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Chicken-Fried News: Sooner grown

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INGVARD ASHBY
  • Ingvard Ashby

Among the Oklahoma-centric news alerts this month were the all-too-usual national embarrassments: fracking-induced earthquakes, negligent parenting, prison violence and Kevin Stitt sworn in as governor. But a closer look at Oklahoma’s mentions revealed something unexpected: In at least two areas, our state is something of a progressive trendsetter.

A Jan. 9 Associated Press story on Arkansas’ medical marijuana licensing pointed out that the slow progress toward actually enacting the constitutional amendment voters approved in 2016 is made more apparent by the Sooner State’s relatively quick implementation following voters’ approval of State Question 788.

“Adding to the frustration is neighboring Oklahoma,” AP reported, “where medical marijuana is already available to patients months after voters approved its legalization.” The article failed to mention Oklahoma’s own bureaucratic bed-crapping in response to SQ788, but let’s give ourselves credit for changing the sheets faster.

And in the high fashion hotbed of Los Angeles, educators are actually taking cues from Oklahoma teachers (as well as those from several other states, but again, just let us have this) by demonstrating in demand of better salaries and smaller class sizes. The issues are largely the same, but AP pointed out, “Unlike protests that closed schools last spring in states including West Virginia, Kentucky, Oklahoma and Arizona, the strike that began Monday is unfolding in a liberal-leaning state and one of the country’s biggest cities.” Thanks to modern technology, Oklahoma educators have the chance to see how a strike plays out with union support in a blue state without having to Grapes of Wrath themselves across the country.

One more bit of shockingly good news for Oklahoma: The story about the woman banned from Walmart for drinking wine from a Pringles can in the parking lot actually took place in Wichita Falls, about 15 miles south of the border. That one’s on you, Texas.

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