Political Notes – Will Deal snuff out marijuana cultivation in Georgia?

[private]Gov. Nathan Deal, at a very late date in the process, is throwing a monkey wrench into plans to allow for the cultivation and distribution of medical marijuana in Georgia.

The governor made public remarks this week expressing doubts about the ongoing efforts of state Rep. Allen Peake (R-Macon), who heads a study committee that has held several hearings on proposals to expand the current law that allows the use of low-THC cannabis oil for designated medical purposes.

“I still don’t think we have sufficient information or ability to control something of that nature if we start production and processing here in our state,” Deal said.

The governor’s remarks would appear to run counter to the work done by Peake’s committee, which has been clearly moving toward the recommendation of a state system for regulating the cultivation of marijuana plants for medicinal purpose.

Peake has scheduled the final committee hearing for next Wednesday, where it was expected to complete its recommendations on legislation that would be introduced when the General Assembly convenes next month.

No Child Left Behind will be left behind

No Child Left Behind, the federal education law that George W. Bush touted as one of the major policy achievements of his administration, appears to be on the way out.

The U.S. House of Representatives, on a bipartisan vote of 359-64, passed a bill Wednesday night that would revise the law by authorizing states to decide how to use test scores in assessing teachers and schools. The bill would also kill federal efforts to encourage the academic guidelines in Common Core.

If the measure passes the Senate, President Barack Obama is expected to sign it.

“While it is not the bill I would’ve written, this legislation initiates commonsense, conservative solutions that – among other things – prohibit federal mandates tying funding to the adoption of academic standards, allow states to opt out of federal education programs that don’t suit their needs, and promote school choice by strengthening charter and magnet schools,” said Rep. Rob Woodall, a Gwinnett County Republican.

Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-Sharpsburg) said the bill is “the first step in taking the federal government out of the classroom, and puts the power pack in the hands of local and state governments and school districts.”

Wise is recusing

Public Service Commissioner Stan Wise’s son, Adam Wise, is the new lobbyist for the Georgia Telecommunications Association, which represents the state’s independent telephone companies.

Because Stan Wise sits on the commission that regulates these phone companies, he’s put in the position of having a potential conflict of interest on many telecom industry issues.

He is obviously aware of the conundrum. When the PSC met on Tuesday, prior to the announcement of Adam Wise’s new job, one of the routine agenda items was a list of rate increases filed by the Ringgold Telephone Co.

“Out of an abundance of caution, I’m going to recuse myself,” Wise said, without mentioning that the recusal was prompted by his son’s job.

© 2015 by The Georgia Report

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Tags: Adam Wise , Allen Peake , medical cannabis , Nathan Deal , No Child Left Behind , PSC , Rob Woodall , Stan Wise