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driving-stoned-thcf-uMost everyone would agree that drinking and driving is a deadly combination. But even if the dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol are well understood, the same cannot be said for the risk of driving under the influence of marijuana.

According to a major national survey, nearly half of the regular cannabis users in the United States believe that operating a motor vehicle while stoned is not dangerous. However, a recent study appears to contradict this belief.

This recent study, which was reported this Tuesday in Drug and Alcohol Dependence, recruited 28 heavy cannabis users and 17 non-users and placed them in a driving simulator. The cannabis users exhibited multiple dangerous driving behaviors – running red lights, hitting pedestrians, driving at high speeds, and getting into accidents. They were also much more likely to exhibit impulsive and rash behavior patterns than the group that did not use cannabis.

new-cbd-gummies-300x200Marijuana is a substance that can come in many forms. The leafy green cannabis that you smoke might be the most well-known, but there are many other ways that the cannabis sativa plant can be consumed. The legalization of marijuana in other states has paved the way for the development of huge variety of cannabis products. This includes everything from devices that disperse cannabis into a vapor to tinctures and oils that can be applied topically, allowing it to be absorbed by the skin.

One of the most popular ways to consume marijuana is the creation of cannabis edibles. This includes pot brownies, cannabis-infused gummies, and hash cookies. Edibles have experienced a dramatic rise in popularity across the United States, especially in states like Alaska, Colorado, New York, and Washington, where they are legal for purchase. According to one study, 46% of those polled and 93% of those in favor of legal marijuana said they would be willing to try cannabis edibles if they were made legal for purchase.

The rising popularity of cannabis edibles has made law enforcement more aware of their existence. This means that cops looking to make a marijuana-related arrest aren’t just on the lookout for bags of weed. They’re also keeping an eye out for brownies, gummies, cookies, and other edible goods that give off the distinct smell of concentrated marijuana. And despite what you might think, being caught with even one edible in Georgia can land you in a great deal of trouble.

New Year’s Eve is upon us, and 2020 is right around the corner. As 2019 draws to a close, many of us are making our resolutions for the new year. For most Americans, that means planning to exercise more, lose weight, and save money. All of these are excellent resolutions that will improve your life. But even as you plan on improving your health and taking better care of your bank account, you should consider a resolution that will improve your family’s life – planning your estate.

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Estate planning includes the creation of three essential legal documents. First is the will, which lays out your wishes after your death and names an executor, who will carry out those wishes. Then, there is the power of attorney, a document that grants someone else authority to manage your affairs. Finally, there is the advance health care directive, which states your wishes for medical treatment, if you are terminally ill and allows someone else to carry out those wishes with your health care provider.

Planning your estate is one of the best things you can do for your family. According to a 2019 survey, 76% of Americans agreed with this sentiment… and yet only 40% actually have a will. Of those polled, the majority of people who did have an estate plan in place were older adults, while younger people put less importance on an estate plan. Another study indicates only 18% of people over 55 have all of the recommended estate planning essentials– a will, a power of attorney, and an advance health care directive.

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Christmas is almost upon us, and New Year’s Eve is around the corner. For many people, this means a chance to enjoy some drinks with friends and family at Christmas and New Year’s celebrations. Unfortunately, this means more people driving under the influence of alcohol. DUI-related arrests are at an all-time high between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve, as are DUI-related fatalities. According to the US Department of Transportation, an average of 300 people lose their lives in drunk-driving related fatalities in the week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve.

Most people know that drinking and driving is dangerous, but not everyone is aware of the true cost of a DUI conviction. It is important to be aware of this, especially at a time of year like this, where DUI arrests and fatalities are at an all-time high.

A DUI is More Expensive Than You Think

1519851021570-300x218Christmas is only two weeks away. Now is the time to get that gift shopping done before those amazing holiday sales have passed you by and everything is picked over. But even as you search for that perfect gift at the best possible price, you need to keep yourself safe. Porch pirates aren’t the only thing you have to worry about this holiday season. You also need to keep an eye out for identity thieves.

Over 16.4 million United States citizens became victims of identity theft in 2017, with financial losses totaling upwards of 16.8 billion dollars. Every year, December and January see higher than usual reports of identity theft. According to a 2018 survey, eight percent of consumers polled had their identity stolen in 2017, with twenty-seven percent of these incidents happening while the victim was shopping online for Christmas gifts.

Christmas creates ideal conditions for identity thieves. A busy and chaotic holiday shopping season creates distracted and careless shoppers, who are even easier to take advantage of. A sharp increase in online shopping this time of year creates even more chances for an identity thief to nab someone’s personal information or hook  consumers with a phishing scam. Preventing identity theft is more important than ever this time of year. Luckily, there are multiple steps you can take to protect yourself from these modern-day Grinches:

7bd8181220181983b3302ddbbb014ad6-271x300Online package deliveries soar every holiday season. Between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, there are many excellent deals to take advantage of on Amazon or other online marketplaces. And with Christmas looming around the corner, it’s nice to be able to buy that perfect gift with just a few clicks of a mouse, right from the comfort of your own home.

Unfortunately, the convenience of online shopping brings a hidden risk – package theft, otherwise known as porch piracy. An increase in package deliveries means an increase in boxes left on doorsteps. With deliveries happening at all hours of the day, there is a good risk your package may be delivered while you’re not home, making it a very easy mark for package thieves. Being home might not even help – a savvy porch pirate might follow the delivery driver, allowing them to nab your package within minutes of its arrival.

If your package is stolen, you should file a claim with the online retailer, contact the shipping carrier and provide the tracking number, and file a report with your local police department. In most cases, online marketplaces will replace the stolen items or provide you with a refund. But how do you prevent package theft from happening to begin with?

What does Thanksgiving Day mean to you? For most people, it means spending some quality time with relatives, enjoying a nice home-cooked meal, and watching some football. Unfortunately, Thanksgiving is also one of the deadliest times of year. Every Thanksgiving season, the mortality rate in the United States spikes. The main reason behind this sudden increase in deaths? Car accidents.

The National Safety Council estimates that over 417 people may die on the roads during the Thanksgiving holiday period. According to the NHTSA, over half of people killed on the roads during the 2018 Thanksgiving season weren’t wearing their seat belt, and nearly one out of every three Thanksgiving traffic fatalities involved a collision with a drunk driver.

There are many reasons for a sudden spike in traffic accidents this holiday season. AAA states that more than 45 million people traveled by car to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday in 2017. More cars on the roads means more congested roadways, which means more opportunities for collisions. Many people will be driving on unfamiliar roads and determined to get to their destination no matter what, making the likelihood for a deadly traffic accident that much higher.

If the police seized your money, car, or other property, we can help protect what’s yours from wrongful civil asset forfeiture.

I’ve had several clients call recently because their property had been seized – wrongfully. Civil asset forfeiture became the norm during the 1980s war on drugs. It was intended to confiscate ill-gotten gains from drug kingpins. Over time, these seizures provided a tremendous source of revenue to cities, counties, and states. In 2014, for example, federal forfeitures exceeded $4.5 billion. Incentives to abuse processes are huge.

In fact, a study proved that the problem with civil forfeiture is less a problem with individual officers and more a problem with civil forfeiture laws themselves. Police have outright admitted that civil forfeiture creates a powerful temptation to seize property, with one police chief referring to forfeiture funds as “pennies from heaven”. For more on the need for reform in civil asset forfeiture laws, see Policing for Profit.

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The Lessons and Memories Football Afforded Me

I spent my entire football career on the offensive line. I liked being part of the action, defending the quarterback from linemen who were gunning for a sack.  In college, I was a tackle, and I was moved to the guard position, where I played through the remainder of my career. Sure, I rarely ever got the chance to touch the ball — unless I jumped on it during a fumble — but that position fit me like a glove.

As a kid, I was engrossed in football, and I loved watching my Green Bay Packers. Jerry Kramer, who was a pulling guard for the Packers, was my hero, and I wanted to be a pulling guard just like him. All my friends played the sport, so I began in the peewee leagues.

Hemp

On May 10, 2019, Governor Brian Kemp signed the Georgia Hemp Farming Act (HB 213) into law. This bill allows farmers in Georgia to legally grow and sell industrial hemp, a strain of the cannabis Sativa plant.  Hemp contains less than 0.3 percent THC, the chemical responsible for the “high” felt when smoking marijuana. It is therefore not considered a Schedule I substance.

The text of HB 213 only addresses who can grow and sell hemp. However, many law enforcement officials feel its wording makes hemp possession legal by default. It does not, however, legalize the possession and sale of marijuana in Georgia. Possession of less than an ounce of marijuana is still a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in prison or a fine up to $1,000. Possession of more than an ounce is considered a felony, with the maximum sentence being up to ten years in prison.

HB 213 has carried an unforeseen consequence for Georgia law enforcement. There is currently no way for police to accurately measure the THC concentration in cannabis. This has made it difficult for law enforcement to accurately distinguish between marijuana and the now-legal industrial hemp. As a result, different counties around metro Atlanta have been forced to change their approach to prosecuting misdemeanor marijuana cases.

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