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Opinion: Why Georgia’s Cautious Approach to Marijuana Legalization Makes Sense

By Dave Oedel

Georgia’s legislators have gotten some heat from advocates for marijuana legalization for not having gone farther than the nine categories of ailments for which an oil distillate of marijuana will now become legal in Georgia. Allen Peake, a Macon-Bibb delegate to Georgia’s General Assembly, led the effort to pass Haleigh’s Hope Act, H.B. 1, this session. Some commenters, though, have taken the legislators to task for not having done more.

The bizarre postures that some states find themselves in after rushing into relatively wholesale legalization of marijuana, however, suggest that Georgia was wise to take a relatively cautious approach.

Consider the case of … Continue Reading

Japan May Offer A Way Forward For Better Community Policing in Bibb County

By Alan Wood,

Editor of Georgia Watchdog

In the U.S., police activity is mostly centered around the patrol car. In downtown Macon you occasionally see officers on bicycles, segways, or on foot,  but in most parts of Bibb county they use squad cars for patrols. In Japan the center of police activity happens in a very small police station called a koban.
Police boxes  are ubiquitous throughout Japan, and practically every populated neighborhood or community has one. There are different versions depending on urban or rural areas, but if you include both types, there are approximately 6,600 kobans in cities and around 9,000 chuzaishos in rural areas. The main difference is … Continue Reading

Dog Fight Continues: Brinsons to Appeal Dangerous Dog Ruling After Split Decision


By Dave Oedel, March 22, 2015, Macon, Georgia:

This dog fight will go on. On Monday, March 9, 2015, five members of the Macon-Bibb County Board of Health split 3-2 on whether to deem three female pitbull dogs, Cocoa, Pearl and Justice, “dangerous.” As previously reported in the Macon Monitor, those dogs were involved in the death of another dog, Renalto, that was passing by the pitbulls’ home on a walk with Renalto’s owner, Claudio Naranjo, from Miami. The pitbulls are owned by Ryan Brinson and kept at the home of his mother, Veronica Brinson, at 124 Brookefield Drive in the Brookefield subdivision of north Macon off Bowman Road.

Board of Health members Bert Bivins, Ethel Cullinan and David Garrow voted to find the dogs “dangerous” within the meaning of both state law and a Macon-Bibb ordinance. Two other Board members, … Continue Reading

Selma, a Catalyst for Voting Rights, also Put Protesting and Policing in the Media Glare

By Dave Oedel, Macon Georgia, March 14, 2015:

President Obama visited Selma, Alabama here in the Black Belt a week ago, March 7, 2015, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of “Bloody Sunday.” Five decades ago, under orders from Alabama Governor George Wallace, Alabama state patrol officers with unnecessary violence suppressed a peaceful if knowingly confrontational march for voting rights organized by Martin Luther King, Jr.  Alabama Governor George Wallace had advised the chief of the Alabama state highway patrol “to use whatever means are necessary to prevent a march,” which Wallace and the chief had concluded would violate state highway traffic laws. They could also have concluded that most cars were about to violate some highway law or another, but of course cars weren’t being stopped – just the protesters. When the chief officer and the chief protester approached one another that day on the Edmund Pettus Bridge at the county line, the officer declined discussion, saying only that there was nothing left to discuss.

If you need a refresher or an education about what happened next, you might take a look at the first 3 minutes of this newsreel footage.

Seeing the police rush and trample … Continue Reading

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