The Cameron University Department of Social Sciences will present “Justice for All: Examining the Nexus of Organized Crime and the Marijuana Industry in Oklahoma,” a presentation by Mark Woodward, Public Information/Education Office and Legislative Liaison for the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics (OBN).
The presentation, set for 2:30 p.m. Oct 10 in McCasland Ballroom of the McMahon Centennial Complex, is open to the public.
In 2018, Oklahoma voters approved a referendum legalizing medical marijuana. As a result, there are roughly 12,000 licensed medical marijuana businesses in the state, including more than 7,000 grow operations and nearly 3,000 dispensaries. The ease of conducting business has attracted legal and illegal entrepreneurs, according to a press release from Cameron University.
The Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics has reported closing more than 800 medical marijuana farms tied to organized crime in Oklahoma, seizing more than 600,000 pounds of illegal marijuana and making nearly 200 arrests during the past two years.
OBN reports that many marijuana farms obtained a license by fraud, grow for the black markets around the United States and launder the illicit proceeds world-wide. They also have been linked to homicides, labor trafficking, sex trafficking and other crimes.
Woodward joined the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics in 1995. He is a member and regional secretary/treasurer for the Association of Oklahoma Narcotic Enforcers. A graduate of the FBI Media/Public Relations Leadership School, Woodward serves an advisor to the Oklahoma Drug Endangered Children Policy Board. He has also served as chairman of the Criminal Justice Committee for Oklahoma’s Drug and Alcohol Policy Board.