Wagoner County, Oklahoma native Cody Barlow wasn’t going to let his LGBTQ+ friends and family go unsupported for pride month so he tricked out his pick-up to show they had allies in rural OK. country.
— Greg Hogben (@MyDaughtersArmy) June 9, 2019
“An Oklahoma man is making a bold statement in his rural town.
Cody Barlow is straight, but he wanted to find some way to put his support for the LGBTQ community on display this June. When he finally settled on creating a rainbow flag on the back of his pickup truck with “Not all country boys are bigots” added above it, he took to Facebook to share the message with others.
“I live in a rural area in Oklahoma, surrounded by small towns in every direction, and I’m sure this is not a very welcome message around here, but this is going to be displayed on my truck for the entire month of June in support of pride month,” he wrote.
“This is important to me, not only because I have family and friends that are LGBTQ+, but also because countless people have dealt with hatred and judgement simply for who they are, and/or who they love, for far too long.”
Cody is rightfully getting a lot of buzz on the intertubes for his show of support, but I got to poking around and found out that supporting his LGBTQ friends and neighbors is not his only cause.
His service as a USN Gunner had left Cody suffering from severe PTSD which the VA was treating with as many as 24 prescription pills a day until, despite some misgivings he visited a friend in Colorado and discovered that cannabis worked better than drugs.
Cody threw himself into the effort to pass SQ-788, a vote referendum on the legal use of marijuana to treat various medical disorders, which was passed by Sooner voters with 56% in favor.
Despite the clear message sent by voters Oklahoma’s GOP Governor Mary Fallin threw a big wrench into the works:
“I respect the will of the voters in any question placed before them to determine the direction of our state. It is our responsibility as state leaders to look out for the health and safety of Oklahoma citizens. As I mentioned in previous public comments, I believe, as well as many Oklahomans, this new law is written so loosely that it opens the door for basically recreational marijuana. I will be discussing with legislative leaders and state agencies our options going forward on how best to proceed with adding a medical and proper regulatory framework to make sure marijuana use is truly for valid medical illnesses.”
Even though SQ-788 called for such a regulatory frame work:
“This measure amends the Oklahoma State Statutes. A yes vote legalizes the licensed use, sale, and growth of marijuana in Oklahoma for medicinal purposes. A license is required for use and possession of marijuana for medicinal purposes and must be approved by an Oklahoma Board Certified Physician.
The State Department of Health will issue medical marijuana licenses if the application is eighteen years or older and an Oklahoma resident. A special exception will be granted to an applicant under the age of eighteen, however these applications must be signed by two physicians and a parent or legal guardian.
The Department will also issue seller, grower, packaging, transportation, research and caregiver licenses. Individual and retail businesses must meet minimal requirements to be licensed to sell marijuana to licensees.
The punishment for unlicensed possession of permitted amounts of marijuana for individuals who can state a medical condition is a fine not exceeding four hundred dollars. Fees and zoning restrictions are established. A seven percent state tax is imposed on medical marijuana sales.”
In response to the Governor’s “respect” for the wishes of the voters, Cody made this appearance with the Oklahoma Cannabis League which aired on OETA-The Oklahoma Network:
Change, whether it comes in the form of respect for citizens who love differently than you do, or the use of natural medicines to combat the scourge of over-prescribing opioids and psychoactive drugs that may cause more harm than good, can be hard to affect in the USofA but Cody is fighting the good fight.
Please follow me on Twitter @durrati