In Oklahoma CIty, there is a dispensary around every corner.

The “Green Goddess” Mary Jane, also known as marijuana, has always been very popular within social living. It was legalized for medical use in the state in 2018.

At OCCC, it may not be heard or smelled, but there are medical marijuana users everywhere embracing marijuana healing factors.

klahoma to provide more training, so our officers have the most current and up to date information and training to be able to provide the best service possible,” Staten said.

Most CPD officers are certified through the Crisis Intervention Training Program, which is a community effort that partners police officers and the community together for the common goal of safety, understanding, and service to individuals with mental health issues and their families.

The outreach program consists of 40 hours of classroom work. Four officers are currently going through the training, and once completed, all the CPD officers will receive certification.

“The training program consists of several classes taught by a variety of instructors including a Psychiatrist, a Substance Abuse Specialist, Social Workers, Police Officers, and representatives from NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness). This training prepares officers to safely de-escalate a crisis, determine the need for emergency treatment and get the person in need to obtain professional treatment as quickly as possible,” Staten said.

When the opportunity presented itself, Staten immediately launched the program, anticipating this would be another way to help the campus community in dealing with mental health emergencies.

Staten hopes that the police department will be able to provide an additional service to the college community by using the iPads, using the mobility and convenience of the devices to help individuals who are in need or are in crisis.

“In some cases, individuals may not want to talk to a police officer, and so by using this resource it allows us to provide another measure of assistance,” he said.

The Oklahoma Department of Mental Health & Substance Abuse Services (ODMHSAS) has been continually looking for ways to expand services to Law Enforcement to help police officers to better serve their communities, according to Staten.

“Because of the pandemic, the need for services has increased with limiting the mobility of some of those in need. The ODMHSAS has also delivered iPads to other universities across the state, recognizing the need for services in many diverse organizations,” Staten said.

The program can be used for any type of crisis that is reported to the OCCC PD by students, staff, visitors, or any individual interested in speaking to a mental health professional.

“It does not matter if they are in crisis or not, this program allows CPD to provide a convenient way to connect to a mental health professional for any circumstance,” Staten said.

The new outreach program has already been successfully utilized. A person in crisis came to the police department for help, and the officers quickly realized the iPad service could assist the officer in finding help for the individual.

“CPD is proud to partner with ODMHSAS and the providers NorthCare, RedRock, and Hope. We know and have seen the benefit these iPads provide,” Staten said.

Budtender and former O-trip student Brock Smith enjoys the relaxation of smoking blunts for his aches and conditions.

“I think it’s a misunderstood medicine to a lot of people, but I also think you can abuse it to it not being a medicine to you anymore,” he said.

Smith suffers from back problems and ADHD. He acknowledges the benefits of smoking weed compared to other forms of medication.

“I got major back problems and there are some strains that helped…I’ve been on all that Adderall stuff for my ADHD and then I’ve been on this marijuana stuff for my ADHD. I can tell you that the marijuana is better than pills,” he said.

In some cases, weed may not be the right vibe for some people, such as fellow student Cristian Valtierra.

He used to be a “pothead”, but stopped using the product after repetitive mannerisms.

“In my own experience, I found that I was abusing it, and it wasn’t great. So I ended up deciding to quit…it just gave me really bad anxiety…the person I was at that time just wasn’t a good person to be around,” he said.

Even though Valtierra doesn’t like smoking, he still approves of the medicinal usage of ganja after seeing his dad benefit from consuming it.

“[H]e had a stroke, and his whole left side was paralyzed. And now he uses it [weed] as a medicine…I see it working for him and a lot of other people who use it medicinally. It really does help,” he said.

Fellow student Breene McMillan said she doesn’t “think a whole lot about it”.

“I think it should be legal…not just for medicinal purposes, but for recreational purposes,” she said.

Today, she does not smoke, but she did back in her bartending days.

“I really liked the vape pens, probably the most. I liked the gummies that would have CBD and THC because it would help me sleep more,” she recalls.

Whether it’s a daily thing or a special occasion type of vibe, weed affects everybody differently. Then again, not everyone likes weed. Tolerance varies within different bodies.

How legal is weed on OCCC’s campus? 

When it comes to laws on weed, there are many gray areas.

OCCC has their own rules about weed, and most of the punishments depend on whether or not a person has their card.

If a student, faculty member or OCCC staff member possesses weed and does not have a medical card, it can go reported as a simple misdemeanor or even student misconduct.

Sergeant Josh Keith, who’s worked for the OCCC Police Department “for about 23 years” believes weed is a common product observed in daily living.

“Now as a whole, I think using marijuana now is almost just as common as someone vaping or using tobacco…when you’re selling it or selling large quantities, then that becomes an issue. Other than that, I don’t think it’s that big of a deal,” he said.

In an authoritative perspective, weed is a controversial topic to discuss.

Officers must remain sober during their shifts to prevent any imparations that can occur in an event.

“As far as using any type of illegal substances that are not prescribed, and even if they are prescribed, we’re not allowed to use those while we’re on duty, due to the fact that that may cloud an officers’ judgment,” Keith said.

The department is meant to “enforce state law” as well as “enforce and uphold federal law”.

As seen on the various signs across the OCCC campus, O-trip is known to be anti-tobacco.

The campus extends the rules for tobacco to marijuana and nicotine products. Only difference for ganja is the overall effect of whether someone has a card or not.

The conditions vary.

Should recreational marijuana be legal? 

Recreational marijuana laws have been under discussion recently in Oklahoma.

Both McMillan and Smith agree with the legalization of recreational usage, while Valtierra is satisfied with medical laws.

Valtierra states, “I would just like to see it on a federal level”, since weed is federally illegal.

Although, Keith believes, recreational laws could possibly prevent crimes involving stolen weed.

“I think that there’s a slight possibility that could potentially keep those businesses from being burglarized and being victims of a ‘crime,’” he said.

Smith believes “we do need to go recreational.”

As a medicine, there are people that don’t have access to the medical grade weed.

Smith said the opening up access by going recreational is better than putting people on pills.

“There’s a better way to do it. And I think recreational is the way to do it,” he said.

Whether it’s rolling a joint with a homie or even just smoking personally, the legalization of medical marijuana has allowed people with a medical card to smoke freely and aid their needs with various types of weed products.

Weed is controversial, but it doesn’t stop people from medicating safely.

In the words of a stoner, it’s 4:20 somewhere.

Sergeant Josh Keith. Photo By Khi Davis 

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