Marc Lopez Law - August 2018

AUGUST 2018 LOPEZ LAW

It’s summertime in Indiana, which means it’s time for some new rules! As Hoosier kids get ready for another school year, their adult counterparts need to prepare themselves for the newest offerings from the Indiana General Assembly. Here are some quick hits on just a few of the changes going into effect. Remember, folks: Ignorance of the law is no excuse! In an attempt to crack down on drug dealers, the State has introduced a legislative theory: If you supply a controlled substance to another person, and that person ingests the substance and dies, you are guilty of “dealing in a controlled substance resulting in death.” As some skeptics have noted, the scope of this law is broad enough to include sympathetic, not-for-profit medication-sharing between intimate partners. Theoretically, a woman who provides her injured husband with some of her leftover Vicodin prescription will be facing 40 years in prison if the husband accidentally overdoses. Indiana has also decided to make things easier on property owners who want to discourage would-be trespassers without going to the trouble of posting signs or erecting a fence. Now you can use purple paint (applied in conformity with the statute) to communicate “NO TRESPASSING” to others. I’m still unclear as to how an out-of-state visitor can be expected to decipher our coded messages, and I’m sincerely looking forward to the first case where a defendant affirmatively argues color blindness. This should be fun. In a shift that seems counterintuitive, a health care provider who suspects that an adult patient is a victim of human trafficking is no longer required to report this hunch to the police. The old policy was obviously intended to shine a light on human trafficking, but it had another, unintended effect: Victims ended up sticking to the shadows and avoiding medical care altogether. When the law FROM THE DESK OF Marc Lopez

Anxiety, concern, conflict — parents and teens agree that digital devices are a source of all three of these, according to a study from the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. The comprehensive study compared digital device usage in the United States and Japan and how they have an impact on family relationships in both countries. “The patterns of daily life have been forever altered by the ubiquity of digital devices,” says Willow Bay, co-author of the study and dean of USC Annenberg College. “Clearly, our always-on media environment is presenting challenges.” So why do we still have these devices on us at all times, and how can we use them more responsibly? USC Annenberg’s study demonstrates that technology isn’t going away any time soon, and learning how to manage its usage is critical. Here are some tips that both parents and teens can learn from. HOWTOBALANCE TECHNOLOGY USE INYOUR FAMILY M anage Y our D evices ; D on ’ t L et T hem M anage Y ou The study gave interesting insight into how we perceive our kids’ technology usage and how they perceive ours. It found that most parents think their teens are addicted to their mobile devices. Most parents also felt addicted themselves. Their teens are aware of this — 1 in 3 teens also believes their parents are addicted. Your kids learn from how you spend your time. As the parent, you are the No. 1 example your child has for any behavior. If they see you looking at your phone most of the time they’re with you, they’ll likely start to do the same. BE THE EXAMPLE

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