Video: Medical Marijuana Forum Marked by Intense Debate

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With well over 100 people attending, the debate was passionate at the Oklahoma “Watch-Out” forum in Tulsa Thursday on State Question 788, which would legalize medical marijuana in the state.

Featured panelists were Dr. Kevin Taubman, a Tulsa surgeon and president of the Oklahoma State Medical Association; Rep. John Paul Jordan, R-Yukon, who is drafting legislation related to medical marijuana should the question pass; and Chip Paul, also of Tulsa, co-founder of Oklahomans for Health, which led the effort to put the issue on the ballot.


Video by Ilea Shutler.

The details of the ballot measure can be found at this link.

About the Panelists

Dr. Kevin Taubman

Dr. Kevin Taubman is a vascular surgeon who is president of the Oklahoma State Medical Association. He is assistant professor of  surgery at the University of Oklahoma School of Community Medicine. He also directs the vascular surgery fellowship program there.

Taubman graduated from the University of Tulsa with a bachelor’s degree in the biological sciences in 1993.  After completing medical school at the American University of the Caribbean in 1999, he entered general surgery residency training at the University of California San Diego–Kern Medical Center program.  In 2005, he moved to Hershey, Pennsylvania, to begin fellowship training in vascular and endovascular surgery at the Heart and Vascular Institute at the Milton S. Hershey Penn State University Medical Center.

Taubman maintains a practice at OU and at St. John Medical Center in Tulsa.

Chip Paul

Chip Paul is one of the co-founders of Oklahomans For Health, a social-welfare nonprofit that led the effort to place medical marijuana on the ballot.

Paul and his wife Cynthia Paul founded GnuPharma Corp., which sells dietary supplements containing herbs that are “formulated to nutritionally support the endocannabinoid system,” the firm’s website says. The couple previously owned Palm Beach Vapors, which they described as the nation’s first brick-and-mortar e-cigarette franchise. He also owned a franchise in-home care business.

Paul has toured the country researching other states’ marijuana laws. He received a bachelor’s degree in math at the University of Oklahoma.

Rep. John Paul Jordan

Rep. John Paul Jordan was elected to the Oklahoma House of Representatives in 2014, serving District 43 as a Republican. Jordan was scheduled to hold an interim-study hearing on medical marijuana in November but canceled the hearing because of the  extended special session over  the budget shortfall and the emerging financial scandal at the State Department of Health.

Jordan plans to introduce legislation in the next regular session proposing changes to current laws that he says would need to be made if State Question 788 is approved by voters.

Jordan is an attorney and former educator. He received a bachelor’s in education with a minor in history from the University of Central Oklahoma and taught eighth grade history at an Oklahoma City public middle school.