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Oklahoma Has Lost Its Mind and Its Been Pretty Exciting to Be a Part Of

Updated on November 8, 2019
Andrew Bennett Collins profile image

Andrew has been an Okie for 30 plus years. He has spen't the majority of that time complaining about things.

Oklahoma has gone off the deep end. In the best way

I have always lived in Oklahoma. I love this state very dearly. It is now and will always be home to me. But let me tell you, things have changed. In some ways good, in some bad and in most...interesting.

The Oklahoma that I grew up in had some quirks. It had some laws that made life different than in the states around it. Lets list them out.


Tattoos were illegal in Oklahoma from 1965-2006. We were dead last when it comes to state legalization of tattooing. Of course, you could still get tattoos. There were even multiple tattoo shops that operated in plain view, but they constantly risked being shut down and there wasn't any authorities that monitored or controlled the cleanliness and hygiene of any tattooing facility.


In 2006 the Oklahoma Legislature legalized the industry and created regulatory bodies in order to oversee it. Tattoo shops are all around the metro area. I have no hard facts to back this up, but I am going to say the amount of tattoos received in the kitchen of a double wide trailer has gone down significantly. Anytime you see a decrease in that metric, its good for the State.


Oklahoma was one of the last states to continue to have 3.2 beer. For those of you lucky enough to live in a state that has had full strength beer, let me explain. 3.2 beer is a different kind of beer with a state mandated limit on alcohol content. No more than 3.2 percent of the beverage could be alcohol. As most beer generally stays just a hair above this in alcohol content, beer companies like Budweiser and Coors had to make a special batch just for states that had 3.2 laws on the books. It was sometimes referred to as "near beer" or "non intoxicating beer." I can speak from experience that it was, indeed, intoxicating. You just had to drink a swimming pools worth to feel a buzz. And we did. Often. On top of the special beer, you also couldn't buy wine or liquor at the grocery store. You had to go the a liquor store for that. Those liquor stores closed at 9pm every evening and could not be open on Sundays, Holidays or Election days. Getting tanked for one of the big holidays with the family took planning ahead.


The fine people of the state of Oklahoma voted on and passed SQ 792 in 2016 which allowed for wine and strong beer to be sold just about anywhere. And it can be sold refrigerated. Thus requiring far less preparation when getting drunk on the holidays! Buying wine at a wal-mart is still a rush for most of us here.


Most states have lotteries in order to fund education and other various projects around the state. Oklahoma however was late to this party. It wasn't until 2003 with a Democrat in the governors seat, that we joined the ranks of the majority of the U.S. SQ 705 and 706 were passed and allowed for the creation of a lottery trust fund and a lottery commission, charged with overseeing the lottery in the state.


After the creating of the trust fund and the commission, Oklahoma quickly enacted their lottery throughout the state. Now the fine people of Oklahoma can waste their money as they please and fund our education system all at the same time.


Weed wasn't just illegal. It was super illegal. Oklahoma was pretty fond of throwing people in jail for marijuana charges. We had some of the most serious sentencing for marijuana related offenses in the nation. Also, local police departments were consistently shutting down head shops due to their interpretation of paraphernalia laws.


SQ788 passed with 57 percent of the vote in 2016. This allowed doctors to recommend marijuana to patients and dispensaries to begin selling it. It is one of the most liberal medical marijuana programs in the country, as there is no mandatory conditions or medical issues to receive a card. In addition, the fees associated for people to enter the industry are some of the lowest in the nation. Since its passage, the effects of 788 are seen every day. There is a dispensary on every corner and legal medical marijuana has become a part of the culture in Oklahoma.


This one may surprise some of you, but for a state in the buckle of the Bible Belt, Oklahoma hadn't taken some of the steps other states had as far as gun rights. Don't get me wrong, it has always a pro gun state, but it had a lot of requirements for the carrying of a firearm.


In 2018, congress passed permitless carry or constitutional carry. Allowing for the citizens of the state to carry a firearm without any training or licensing. Now on your way to the store to buy cold full strength beer and a couple lottery tickets, you can bring your AR-15. Because, freedom.

The Oklahoma I grew up with has changed so much in recent years. It has been for the most part, an exciting transformation to see. I look forward to Oklahoma continuing its path forward. In many respects we have shown to the states around us, that we are willing to move in the right direction and make changes. We have strong beer, constitutional carry, the lottery, legal tattoos and of course, weed.

Eat it Texas.


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