Say What? Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics Is Ready to Answer Your Questions About the Bible
When the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics posts an anti-marijuana news story on Facebook you better believe everyone comes out to talk about it in the comments section. That's what happened on a normal afternoon, but what followed was beyond belief for advocates of marijuana and the separation of church and state.
Shelly Garrison McMillan isn't a fan of Big Pharma; she likes to push for natural remedies like cannabis oils on her personal Facebook page. The Oklahoma mother has been commenting on the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics Facebook page for about a year and told AlterNet she's been blocked from the page twice.
"They are not exactly being honest," McMillan said over Facebook messenger. So, when OBN posted its anti-cannabis story, she did as she always does. "No it is the Holy Anointing Oil used by Jesus," she replied on the Facebook thread.
The Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics pulled out its biblical expertise and responded:
"Anointing oil in The Bible is not cannabis. Hebrew tradition clearly taught the use of holy anointing using olive oil. Psalm 92, a psalm for the Sabbath. In verse 10, it says, 'But my horn You have exalted like a wild ox; I have been anointed with fresh oil.' God expects us to have fresh oil because when oil gets stagnant, it becomes stale.
"The word 'fresh' in Hebrew is raanan which means 'green.' Notice that extra virgin olive oil is green. Green speaks of newness or youth. So the oil has to be of the new covenant because the oil of the old covenant is stale."
The OBN replied further to McMillan with the recipe for anointing oil listed in Exodus.
Joshua Lewelling has been a proponent of marijuana legalization in Oklahoma, hoping to help friends and family who suffer from diseases like ALS and seizures. He and a friend started the petition to get medical marijuana on the ballot for the state in 2016. He joined in the fun, commenting: "Speaking of the Holy Bible, let's take a look at Genesis, chapter one vs 29. 'And I give you every seed-bearing plant to use for food for it is good' and who are YOU to tell me otherwise?"
OBN replied: "Joshua, that verse in Genesis is talking about God's plan for providing food to sustain life, not for getting intoxicated. Just because it was created by God doesn't mean it is 'good' inside the human body...."
The exchange piqued the interest of the team at the Oklahoma chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, which took a screen capture of the comments and announced to its social media audience: "Apparently the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics is now answering your theological questions. Have a question? Call them at (800) 522-8031," it posted on Facebook.
"We are astonished that the Bureau would pass itself off as a biblical authority," Oklahoma ACLU executive director Ryan Kiesel said Monday. "I’m sure there are plenty of folks who work at the OBNDD who are familiar with the Bible, but as a state agency, it’s just not their job to conveniently interpret scripture to justify their policy positions."
AlterNet reached out to the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics for comment on the ACLU's statement, but as of publication, it had not responded.
Oklahoma has had previous problems with theology in government, when the State Supreme Court decided its 10 Commandments monument had to be removed from capitol grounds. The learning curve might be too steep for the plains state.