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June 19, 2014

Resident advances medical marijuana campaign

CHICKASHA —

For obvious reasons, marijuana is not something freely advertised.

That's probably why when a resident saw Sheila Hoselton set up in front of the Chickasha Smoke Shop on the corner of 6th and Kansas with a sign that read "Medical Marijuana" with a 3 and a 1 on either side, their first inclination was to call Chickasha Police. They promptly responded.

"In the police's defense, I did have a cooler by my table," Hoselton said. "I had to keep my lunch cold somehow."

Hoselton was not offering a 3 for 1 deal on the illegal drug, as the confused caller suggested, but rather was asking for signatures on a petition for Article 31, authorizing the distribution, growth, transportation, and prescriptions for medical marijuana.

She's part of a state-wide effort called Oklahomans for Health, which seeks to put the medical marijuana question on the ballot through a grass roots method: signatures, and lots of them.

"We need 156,000 signatures before August 21," Hoselton said. "It would then be on the ballot for the November 4 election."

On day one Wednesday, Hoselton brought in 28 just working in front of the Smoke Shop. Her table sits on the sidewalk, although Hoselton said she asked Smoke Shop managers if they would be fine with her setting up there. It didn't seem to deter store traffic.

"I think it actually brought in more customers," Brandi Schmidt, a manager at the Smoke Shop, said. "People were coming in out of nowhere, people I've never seen before."

But, Hoselton says, it's not as simple of walking up to passersby and asking them to sign.

"I don't go up to people because I understand this is a touchy subject," Hoselton said. "I've had a lot of positive responses."

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