Last year Oklahomans voted by a large margin to approve SQ 780, which changed drug possession charges from felonies to misdemeanors punishable by no more than 1 year in jail. Voters also approved SQ 781 to direct the savings from reduced incarceration into county mental health and addiction treatment. Oklahoma voters’ choice aligns with plentiful research and experience showing felony charges and incarceration are costly and ineffective at dealing with the problems created by drug abuse and addiction, and reducing felony charges would save lives and free up resources to address the real problem.
HB 1482 would ignore the evidence and the will of the voters by reinstating felony charges for drug possession across virtually all of Oklahoma City and Tulsa and large parts of the rest of the state. The bill claims to be aimed at protecting children, but the expansive definition it uses for drug possession “near children” would effectively nullify SQ 780. It also ignores that a parent or caregiver facing felony charges and incarceration can often be far more damaging to a child’s well-being than taking a smarter approach to substance abuse.
What You Can Do
HB 1482 has been assigned to the Senate Public Safety committee. Contact Chairman Jack Fry and ask him not to hear HB 1482, and let the other committee members know why you oppose the bill.
- Sen. Jack Fry (Chair), (405)521-5584, email@example.com
- Sen. Wayne Shaw (Vice Chair), (405)521-5574, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Sen. Josh Brecheen, (405)521-5586, email@example.com
- Sen. J.J. Dossett, (405)521-5566, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Sen. Tom Dugger, (405)521-5572, email@example.com
- Sen. Darcy Jech, (405)521-5545, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Sen. Kevin Matthews, (405)521-5598, email@example.com
- Sen. Greg McCortney, (405)521-5541, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Sen. Lonnie Paxton, (405)521-5537, email@example.com
- Sen. Roger Thompson, (405)521-5588, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Sen. Ervin Yen, (405)521-5543, email@example.com
You can also find your Senator here and tell him or her to vote NO on HB 1482.