Last week, we as a newspaper came out against State Question 788.

We still have qualms about the initiative petition - which becomes state law within the next month or so. 

The wording of the bill, questions surrounding diagnosis needed to obtain a license and a plethora of legal and safety questions still leave us extremely concerned.

But voters have spoken.

Almost a million Oklahomans - 891,654 to be exact - made their wishes known.

Of those who cast ballots 506,782 or 56.84 of the populace voted in favor of the medical marijuana bill, while 384,872 or 43.16 voted against it.

In Delaware County alone, almost 10,000 voters came out to cast ballots on this single issue - 4,628 for it, and 4,724 against it.

Like many counties in the outlying edges of the state, Delaware County residents voted against the measure.

We may not like it, but again voters have spoken, and a new law will enter the books this summer.

In the next few weeks, the legislature will take part in a special session designed to develop the regulatory guidelines as 788 goes into effect.

We call on the Oklahoma legislators - our voices in the next steps - to be ready to make some tough decisions.

Questions need to be addressed regarding how available the marijuana is to the public. 

Voters asked for medical marijuana, and that's what we should have. Legitimate medical reasons need to outweigh recreational use at all cost.

Other questions regarding safety issues - and how home-based grow operations will exist - need to be answered.

The processing and refining of marijuana can be dangerous.

One only has to look to our neighbors to the northwest, Colorado, to see how accidents skyrocketed as people unfamiliar with the process began to create concentrates for use in edibles, pills and drinks.

The methods surround this process can be as dangerous as creating meth, as the extraction process involves the use of butane. 

We hope the regulatory boundaries put into place will not only allow for the drug's use, but protect innocent bystandars - especially children - in the long run.

In the next few weeks, the social climate of Oklahoma will change. We call on our legislators to keep that in mind, as they work to answer all of the issues created by 788's passage. 

We respect the will of the people to have medical marijuana available to those in need.

We just hope the dispensing of the drug is balanced with the true need, so we create a culture where people are helped, rather than harmed. 

Kaylea M. Hutson-Miller is the managing editor of The Grove Sun and Delaware County Journal. Have an idea for a column or story? She can be reached at khutson@grovesun.com or 918-786-2228.