To legalize or not to legalize? That is State Question 820.

After several years of delays, Oklahoma voters will now decide whether adults can purchase cannabis without a license.
Oklahoma is just under six weeks away from voting on State Question 820, a citizen-led ballot initiative that could statutorily legalize cannabis for adults over 21 while placing a 15 percent excise tax on those sale and also provides expungement pathways for people with past legal entanglements from decades of what some would call over-criminalization in the state.

Here’s to a less violent 2023

Is our obsession with gladiatorial sports a symptom of something larger in American culture?
You can’t escape the tears and the outpouring of prayers for Damar Hamlin, a young safety for the Buffalo Bills, who collapsed of cardiac arrest and almost died on the field during a Monday Night Football game. After medical workers worked for ten minutes to restart his heart, an ambulance carried him off the field, and in a rare show of traumatic solidarity, the game was canceled.

What momentum?

As we move into Gov. Kevin Stitt’s second term, many Oklahomans are wondering whether we live in the same state he describes in his speeches.
Just after the election of Kevin Stitt for a second term as Oklahoma’s governor, the photo and headline in The Oklahoman said it all: RED WAVE IN OK! Stitt is seen raising his arms high above his head, his mouth open in a kind of sport’s happy primal scream, hoopin’ and hollerin’ over his good-old-boy butt-kicking of Joy Hofmeister. The mythical red wave did not sweep over the rest of the country, as moderates won the day, but in Oklahoma, Democrats were swamped again.

It’s the guns, stupid

America will blame anything for the gun problems of the country — except the guns themselves.
In 1992, James Carville, a political strategist, coined the phrase, “It’s the economy, stupid.” Three decades later, we need a new slogan: “It’s the guns, stupid.” Not mental illness, which certainly deserves more attention and funding. Not our failures to recognize and help alienated, “invisible” young men before they snap.

Thank you, poll workers

This election season, a tip of the hat is in order to all who dedicate their time making sure our democratic process continues.
On the Friday before election day, I returned to my favorite place to vote, the Oklahoma County Election Board headquarters on Lincoln Boulevard. It conjured memories of standing in a long line with an ebullient crowd in 2008 to vote for Barack Obama.

Make America Whole Again

Imagine a nation where we voted for candidates instead of against them. Now make that vision a reality.
Chances are you are reading this only hours before a midterm election whose stakes could not be higher. Regardless of your party affiliation, your understanding of the role of government, or your position on abortion or gay rights, the decisions we are about to make will determine what kind of country we live in, and whether American democracy stays on life support.

The Great Reversal

The polarities of the phrase “character counts” have shifted in recent decades.
“A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away....” Republicans and Democrats had very different views when it came to answering an ancient ethical question: Which matters most in a leader, conduct or character?

Cutting costs

OG&E has been wiping out residents’ vegetation under the guise of reducing consumer expenses, but that claim doesn’t pass economic muster.
It’s easy to hate our regional electricity mammoth OG&E. There are bland lines we repeat to one another just like talking about the weather or Saturday’s score: OG&E is expensive, the power goes out too often, they chopped down a beloved tree…

Heartless

When humans cease to see humanity in others, it’s easy to treat their lives — and deaths — as pawns in political games.
Four years ago, Adam Serwer wrote an article for The Atlantic entitled, “The Cruelty Is the Point.” It made the disturbing claim that Trump and his supporters find community by rejoicing in the suffering of those they hate and fear. In the fall of 2018, the administration began what Serwer called the ethnic cleansing of more than 193,000 American children of immigrants whose temporary protected status had been revoked, while the administration lied about creating a database that would make it possible to reunite children ripped away from their parents and stored in cages.

Student loan forgiveness and hypocrisy

Reactions to President Joe Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan show that not all debt is created equal in America.
No sooner had President Biden announced his plan to forgive a portion of student loans, especially for middle class and poor families, than Republicans started lecturing all of us on the importance of paying back what we owe. Never mind that this was a campaign promise, or that the cost of higher education has made borrowing to access the American Dream a necessity for millions, Republicans took it to be yet another sign that the Democrats are socialists, and that loan forgiveness is, to quote Mitch McConnell, “a slap in the face to working Americans who sacrificed to pay their debt or made different career choices to avoid debt.”

Crying wolf: why lying destroys everything

A lack of consensus reality is a solvent dissolving the glue that holds together our society: trust.
America is an endangered country. Our democracy is on the verge of collapsing, our freedoms are being revoked by people who believe in rights but not responsibilities.

Dear Oklahoma weathercasters: Please tell us the truth.

The state’s slate of weather celebrities owe it to their viewers to contextualize the phenomena we’re all living through.
Most of us watch the local news for the weather, so to say that meteorology has come a long way would be an understatement. We have corporately-sponsored helicopters whose pilots are heroes, storm chasers with household names and gazillion-watt radar systems dueling with other stations to be the most precise, powerful and fantastic.

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