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Conservative states balk at voter-approved medical marijuana

By SEAN MURPHY and ANDREW DEMILLO
Associated Press

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Pot advocates celebrated the culmination of a yearslong effort to ease restrictions on the use of cannabis last month when nearly 60 percent of Oklahoma voters approved medical marijuana.

After seeing years of waiting for cannabis to roll out elsewhere, Oklahoma's proponents built in a two-month deadline for implementation.

But within weeks, state health officials and the Republican governor signed off on tough new restrictions, including a ban on the sale of smokable pot. The last-minute change was supported by groups representing doctors, hospitals and pharmacists who opposed medical marijuana, but infuriated supporters of the state question.

Even in conservative states such as Oklahoma, public attitudes are shifting in favor of making pot accessible. But heavy resistance remains from policymakers, especially when Republicans are in control.

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