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Dear Oklahoma

Dear Oklahoma

Dear Oklahoma Citizens and Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt. Dear Oklahoma superintendent Joy Hofmeister who is running for Oklahoma Governor, and Natalie Bruno, her opponent in the race. Dear Former Oklahoma Senator Connie Johnson, who wrote the legalization of medical marijuana bill in Oklahoma many times before taking it to the Oklahoma people to get passed. Dear, you all.

I recently spent my first birthday in 37yrs since the age of two with my dad outside of a prison visiting cell. We spent it at his torn-down wraggly house that now has been sold. The first home he had all to himself in 37yrs. He was so proud of that piece of a run-down shack. The kitchen floor was so sunken in I never walked past the bedroom. In the bathroom, you could see the dirt floor, but the smile that house put on my dad’s face was worth the 11yrs of fighting the Oklahoma DOC system to get my dad free.

I have gained thousands of supporters along those 11yrs. People who know my story, my pain, my tears, and my defeat when you, the state of Oklahoma, decided to revoke my father’s ghost parole for a dirty UA and two missed parole officer visits while he was in a hospital having sugary. At this moment in life, I do not want to compare my white privileged self to any pain a slave in America could have felt. But I wonder now, is this how families of the enslaved felt when one went back to free others and was captured and enslaved again? My dad became a freedom fighter with us outside Oklahoma’s prison walls, attending every protest I was a part of and cheering us along. He would be sweating bullets, scared for my safety, but remained by my side every time, no matter what.

Now I must remain by his side and ask you all if I have addressed how could an elderly man with more health problems than a few possibly be a threat to society? How could a man who has a sentence for 3.2 grams of marijuana commuted be forced to be on supervision that you revoke three months before discharge be enough of a threat to traumatize him with prison in an Oklahoma prison cell one more time for good old sake? How can marijuana in the amount of 3.2 grams without a medical card be a ticket in Oklahoma retroactively, but my father is forced to finish a 20yr sentence for a Joint of weed? How are we supposed to vote for elected officials that allow a man to fall through the judicial cracks like this? I ask you, Oklahoma, when will you let my dad be free? When I’m burying him at the end of his 20yr sentence for marijuana in a legal marijuana state? I ask you to free my dad Oklahoma inmate 146687, Thomas Eugene Landreth.

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Photo credits: Amberly R Taylor