February 5, 2016 Radio Commentary

Two Subjects: (1) Parental Rights and (2) Marijuana

Radio Commentary, 90.7, 91.7 New Life FM, February 5, 2016 – By Sue Ella Deadwyler

H.B. 713 was pre-filed in December and officially introduced January 13th by Representative Raffensperger. It changes three sections of Georgia law – the Juvenile Code, domestic relations, and adoptions. It amends the (a) Juvenile Code to allow termination of parental rights if conception results from rape, incest or trafficking for sexual servitude.

It amends the (b) domestic relations Code concerning with whom parental power lies. When a termination of parental rights petition is received, the superior court, currently, decides the case, considering whether the child was abandoned, or the parent cannot be located, or is absent, insane, incapacitated, or disabled. To that list of circumstances to consider, H.B. 713 adds rape, incest and trafficking, so domestic relations law and the Juvenile Code will use the same standard when terminating parental rights.

(c) H.B. 713 also makes the same change in adoption law, but all such changes require clear and convincing evidence that rape, incest, or trafficking caused that conception. Call Representative Tom Weldon at 404 656-5105 and ask him to pass H.B. 713 out of his committee.

During the 2015 legislative session, Representative Allen Peake’s H.B. 1 passed and with it came Georgia’s list of eight medical conditions that qualified patients for treatment with low THC cannabis oil.On January 13th, this year, Representative Allen Peake introduced H.B. 722 that repealed the 2015 law and outlined a process for in-state cultivation of marijuana. This new bill, also, expanded to 17 the number of conditions qualifying for treatment and retained the patient registry for low THC oil as authorized last year. However, low THC oil has been joined by another product for treatment – medical cannabis, which is marijuana processed into a liquid or solid substance, that may be a tablet, pill, capsule, caplet or any variant of those items. H.B. 722, also, describes the process “manufacturers” (cultivators) would use to produce (grow) cannabis (marijuana) and the products (undefined) they will process, package and sell.

Several days ago, the Judiciary Non Civil committee had a hearing for supporters of H.B. 722. On Monday February 8th from 1:30 until 3:30 p.m., the same committee will hear testimony AGAINST H.B. 722. The meeting will be in room 406 in the Coverdell Legislative Office Building and it’s open to the public. Please come if you can, speak if you like, or sit, listen and pray. Or call Representative Golick at 404 656-5943 and ask him to keep H.B. 722 in his committee. You may be interested to know that ALL Georgia law enforcement officials are AGAINST in-state growing of marijuana. For Georgia Insight I’m Sue Ella Deadwyler, your Capitol correspondent.