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OMMA Cards: The Truth About Why They Banned Smiling

Remember, if you can, how it felt… After dreadfully dwelling in decades of Draconian drug laws only to be told you can’t smile for your brand new Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority patient card card. I felt awkward seeing my Eeyorish mug staring back at me and wished I could have at least of grimaced.

Well, Tokelahomans, those dour days are officially over.

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Now, we can smile in our patient license photos!

There are reasons those big wigs at the gub’mnt didn’t want us to smile for our patient ID cards — and they probably infringe on our liberties! Here’s the Skunk’s honest truth and conspiracy theories about why we were banned from smiling:

1. Mugshot Comparison

Back when SB 788 first came into being, I’m sure some crafty police folks came up with the plan to try to match our somber faces with existing police sketches and lineups, just to catch some slacking criminals and ne’er do wells on their heels. Just like when they sent out “you’re a winner” letters to people with outstanding warrants, the bait of a weed card would surely draw in some fish.

2. Surveillance

Smiling defeats facial recognition systems (so do face masks, Q-Anons). Just like when Tik Tok and Instagram stole your facial identity with that cute puppy dog filter, the unsmiling picture would make it easier to match your image to that security footage of you stealing boxes from your job on your day off. Damn, Craig! So when a shadowy face appears on a grainy, low resolution CC-TV camera, you can rest uneasy knowing it might be yours… until you get your new smiley-faced OMMA card, that is.

3. Make Us Look Bad

It’s all about the optics. OMMA did not want it to seem like this new medical marijuana program was helping patients in any way. They needed us to look mentally unstable and confused.

Can you imagine what an ad campaign for “Faces of tOklahoma” might look like — using our no-smiling-allowed patient cards? It’d probably be co-opted by the Flaming Freaks, for better or worse, and turned into something resembling commercialized advArtising. I’d like to just see a bunch a smiling faces reminding everyone that cannabis is in fact a medicine.

4. Never Smoked or Smiled

Let’s face it, the powers-that-be who were salty about SB 788 and weaseled in the stupid no-smile rule have spent their whole joyless lives trying to lock up normal, everyday citizens and probably only ever crack a grin when they watch footage of a particularly violent arrest and see the victim’s family sobbing, as another member of the community is lost to the trap set by the War on Drugs.

5. Not Healthy Enough to Smile

It takes more muscles to smile than it does to keep that slack-jawed, dead-behind-the-eyes expression previously required of our patient ID photos. Maybe the no-smile rule had to do with exposure to personal injury lawsuits. Considering how high Oklahoma’s obesity rate is, it would be advisable that some patients not strain themselves with a smile until after they’ve received their medication.

—Uncle Skunk might cry in his renewal photo.

Remember, if you can, how it felt… After dreadfully dwelling in decades of Draconian drug laws only to be told you can’t smile for your brand new Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority patient card card. I felt awkward seeing my Eeyorish mug staring back at me and wished I could have at least of grimaced.

Well, Tokelahomans, those dour days are officially over.

Now, we can smile in our patient license photos!

There are reasons those big wigs at the gub’mnt didn’t want us to smile for our patient ID cards — and they probably infringe on our liberties! Here’s the Skunk’s honest truth and conspiracy theories about why we were banned from smiling:

1. Mugshot Comparison

Back when SB 788 first came into being, I’m sure some crafty police folks came up with the plan to try to match our somber faces with existing police sketches and lineups, just to catch some slacking criminals and ne’er do wells on their heels. Just like when they sent out “you’re a winner” letters to people with outstanding warrants, the bait of a weed card would surely draw in some fish.

2. Surveillance

Smiling defeats facial recognition systems (so do face masks, Q-Anons). Just like when Tik Tok and Instagram stole your facial identity with that cute puppy dog filter, the unsmiling picture would make it easier to match your image to that security footage of you stealing boxes from your job on your day off. Damn, Craig! So when a shadowy face appears on a grainy, low resolution CC-TV camera, you can rest uneasy knowing it might be yours… until you get your new smiley-faced OMMA card, that is.

3. Make Us Look Bad

It’s all about the optics. OMMA did not want it to seem like this new medical marijuana program was helping patients in any way. They needed us to look mentally unstable and confused.

Can you imagine what an ad campaign for “Faces of tOklahoma” might look like — using our no-smiling-allowed patient cards? It’d probably be co-opted by the Flaming Freaks, for better or worse, and turned into something resembling commercialized advArtising. I’d like to just see a bunch a smiling faces reminding everyone that cannabis is in fact a medicine.

4. Never Smoked or Smiled

Let’s face it, the powers-that-be who were salty about SB 788 and weaseled in the stupid no-smile rule have spent their whole joyless lives trying to lock up normal, everyday citizens and probably only ever crack a grin when they watch footage of a particularly violent arrest and see the victim’s family sobbing, as another member of the community is lost to the trap set by the War on Drugs.

5. Not Healthy Enough to Smile

It takes more muscles to smile than it does to keep that slack-jawed, dead-behind-the-eyes expression previously required of our patient ID photos. Maybe the no-smile rule had to do with exposure to personal injury lawsuits. Considering how high Oklahoma’s obesity rate is, it would be advisable that some patients not strain themselves with a smile until after they’ve received their medication.

—Uncle Skunk might cry in his renewal photo.

Uncle Skunk
tOkie born, tOkie bred and when I’m high, I’m tOkie dead.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Oh now. This reminds me of this song. RIP John Prine:
    Ah, but fortunately I have the key to escape reality
    And you may see me tonight with an illegal smile
    It don’t cost very much, but it lasts a long while
    Won’t you please tell the man I didn’t kill anyone
    No, I’m just tryin’ to have me some fun

  2. Lol had full white beard and white hair past my shoulders. So facial recognition is off the list. And I smiled on every mug shot ever taken of me. Even got a beat down once because I was smiling. Yet when they were done I still smiled. Even with busted lips and broken nose. Guess it was the soldier in me never give the enemy what they want.

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