Marijuana returned to Oklahoma dispensary after traffic stop
GUTHRIE, Okla. (AP) — Oklahoma prosecutors have dropped all charges against two people arrested for marijuana possession during a June traffic stop who contended they were delivering the cannabis for a dispensary.
Prosecutors on Thursday authorized the release of marijuana seized from Daniel Richard Arthur and Rebecca J. Davis, in addition to $5,400 in cash, The Oklahoman reported. Arthur and Davis, both 40, were arrested June 4 after Logan County sheriff deputies found 21 pounds (9.5 kilograms) of pot and charged the pair with felonies for "unlawful possession of a controlled dangerous substance with intent to distribute."
The criminal case dismissals underscore the uncertainty around Oklahoma's new medical marijuana law that voters approved in 2018.
"Part of me wants to tell my guys, 'Hey, if they got dope, just let them go,'" said Sheriff Damon Devereaux. "It is frustrating but we're always willing to learn something new. It's not our intent to violate anybody's rights."
Tyler Box, Arthur and Davis' defense attorney, said they were delivering marijuana from an Enid dispensary to another in Edmond. The pot, appraised at $55,000, would be returned to the Enid business, Box noted.
"We would certainly graciously accept an apology from the sheriff, but we have something better than that, and that's the satisfaction of knowing we're getting the medicine back in the hands of the people that need it," Box said.
Earlier this year, Gov. Kevin Stitt signed a medical marijuana measure that expands the framework for the medical cannabis industry. It goes into effect in August, without any restrictions, and includes state-level safeguards for patients who own firearms.
It also will require a dispensary employee to carry a medical marijuana transporter license with them to transport product from one cannabis business to another. The carrier will be required to use a vehicle with a GPS tracker and keep the marijuana in a visibly labeled container and locked away in a protected area that is not reachable during transit.
"It doesn't do much by way of changing how verification would happen or anything like that," said J. Blake Johnson, one of the state's chief experts on cannabis industry law. "I'm not sure that it is a panacea for the concern that we're trying to address right now which is local law enforcement picking folks up and deciding this can't be legal."
Police cleared in fatal shooting on Oklahoma interstate
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Two Oklahoma City police sergeants have been cleared in the fatal shooting of a man along Interstate 35.
Capt. Bo Mathews said Friday that prosecutors found Sgts. Wesley Parsons and Dustin Fulton were justified in opening fire June 10 on 24-year-old Vincense Dewayne Williams Jr.
In body-worn camera video Fulton is seen getting out of his police vehicle, armed with a rifle and shouting commands to Williams. Williams is seen standing upright, then bends down, where police said he picked up a handgun he had dropped.
Fulton can be seen firing at least four shots, then saying, "Shots fired. He grabbed the gun. Shots fired."
Mathews said it hasn't been determined which officer fired the fatal shot and that both are back on duty after being on paid leave.
One-time GOP candidate for Oklahoma governor arrested twice
TULSA, Okla. (AP) — A Tulsa man who ran unsuccessfully for the Republican gubernatorial nomination in Oklahoma is jailed after being arrested twice in a 24-hour period.
Tulsa County jail records show 36-year-old Christopher Barnett is being held without bond on complaints of shooting with intent to kill and threatening an act of violence.
Police say Barnett was first arrested after shooting and wounding at a process server Wednesday, then after his release was arrested again Thursday. It was not immediately clear if the arrests are related.
Barnett told TV station KTUL he shot at the process server after the man pulled a gun.
Barnett picked up 5,240 votes and finished eighth in a 10-person field for the GOP gubernatorial nomination in June 2018.