Oklahoma divided

Results from Oklahoma’s Nov. 6 elections reflect a divide between urban and rural counties.
Results from Oklahoma’s Nov. 6 elections caused emotions to stir across a state that ushered in new governor Kevin Stitt and turned representation in Oklahoma’s 5th congressional district over to a Democrat for the first time in 43 years.

Smooth voting

While other areas of the country faced long lines and technical errors, Oklahoma and Cleveland counties saw few Election Day problems.
Election officials are pleased with yesterday’s smooth operations at polling sites.

Giving tree

A new program transforms an old shelter into a one-stop-shop for parents working toward family reunification.
Nicole Lopez is no longer the perfect wife of her soon-to-be ex-husband.

Essential testing

Work is being done to force Oklahoma to test more than 7,000 untested rape kits.
Sexual assault advocates say the revelation that thousands of rape kits have been left untested in Oklahoma is serving as a catalyst for reform within a state that is finally joining a national movement towards justice for victims.

Sonic sale

With the sale of Sonic Corp. to Inspire Brands, Oklahomans hold tight to their memories and the beloved ice.
On Sept. 25, Oklahoma City-based Sonic Corp. officials announced the sale of their company and its more than 3,600  Sonic Drive-In locations to Inspire Brands Inc., owners of Arby’s and Buffalo Wild Wings, for $2.3 billion.

Homesick

Eight-year-old Elijah Muhammed’s letter, written while in DHS custody, sheds light on visitation policies.
Oklahoma parents found it hard to ignore a letter 8-year-old Elijah Muhammed left for his grandmother before he ran away in July.

Buyer beware

With few regulations surrounding the safety of medical marijuana in Oklahoma, business insiders advise buyers to use discretion.
Medical marijuana regulations rolled out by the state health department in July were met with heavy pushback from the community at large and caused Gov. Mary Fallin to call for revisions and set forth emergency rules on Aug. 1.

Corporate intimidation

Oklahoma Corporation Commission employees claim Bob Anthony used intimidation to maintain his position.
There’s a common adage that where there’s smoke there’s fire.

Riding home

Arnall Family Foundation commits to donating $1 million to help parents visit their children in foster care.
It’s hard for Sheena Grayson to recount the night her children were taken away from her.

Next episode

The new health department marijuana rules face legal challenges, but implementation will not be delayed.
Zig-Zag is the brand name of a well-known line of rolling papers, but it is also a term that could describe the sharp twists and turns in the ever-evolving saga of medical marijuana rule implementation that has unfurled since voters approved State Question 788 in June.

Up to speed

In 2018, many Oklahomans still have limited internet access or cellphone connections.
In the quarter century since the internet first became available for most Americans and the two decades since average citizens started carrying cellphones, most users have learned to take the good with the bad.

Finding reform

SQ788 brings decriminalization of possession to Oklahoma along with medical relief.
Lost in June’s eyebrow-raising voter turnout numbers for the approval of medical marijuana and the controversial amendments to the law added by the Oklahoma State Medical Board days later is much talk of the provisions for decriminalization of marijuana possession outlined in State Question 788.

Saving smoke

Two proposed state questions could offer the protection supporters of medical marijuana are looking for.
Regulatory actions following the June 26 approval of State Question 788, the Medical Marijuana Legalization Initiative, appear to be shrouded in a cloud of special interests and bureaucratic deliberation.

Next Issue: A closer look at how medical marijuana will go into effect

P. 4 Oklahoma Gazette speaks to the medical community and proponents of State Question 788 to find out what’s next after the Oklahoma State Department of Health released its emergency rules for the implementation of medical marijuana.

Help needed

Oklahoma’s long-term care facilities are in need of surveyors and ombudsman volunteers.
Last year, Oklahoma long-term care facility surveyors conducted around 3,000 inspections across the state.

In the air

Debate over medical marijuana regulations ensues as a special legislative session appears unlikely.
For months, there was talk that if State Question 788 won majority support from voters, Oklahoma lawmakers would need to go into special session to set up regulatory framework governing how a medical marijuana program would function in the state.

Not last

Supporters and advocates cheer as Oklahoma becomes the 30th state to legalize medicinal marijuana.
When Yes on 788 officially declared victory on election night, a joyful cheer rang throughout 51st Street Speakeasy, where hundreds gathered indoors and out for an official watch party.

Split decision

Freedom Oklahoma parts ways with executive director Troy Stevenson amid social media heat
In early June, Troy Stevenson wrote a Facebook post celebrating the fact that a group from Oklahoma County Republican Party had committed to marching in this year’s OKC Pride Parade.

Speaking up

Outrage over family-separating immigration policies leads to renewed local advocacy.
Michelle Stearnes was unable to attend a rally earlier in the week outside of U.S. Sen. James Lankford’s Oklahoma City office, but she could not let the week go by without being heard.

Getting credit

Removed OU professor John Scamehorn paid his way into the local film community.
It was early 2016 and Oklahoma City filmmaker Nick Sanford was unsure of whether his movie’s Kickstarter campaign was going to reach its funding goal.

Hemp history

Oklahoma’s State Question 788 is preceded by a lengthy history of demonization and criminalization
Editor’s note: This article is part of a series examining cannabis and cannabinoids in Oklahoma leading up to the June 26 medical marijuana referendum.

Primary preview

Tuesday’s primary elections feature plenty of intriguing races to coincide with increased public interest.
It is not difficult to find something to get excited about this primary season in Oklahoma. With a major state question in play, a logjam of candidates in the gubernatorial primaries, numerous state House and Senate seat openings and remnants of political tension from the April teacher walkout underscoring it all, intrigue is not lacking this election cycle.

MARIJUANA ‘Release the Kraken’

Yes on 788 goes into its final week pushing a ‘get out the vote’ effort on medical marijuana.
Editor’s note: This article is part of a series examining cannabis and cannabinoids in Oklahoma leading up to the June 26 medical marijuana referendum.

Open minds

New Juneteenth education requirements are intended to broaden diversity education.
Anastasia Pittman did not ask for her Mother of Reconciliation label, but she certainly owned it.

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