Entries by Lyle Harris

The “Peake” of medical cannabis leaving Georgia Legislature

By Lyle V. Harris

After 12 years in the General Assembly, Rep. Allen Peake, the soft-spoken Macon Republican who’s considered the “godfather” of Georgia’s medical cannabis movement, is calling it quits. Sort of.

Although Peake, 57, is not running for re-election, he vows to stay involved in the issue with which his name has become synonymous

MARTA (always) Matters. So Now What?

By Lyle V. Harris

We told you so. Or at least we tried.
Remember when MARTA was mostly treated as a punchline and a punching bag for anti-transit haters? I sure do.
About eight years ago, my former MARTA colleagues and I brainstormed a public awareness campaign to counter the trash-talking naysayers by extolling the untold virtues of the buses, trains and dedicated MARTA employees who help to keep the Atlanta region moving forward.  

Say it loud: Marvel’s brilliant “Black Panther” is more than just another superhero movie

Children need heroes to emulate, in real-life and in the world of make-believe. As a kid, l always admired my heroically hard-working parents but I also desperately wanted to be like Superman, the superhero I watched on TV. Although I looked nothing like the lily-white Man of Steel, that didn’t stop me from “flying” around the house with a red bath towel knotted around my neck, scrawny arms outstretched, ready to fight for truth, justice and the American Way.

Now, more than 50 years later, the groundbreaking release of Marvel’s “Black Panther” movie represents a game-changing social phenomenon for a generation of young people — especially young African-Americans — whose mythology and identity will likely be shaped by a fictional hero who’s more relevant and revolutionary than Superman ever was, or could be.

Despite AG Sessions setback, medical cannabis crusaders fight on

By Lyle V. Harris

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions still has his knickers in a knot over cannabis, aka, “weed”, aka “marijuana”, aka “the-medicine-that-should-already- be-legal-and-available-to-every-American-who-wants-or-needs-it.”
In Georgia and elsewhere, fortunately, there are unsung heroes realizing it’s high time to make that happen.

No place like home for Georgia medical cannabis patients

Lawmakers shouldn’t be forced to behave like outlaws. Nor should sick and suffering Georgians be treated like criminals merely for seeking the medicine they need. But that’s the twisted reality of our state’s conflicted and confusing cannabis policy. It’s time for that dynamic to change and voters deserve the opportunity to make it so at the ballot box.

For MARTA’s future, culture is everything

MARTA recently hosted its latest hack-a-thon, a high-tech competition inviting participants to create their own “hacks” or improvements to make the transit agency more effective, efficient and customer friendly. 

Hack-a-thons aren’t new; large companies have been holding them for years. But for MARTA, they’re a really big deal. As the agency starts searching for its next CEO, that person should understand how such events foster a culture of openness and innovation that’s critical to MARTA’s forward trajectory.

In the Trump era, praying science can save us

The most dominant national headlines in recent weeks have highlighted a fundamental principle that’s often overlooked but cannot be overstated: Science matters. From predicting dangerous tropical storms to charting the path of an eclipse or utterly discrediting the claims of hate-filled racists, science may ultimately help to save us, if only from ourselves.

Making “green the new Black” in cannabis industry

It appears a budding “cannabis rights movement” is slowly taking root in Georgia. A group of African-American advocates and activists in Atlanta last week launched the Minority Cannabis Coalition, an organization working to ensure “equity and access” for Blacks and other minorities interested in joining the nation’s multi-billion dollar marijuana market.

MLK’s “Beloved Community” and the G-Word

An almost surefire way to start an argument in Atlanta is to utter the “G-word” – as in “gentrification.” In the midst of a torrid development boom, the inflow of affluent newcomers to Atlanta – and the involuntary uprooting of low-income residents that inevitably follows – reveals the racial and economic fault lines running through city’s social bedrock.

Sorry Mayor Reed; cannabis is no “gateway”

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said he believes marijuana (cannabis) is a “gateway drug” that can lead young people to experiment with dangerous narcotics. That theory has been around since the 1970s and is often floated as the rationale for punitive anti-cannabis laws at the national and local level. Although this popular bromide tugs at our heartstrings, it has one major problem: There’s no evidence that it’s true.