But only if such a trial is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The bill passed out of committee and next heads to the full Senate. Another medical marijuana bill, House Bill, 1877, authored by Rep. Eric Proctor, D-Tulsa, would have legalize medical marijuana for a limited number of conditions. Proctor's bill never got a committee hearing and is now dormant.