January 16, 2015 Radio Commentary

Ralston said, “We’re Going to ‘Move’ on [Marijuana]!”

Radio Commentary, 90.7, 91.7 New Life FM, January 16, 2015 – By Sue Ella Deadwyler

Representative Allen Peake’s January 9th press release explained how he and the governor had “been in intense conversations over the last several days about [Peake’s marijuana bill, H.B. 1].” After those talks, he decided to rewrite his bill and file it with the Clerk’s office today.

Some say the bill has been gutted because the new version will not allow marijuana to be grown in Georgia. However, “individuals with certain medical conditions” could go to another state to legally obtain cannabis oil with a three to five percent THC level and bring it back to Georgia, without fear of prosecution.

During the marijuana study committee meeting in Gwinnett County, where law enforcement officials were asked to express their opinion, committee member Representative Margaret Kaiser revealed that cultivation of marijuana is the heart of their plan. After hearing each law enforcement official urge them NOT to allow cultivation, she said, “We don’t think we can do this without cultivation. It’s a big point to take cultivation off the table.” Last Saturday morning I was reminded of her comment when someone called WSB radio and asked Walter Reeves to tell him how to grow marijuana. Continue reading

January 9, 2015 Radio Commentary

Stolen Valor Act

Radio Commentary, 90.7, 91.7 New Life FM, January 9, 2015 – By Sue Ella Deadwyler

On December 20, 2006, President George W. Bush signed the Stolen Valor Act of 2005 that increased penalties for unlawfully wearing, manufacturing, or selling military decorations and medals and making it a federal misdemeanor to falsely represent oneself as having received a U.S. military award.

On June 28, 2012 the U.S. Supreme Court struck down that law, voting 6-3 that lying about a military award is not a crime, but is protected speech under the First Amendment.  So, Congress passed the 2013 law making it a federal offense to falsely claim military heroism in order to get money, property, or other tangible benefits.

On November 25, 2014, Representative Terry Rogers pre-filed H.B. 12, to create the Georgia Military Service Integrity and Preservation Act, and establish a state-level criminal offense of fraudulent representation of military service.  His bill explains the crime as follows:

“Any person who, with the intent of securing a tangible benefit for himself or herself, knowingly and falsely [claims in writing or orally] to be a military veteran or a recipient of a military decoration shall be guilty of fraudulent representation of military service.” Violators could be charged with a misdemeanor, fined $1,000 and sent to prison for 12 months.

If this bill passes and becomes law, the required state penalties would be added to federal penalties required by the Stolen Valor Act that passed Congress. Continue reading

January 2, 2015 Radio Commentary

Who Gets a Driver’s License?

Radio Commentary, 90.7, 91.7 New Life FM, January 2, 2015 – By Sue Ella Deadwyler

In ten days the 236-member Georgia General Assembly convenes with 25 new members – fifteen in the House and 10 in the Senate. They’ll introduce and pass bills that affect every one of us, and some have been pre-filed already.

On November 17th Senator Josh McKoon pre-filed S.B. 6 to stop the issuance of driver’s licenses to illegal aliens. His bill requires the Department of Driver Services to use Homeland Security’s E-Verify system to confirm the identity of job applicants.

That works for aliens applying for jobs, but, especially, we should be concerned about the thousands of teenagers crossing the border as “unaccompanied children,” some old enough to have a driver’s license. However, they are not legal residents of the United States, and, currently, don’t qualify for the president’s “approved deferred action status.” Therefore, they should not be issued driver’s licenses. Continue reading

December 26, 2014 Radio Commentary

326 Sovereign Nations within U.S.

Radio Commentary, 90.7, 91.7 New Life FM, December 26, 2014 – By Sue Ella Deadwyler

During the last several months, a joint committee of the Georgia General Assembly held hearings on the pros and cons of legalizing medical marijuana for childhood seizures.  As a result, three marijuana bills have been pre-filed for 2015, and two of them legalize the recreational use of marijuana.

Although marijuana is illegal under federal law, in August of last year, the Justice Department authorized states that legalize marijuana to open stores to sell it.  So, this year Colorado and Washington State opened the first marijuana stores in the U.S.  In November Alaska, Oregon and the District of Columbia voted to legalize marijuana and could open stores to sell it there.

The United States has 566 federally recognized American Indian tribes and the Bureau of Indian Affairs says there are 326 American Indian reservations that govern themselves as sovereign nations with certain federal restrictions.  That explains why casinos operate on American Indian reservations in states that prohibit casinos.

On December 11th the Department of Justice announced that Indian tribes may grow and sell marijuana, if they follow the same federal conditions laid out for states, even if the reservations are located in states where marijuana is not legal. Continue reading