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6245D8B7-1C7D-4D66-81A6-905E850A5D4A-300x188As the novel coronavirus, otherwise known as COVID-19, spreads across the world, families across the globe are being encouraged to practice social distancing as much as possible. This means that schools are being closed and people have been told to self-isolate in their homes. It’s a necessary measure, meant to combat a significant public health emergency. It’s also a measure that could put many children in danger. This April, be aware that cruelty to children is a serious issue, whether a child you know is being abused, or you have been accused of child cruelty. Contact the Don Turner Legal Team if you are facing child cruelty charges.

There has been a noticeable drop in calls to child abuse hotlines in the weeks since social distancing measures were enacted across America. At first glance, this might seem like good news. Unfortunately, many experts believe that this drop in reports of child abuse and neglect is due to children no longer attending school or daycare, keeping them away from teachers, childcare workers, and other adults who have a mandatory duty to report any suspected child abuse.

Research shows that when parents lose their jobs, children can be negatively affected in a variety of ways, including an increase in harsh or neglectful parenting. COVID-19 has caused a wave of unemployment, as businesses are forced to lay off workers due to a staggering loss of revenue, with certain sectors, such as the travel industry, being hit especially hard. In fact, some economists have speculated that the unemployment rate could hit 32 percent due to COVID-19 – worse than the Great Depression’s peak of 24.9 percent.

357CBC1F-885E-4C98-9F87-695802152FE7-300x261At the time of this writing, we are in the grip of a pandemic – the novel coronavirus, otherwise known as COVID-19. The best way of dealing with the COVID-19 outbreak is to slow the spread of the virus. This means closing down many public venues, limiting social gatherings, and postponing public events, even something as large as the 2020 Olympic Games, in order to give the contagious virus fewer chances to leap from person to person. Even grocery stores have chosen to modify their hours and set aside special shopping times for the most vulnerable members of our community. You can follow or like our page on Facebook for updates on the coronavirus crisis.

Right now is an incredibly stressful time for people across the globe. With so many important events being cancelled and so many businesses and public venues closing their doors, it can be difficult to remain optimistic, especially when these closures can affect your livelihood. Many people are understandably afraid for their immunocompromised or elderly friends and family, who are much more vulnerable to COVID-19. But now is not the time to get swept up in the panic and doomsaying that gets spread all over social media. There is good news out there – response to the virus has brought out the best in many people, and this response is changing the world for the better.

Many workplaces are now letting their employees work from home, allowing them to practice responsible social distancing while still performing their essential duties. In response, multiple internet providers are offering free service for a limited time and free installation to better help people work remotely. Companies like Zoom, Slack, and Google are also offering free services in order to give employees working from home a helping hand, while providers like AT&T have begun suspending bandwidth caps in order to ease the burden on our internet connections.

AtlantaGeorgiaCapitol_0-300x169A pandemic has been sweeping across the United States in the last few months. It is known as the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, and it causes a host of respiratory symptoms, including a dry cough, difficulty breathing, and persistent chest pain. While a COVID-19 infection is not fatal for most people, it is highly contagious and has a much higher fatality rate among the elderly and people with compromised immune systems. Many of us will be able to survive an infection with COVID-19, but you could spread that infection to someone who can’t.

As of this writing, there is no widely available vaccine for COVID-19. This means that the best way of combating person to person spread of this virus is to practice social distancing. This means limiting large groups of people coming together, closing public venues, and canceling public events. Close contact in a crowd setting can help a virus spread like wildfire, making these measures essential.

Over the last few weeks, many places have closed their doors to the public or at least heavily limited their interactions with them. Many of Georgia’s courts are no exception to this trend. On March 14, Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Harold D. Melton signed an order declaring a statewide judicial emergency, suspending all non-essential court functions for the next 30 days in order to help limit the spread of COVID-19. Courts across the state immediately paid heed and passed their own emergency orders.

cropped-favicon-300x300March 17 is Saint Patrick’s Day. For many of us that means enjoying a nice glass or two of green beer (or green food in general – McDonald’s has even brought back its Shamrock Shake for the occasion), dressing up head to toe in green, and enjoying the Saint Patrick’s Day parade. For Irish Americans, Saint Patrick’s Day is a time to celebrate their Irish heritage and a time for religious observations. But how many of us know about the history of Saint Patrick’s Day or the reason behind its traditions?

Saint Patrick’s Day takes its name from the patron saint of Ireland. Most of what we know about the historical Saint Patrick comes from a Latin work called the Declaration,which he allegedly wrote. According to the Declaration, the historical Saint Patrick was born in Roman Britain in late 300 AD. After being captured by Irish pirates at age 16, Patrick converted to Christianity, which he would go on to study far into his twenties after returning to Britain. Eventually, Patrick returned to Ireland where he acted as a Christian missionary, spreading Christ’s teachings across the islands.

The holiday itself was founded in Ireland during the early 17th century to celebrate Saint Patrick and his teachings. Tradition holds that Saint Patrick died on March 17; hence a feast day being held on that date. This feast day was first introduced to the American colonies by Irish immigrants in the early 18th century and turned into a full-blown celebration of Irish culture in the 19th century by a mass influx of Irish immigrants fleeing the Great Famine for the United States. By the early 20th century, the feast day became a national holiday in Ireland and came to be known as St. Patrick’s Day.

6dfd6e82-aded-4b39-bd9e-3ca319f86404-300x200Concern over the abuse of opioids has been a public health concern in Georgia for years. From 2010 to 2017, there was a 245% increase of deaths from opioid overdose in Georgia. In fact, two thirds of all drug overdose deaths in Georgia in this time period were attributed to opioid abuse. This problem has been significant enough for President Trump to declare the opioid crisis a public state of emergency.

Much of the legislature surrounding opioid abuse seeks to treat opioid overdoses and make alternatives more available in order to prevent prescription drug abuse. However, a study at the University of Georgia proposes an alternative approach to how we handle the opioid epidemic throughout Georgia and across the United State. Instead of diverting resources towards curbing the use of opioids, the study argues, we should look at a culprit behind opioid addiction – chronic disease.

The term “opioid” specifically refers to a broad class of drugs, including multiple prescription drugs such as morphine, oxycodone, and codeine, and the illegal drug heroin. All of these drugs interact with the opioid receptors in the brain and spinal cord. This dulls the body’s pain signals and emotional responses to pain, diminishing the body’s response to painful stimuli. Opioids also activate pleasure and reward centers in the brain, leading to a feeling of relaxation and euphoria.

broken-heart-syndrome_Blog_Float_RightFebruary 14 is Valentine’s Day, a day created to recognize the importance of the love we hold for one another. For most of us, Valentine’s Day means showing our loved ones how much we care with romantic gestures and well-meant gifts of flowers and chocolate. Sadly, for some people, Valentine’s Day means a brief reprieve from their abusive relationship. According to the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence, Valentine’s Day is one of three days (alongside Christmas and Thanksgiving) where there is a slight decrease in reports of domestic abuse in the United States. That brief moment of relief is cold comfort for those who are victims of family violence.

Despite the name, family violence does not have to occur between family members. Under Georgia law, family violence is defined as any pattern of deliberately violent and abusive behavior between people in a domestic relationship, committed with the intent of establishing power and control. This includes parents and children, spouses and intimate partners, and roommates or housemates. There does not have to be physical abuse for an act to count as family violence either – if someone subjects a person fitting one of the above categories to emotional abuse, threatens to hurt them, stalks them, or deliberately damages their property, they can also be charged with family violence.

Despite the slight downtick in reports of domestic violence this Valentine’s Day, there are still bound to be lovers’ quarrels. These arguments can escalate into a domestic disturbance… and the situation might not be perfectly cut and dry. It takes two to tango, and there are unique circumstances leading to every incident. For example, you might be trying to get away from an argument with a partner that turned physical or fighting back against a spouse who attacked you first. Unfortunately, this might not save you from being charged with family violence if the police are called to your house.

The legalization of marijuana is a hot-button issue in the United States. As of this writing, marijuana is legal for purchase by adults over 21 in 11 states and legal for medical use in 33 states. Cannabis has become a multi-billion-dollar industry in the states that have legalized it, with sales figures expected to only continue increasing over time. At the same time, marijuana is the drug one is most likely to be arrested for possession of, with 663,367 arrests involving marijuana in 2018 alone.

While public opinion towards marijuana legalization has shifted favorably as of late, it is still considered an illegal narcotic substance in numerous places across the US. Georgia’s marijuana laws are especially strict, although limited use of cannabis and cannabinoid products is allowed under its medical marijuana and hemp laws. However, there was a time that cannabis was not considered a narcotic drug and was, in fact, perfectly legal. What happened to change its reputation?

The history of cannabis use and cultivation in North America dates back to the 1600s. Colonists were encouraged – and in Virginia, legally required– to grow cannabis plants, as hemp could be used to make a variety of different products. Hemp fell out of popularity as a material by the Civil War, but the cannabis sativa plant remained popular as an ingredient in various medicines and tinctures. From 1850 to 1937, cannabis-based medicines were a common sight in general stores and pharmacies, where they were used to treat everything from muscle spasms to the common cold.

Capture-300x208This month, the Carolina Panthers’ Luke Kuechly joined a growing list of football players forced into early retirement due to injuries after suffering several concussions over the past few years. He is far from the only one. Five months before, the New England Patriots’ Rob Gronkowski retired from the game due to complications from repetitive head trauma. And still more players are becoming aware of one of the greatest dangers of football – an elevated risk of a traumatic brain injury (TBI).

For years, football has enjoyed a lofty status as one of America’s great pastimes. The Super Bowl is just around the corner, and millions of people are looking forward to watching the game this Sunday. But despite football’s continued popularity, growing knowledge about the risk and consequences of traumatic brain injuries has cast a dark shadow over the future of the sport. TBIs have had a long-term impact on multiple football players, and they’re something everyone should take seriously.

The risk of traumatic brain injuries in football players is a significant issue, one the NFL has been accused of not taking seriously. There have been steps to reduce the incidence of TBIs in football players in recent years, including shock-absorbing helmets and increased penalty for helmet to helmet hits. That doesn’t change the fact that football is, at its heart, a game of massive bodies colliding into each other, which creates plenty of opportunities for players to suffer head trauma.

B4741A81-2424-4EC4-B7DD-B43F42712A2D-281x300 A1A9D186-250B-429E-A3C5-2379B3786031-300x247 If you ever intend to purchase CBD oil, make sure it contains less than 3% THC and is made from hemp, not marijuana. Getting a low THC registry card and purchasing only from reputable sellers can help you ensure that your CBD oil is legal for purchase. Remember that CBD that containing more than 3% THC is considered a schedule 1 controlled substance – a category of drugs that carry the harshest penalties for possession. Possession of high-THC CBD oil could get you charged with up to fifteen years in prison under Georgia law.

CBD derived from hemp is legal for purchase in Georgia in part because of HB 213, or the Georgia Hemp Farming Act. This bill has made it possible for licensed farmers to cultivate industrial hemp in Georgia. Industrial hemp, much like marijuana, is a variety of the cannabis sativa plant. Hemp looks and smells identical to marijuana. However, it differs on both a chemical and genetic level. But what is the exact difference between hemp and marijuana, and are there any legal issues attached to hemp products?

How Do Marijuana and Hemp Differ?

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.

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