Gubernatorial candidate Chris Powell vows to oppose Federal government on gun restrictions for marijuana patients


Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Chris Powell responded to reports that the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation intends to enforce federal laws that would prevent individuals legally using marijuana under state law from possessing a firearm, saying "that's not going to happen on my watch. I'll order the OSBI and all other state agencies to adhere to state law rather than federal law, not just in this instance but also when there is any other appearance of conflict between the two." Powell has been outspoken regarding federal overreach, specifically promising to "protect Oklahoma's state and local law enforcement agencies from being deputized into serving the national government."  

Voters overwhelmingly passed SQ 788, legalizing medical marijuana, on June 26th and medical marijuana cards could become available within weeks. Included in SQ 788 was a provision that no state issued license may be unduly withheld from an individual because they hold a medical marijuana license, concealed carry permits being specifically mentioned. Despite this now being state law, the OSBI has already amended its form to advise medical marijuana license holders to answer "yes" to a question about unlawful use of a controlled substance, with Special Agent Steve Tanner saying “They may be precluded from being issued a firearms permit."  

Don Spencer of the Oklahoma Second Amendment Association (OK2A) has stated the organization's official position to be that "No person in legal possession of a prescription drug should be denied their Second Amendment right to the peaceful possession or ownership of a firearm or be denied a license to carry a handgun under the Oklahoma Self Defense Act unless previously arrested for any violation of the Self Defense Act."  Powell applauds OK2A for speaking out in favor of the rights of medical marijuana users in Oklahoma, further suggesting that "most OK2A members would be supportive of all efforts to uphold state prerogatives in the face of federal interference."

Powell has advocated for legalizing cannabis since joining the Libertarian Party in 2000, and has stated that he would have signed SB 1212, the constitutional carry bill vetoed earlier this year by Gov. Fallin. He will be on the run-off ballot on August 28th after finishing first in the Libertarian gubernatorial primary with 49%.