March 27, 2015 Radio Commentary

Shadow School Superintendent, Shadow School District

Radio Commentary, 90.7, 91.7 New Life FM, March 27, 2015 – By Sue Ella Deadwyler

In his state-of-the-state address in January, Governor Deal announced that he would create an Education Reform Commission to implement his “vision for k – 12 education … system driven by student need [to give] local school and district leaders [real control and flexibility].” The 33 people he appointed to that commission will report back to him.

There’s more to the Governor’s statement than meets the eye. To legalize that particular “vision for k – 12” the State Constitution must be amended. So, the Governor had his Senate floor leader introduce S.R. 287 to add a new paragraph to the State Constitution, which allows the creation of a state-wide Opportunity School District. If voters ratify that change in the 2016 General Election, the Governor would appoint a “shadow” school superintendent who could identify and take over, or close, or re-staff, or reconstitute, and manage and control 20 “failing” public schools, annually (up to a total of 100).

That plan means the current constitutionally elected state school superintendent will lose authority over schools the appointed shadow superintendent selects and commandeers. Rather than giving “local school and district leaders real control and flexibility,” the plan strips control from the state-wide elected-by-voters school superintendent and locally elected boards of education. Meaning, the Governor’s plan, drastically, weakens the power of voters and over-rides local control over education. Continue reading

March 20, 2015 Radio Commentary

Patience, Please!

Radio Commentary, 90.7, 91.7 New Life FM, March 20, 2015 – By Sue Ella Deadwyler

Today is Day 33 of this legislative session, and only seven days are left! Bills with a glimmer of hope for passage needed to be half-way through the process by the end of Day 30, which was last Friday. Bills that didn’t make the cut-off are dead for the session, unless they are amended onto bills that DID pass the half-way mark by midnight March 13th.

At last count, five marijuana bills had been introduced this session, and a couple made it through the half-way mark, because supporters masterfully played on Georgia heartstrings to advance their case for legalizing marijuana as a miracle drug for children with medication-resistant seizures. Nobody wants children to suffer, but important facts are noticeably absent from the narrative.

For example: Marijuana is a dangerous Schedule I narcotic, with no known medical value and unlimited possibilities for abuse. However, the Federal Drug Administration has already approved clinical studies to determine whether purified oil from marijuana is a viable anti-seizure treatment. Physicians conducting the study will use Epidiolex to conduct Investigational New Drug studies involving epileptic children. Epidiolex is a new 98 percent pure product from cannabis, which is better known as marijuana. The British firm GW Pharmaceuticals will provide liquid Epidiolex in two strengths, to be dispensed in syringe droppers. Continue reading

March 15, 2015 Newsletter

Knock, knock, who’s there? Rocky! Rocky who?
Rocky Mountain High!

The Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (RMHIDTA) report of August 2014 should be required reading for legislators, officials, and other Georgians considering marijuana as a medical treatment. Within its 166 pages are enough warnings of harmful results to put a permanent pause on the possibility of changing the Drug Enforcement Administration classification of marijuana as a Schedule I drug (a) with a high potential for abuse, (b) no accepted medical treatment in the U.S., and (c) insufficient safety under medical supervision.

After the return of CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta from his year-long global fact-finding tour, he began work on a documentary entitled, “Weed,” a collection of interviews with medical leaders, experts, growers and patients. Simultaneously, he published his article, “Why I changed my mind on weed,” which was updated August 8, 2013.

At the end of that report, Dr. Gupta said, “Citizens in 20 states and the District of Columbia have now voted to approve marijuana for medical applications, and more states will be making that choice soon. As for Dr. Roger Engeberg1, who wrote that letter in 1970, he passed away 16 years ago. I wonder what he would think if he were alive today.” Indeed!

News Flash! Findings from the Weed Report should be compared to RMHIDTA facts reported in the “The Legalization of Marijuana in Colorado, The Impact.” See selected excerpts below.

Timeline: 2006-2008 was Colorado’s early medical marijuana era; in 2009 it expanded into the commercialization of medical marijuana; and recreational marijuana was legalized in 2013.

  • From 1995-2013 marijuana THC potency rose to an average or 12.33 percent, up from 3.96.
  • In 2012, of Colorado youths age 12-17, 10.47 percent were considered current users, compared to 7.55 percent nationally, which is 39 percent higher than the national average.
  • In 2012, of college age students 18-25 years of age, 26.81 percent were current marijuana users compared to 18.89 percent nationally, which is 42 percent higher than the national.
  • In 2012, of adults age 26 and over, 7.63 percent were considered current marijuana users, compared to 5.05 percent nationally, which is 51 percent higher than the national average.
  • In 2013, of Denver adults arrested, 48.4 percent tested positive for marijuana, a 16 percent increase from 2008.
  • Hospitalizations related to marijuana increased 82 percent from 2008 to 2013.
  • The number of pets poisoned from eating marijuana increased four-fold in the past 6 years.
  • Over the last nine years, the top three drugs involved in treatment admissions were alcohol, marijuana and amphetamines.

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¹ The August 14, 1970 letter of Dr. Roger O. Engeberg, U.S. Assistant Secretary of Health, recommended that the marijuana plant be classified as a Schedule 1 substance. Dr. Gupta attempted to render that classification outdated.

  • To read the rest of this newsletter in PDF format, please click here.

March 13, 2015 Radio Commentary

Rejected by Georgia House Commitee: U.S. Law for Georgia Courts

Radio Commentary, 90.7, 91.7 New Life FM, March 13, 2015 – By Sue Ella Deadwyler

Since 2011, Georgia legislators have introduced bills to prevent the use of foreign law in Georgia courts, but all those bills have died, including this year’s H.B. 171.

Obviously Georgia legislators ignored results of Alabama’s November General Election, when 72 percent voted against using foreign law in Alabama courts.  Alabama Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey said, “Foreign law refers to the laws of other countries or cultures.  Currently, judges or other legal authorities discern whether foreign law is applied.  Amendment 1 would create constitutional protection that foreign law is not applied if it violates the guaranteed rights of Alabama citizens.”  Actually, Alabama’s law didn’t change, but judges were reminded to stick to Alabama laws and public policy.

Georgia Representative Dustin Hightower was successful in getting a public hearing on his H.B. 171 for March 9th, the 28th day of the session.  After hearing comments about the bill, the committee failed to vote, killing the bill for this session.  Obviously, that was the plan. Continue reading