OCA Cheers Senator Inhofe's Efforts to Secure Funds to Battle MarijuanaThu, 08 Jul 2021 05:40:14 CDT
The Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association has released a statement offering their reaction to word from Oklahoma Senator Jim Inhofe's office that he is working to secure funding to battle illegal marijuana production and trafficking in the state.
OCA's Executive Vice President Michael Kelsey told the Oklahoma Farm Report "OCA is very grateful to Senator Inhofe for recognizing the urgent need for funding to combat the explosive illegal growth of marijuana in Oklahoma. OCA members are on the front lines in this rural Oklahoma battle against illegal growers who have no regard for neighbors, livestock or the environment. As our members gear up for our Annual Convention to discuss this issue and make policy, it is reassuring to have friends like Senator Inhofe providing much needed support."
According to Senator Inhofe's office, the Senator has requested four million dollars that would be provided to the OK Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control.
The Senator's office adds that this project would support activities to combat drug trafficking.
"For several years, Oklahoma has encountered increased public safety challenges, including an increase in drug trafficking, money laundering, tax evasion, human trafficking and other crimes, directly or indirectly related to the burgeoning marijuana industry. These crimes put the safety of every Oklahoman in jeopardy. Criminal enterprises, including those involved in transnational criminal organizations, are known to have targeted Oklahoma for their operations due to its relatively low cost of living, cheap licensing fees, lack of a production cap on marijuana, and insufficient state resources to effectively regulate the new industry by the state.
"The Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control (OBN) is responsible for registering any entity who manufactures or distributes a controlled dangerous substance. OBN is also responsible for enforcing the state’s criminal and administrative drug laws. OBN is the primary state law enforcement entity responsible with countering the illegal activities associated with the marijuana industry. A surge of additional resources is needed. As such, $4 million is needed to support the salaries, equipment, and investigative activities of twenty (20) narcotic enforcement agents, three (3) intelligence analysts, and one (1) attorney. This appropriation would provide the necessary resources to better identify, investigate, and dismantle criminal drug trafficking operations across the state."
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