Connie Johnson For Governor

My Committments

Health Care

We must address issues that help to improve our state’s 48th national ranking in health status. As Governor, Connie will work to reform healthcare in ways that provide access to affordable, quality care for all hard working Oklahomans.

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Oklahomans voted to expand Medicaid in direct contrast to the Legislature’s refusal to do so. Oklahomans now benefit from key provisions in the ACA that Connie has always supported, including improved access to insurance coverage and, therefore, care. Insurance companies can no longer deny coverage due to pre-existing conditions. Oklahomans will no longer lose coverage because of a catastrophic health event. The ACA promotes health and wellness through free preventive screenings. It supports people taking personal responsibility for what they eat and whether they exercise, a key component in improving the body’s natural immunity and ability to respond to disease.

The ACA ensured that Oklahoma’s young adults can stay on their parents’ insurance plan until age 26. This particular provision is critical, given the economic challenges today’s college grads face because of depressed wages and huge student loan debt. As the mother of college grads, Connie applauds this provision.

With over 33 years of experience in health policy research, legislation and advocacy, Connie understands most young Oklahomans resent coverage mandates, believing they won’t need care. Many never will but, given our ranking as the nation’s 10th most obese state, a significant number will develop obesity-related chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease/hypertension, Type II Diabetes, cancer and arthritis. We will still need to factor in health care for these groups. She also recognizes, however, that the ACA does nothing to address rising health care costs.

As Governor, she will work to ensure that all eligible Oklahomans can access Medicaid. She will continue advocating for effective cost controls that address the unique needs of young adults and other specialized groups, as well as work to reign in spiraling prescription drug and hospital costs. Oklahomans deserve nothing less than access to affordable, quality and culturally competent health care

Dispensary Counter

Cannabis Legislative History

As a Senator, Connie Introduced the first ever medical cannabis bill in Oklahoma during the state’s Centennial Year. 

SB 875 mandated the legislature to perform an objective review of the evidence and make recommendations regarding the medical use of cannabis.

Although introduced amidst much legislative and public condemnation, Sen. Johnson reintroduced the bill every legislative session during her tenure, finally calling for full legalization of cannabis–including medicinal, industrial and adult use–in her final term. She circulated a statewide petition to fully legalize cannabis in 2014.

The senator’s current cannabis policy reform work is informed by over 10 years of research and advocacy, summarized as follows:

Hemp

  • Contains less than .3% of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the hallucinogenic cannabinoid of cannabis.
  • Produces life saving Cannabidiol (CBD)–the non-hallucinogenic cannabinoid of cannabis.
  • CBD oil and medical cannabis help wean people off of opioids.
  • Legalization will mean change in thousands of global issues.
  • The US is projected to be a $26.6 Billion market by 2025, and Oklahoma is poised to occupy a major position in that projection.
  • Is indigenous to Oklahoma. It grows naturally alongside our roads (ditch weed). 
  • Can grow up to 4 times per year, compared to only 2 times per year in Colorado.
  • Is now legal to grow in Oklahoma under the 2018 Farm Bill.
  • Is easy to grow, and requires little to no irrigation or pesticide use.
  • Can be grown as a renewable source for raw materials that can be incorporated into thousands of products. 
  • Cellulose has the highest building capacity on the planet.  
  • Produces more fuel, fiber, food and medicine than any other plant on the planet.
  • Literally has thousands of uses.
  • Is good for the environment.
  • Is drought resistant.
  • Replenishes the hi soil. 
  • Remediates environmental disasters.
  • Lessens environmental impacts on forests.
  • Provides a significantly greater rate of return per acre than typical Oklahoma wheat, soy and corn crops.
  • Has potential for higher pay for both skilled and unskilled workers.
  • Has potential for research and development of crops and processing machinery by agricultural & engineering higher education institutions.
  • Gives Tribes, small towns and farmers the ability to diversify their economic futures through hemp farming.
  • Ends the Bureau of Narcotics wasteful, costly and ineffective hemp eradication program.

Medical

  • Cannabis’ historic use as medicine spans thousands of years.
  • A life-saving, pain management medicine solution that weans people off of addicting, liver and kidney destroying opioids. 
  • Thousands of clinical trials documenting the safety and therapeutic efficacy of cannabinoids.
  • Relieves symptoms of numerous medical conditions including appetite stimulant in debilitating diseases, symptomatic relief of multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries, Tourette’s syndrome, epilepsy, glaucoma, PTSD, among other serious diseases and conditions.
  • Nearly 50% of doctors with opinions support legalizing medical cannabis, and over 80 national healthcare organizations.
  • Can help keep families together for much needed support in their home state of Oklahoma. Oklahoma has 24 families living in Colorado as medical refugees.
  • Has tremendous economic benefits through creation of better paying jobs that anyone should be able to access regardless of previous cannabis-related felony convictions.

Adult-Use

  • Regulation frees people from using harsh drugs.
  • Would discontinue policies that criminalize nonviolent behaviors in ways that lead to mass incarceration.
  • Would eliminate many current felony charges, and thereby increase employability.
  • Lowers violent crime rates.
  • Reduces prison population.

Financial Benefits

  • Increases revenues through a new tax source.
  • Reduces spending on incarceration.
  • Increases rural and urban employment opportunities through farming, research, production, and investments.
  • Increases quality of jobs and pay.
  • Allows establishment of an OK state banking system to ensure that funds remain in-state.

Education & Advocacy

To ensure progress on this new area of policy, education and awareness must be ongoing, including potential establishment of a Cannabis Legislative Caucus.

Stop domestic violence. The girl covers her face with her hand and asks for help. Domestic violence against women.

Protecting Women's Reproductive Rights and Victims of Domestic Violence

Abortion is reproductive care. Reproductive care is healthcare. Healthcare is a basic human right. Women deserve to have respectful and culturally competent providers in pursuit of reproductive health services ranging from menses to menopause and beyond, including contraceptive care. 

As Governor, Connie will continue her lifelong work as an advocate of protecting victims of domestic violence.

Oklahoma ranks third in the nation in deaths from spousal/partner abuse. Women who experience violence, emotional or sexual trauma, unintended pregnancy, and who witness violence early in life are more likely to be incarcerated during their lifetime.

This pattern of violence is trans-generational, with children observing family violence early in life without the benefit of counseling to address and modify behavior. These children are more likely to practice violence in dating and subsequent relationships. 

Oklahoma is also highly rated in the number of children witnessing domestic violence. 

18,686 adults and children sought help in 2009 from any one of Oklahoma’s 30 domestic violence programs, including 72% women, 25% children, and 3% men.

As a state senator, Connie authored legislation that created a domestic violence registry and required schools to adopt dating violence curriculum and policies.

Connie will work to ensure properly funded domestic violence and law enforcement programs at the local, state, and federal level to ensure the safety and security of domestic violence victims.

 

It is time for us to build a better Oklahoma for our children and our families.