Ponca City, OK

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Plans to change voter-approved drug laws face backlash

The Associated Press - February 16, 2017 8:43 am

Ralph Shortey

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – Some Republicans in the Oklahoma Legislature are pushing back against voter-approved changes in November that soften drug-possession penalties.

The lawmakers maintain voters didn’t know exactly what they were doing when they approved the initiatives with nearly 60 percent of the vote.

Several bills have been introduced this year by Republicans who want to undo some of the changes approved just months ago. One bill – to reinstate felony penalties for some drug possession crimes – easily cleared a House committee on Wednesday.

Those plans are riling up voters who approved the changes and said they are fed up with Oklahoma’s overcrowded prisons. More than 100 supporters of the initiatives packed a town hall meeting earlier this week and blistered state Sen. Ralph Shortey over his plans to seek changes.

 

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