Tag Archives | Legal

Board says FAA has power over drones, can impose $10K fine

FAA-Logovia Gigaom:

In a setback for consumer drone advocates, the National Transportation Safety Board on Tuesday supported the FAA’s authority to impose a $10,000 fine on Raphael Pirker, a photographer who had taken pictures from the air over the University of Virginia.

In its ruling, which reverses an administrative judge’s decision in March to throw out the fine, the Board said the FAA has authority over any “aircraft,” even model aircraft or unmanned devices, and can impose fines accordingly.

The board’s decision comes at a time of ongoing controversy over what many perceive as a heavy-handed approach to drones on the part of the FAA, which has declared no one may use the devices for business purposes — including for activities like news photography and search-and-rescue — without a special waiver. But the agency has been slow to grant such waivers, even as drone-based businesses are taking off in Canada and elsewhere.

Several media outlets, including the New York Times, had filed friend-of-the-court briefs supporting Pirker and challenging the FAA’s blanket ban as a violation of their First Amendment rights.

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Over 56,000 Fewer Marijuana Arrests in 2013

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Torben Hansen (CC BY 2.0)

via High Times:

The FBI Uniform Crime Report for 2013 is out and shows that fewer than 700,000 people were arrested nationwide for marijuana for the first time in a decade. An estimated 693,482 people were arrested for possessing, growing, or selling marijuana in 2013. This is the lowest arrest total since 1998, when 682,885 estimated arrests occurred.
This total marks a 7.5 percent decline in marijuana arrests from 2012’s total of 749,825, meaning 56,343 fewer arrests occurred in the first full year that Colorado and Washington have legalized marijuana. In Washington, court filings for misdemeanor marijuana possession dropped from 5,531 in 2012 to just 120 in 2013, according to the ACLU of Washington. In Colorado, cases filed in state court with at least one marijuana offense plummeted from an average of over 700 per month to about 133 per month, according to the Denver Post.
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Never Get Busted Again

Hey Disinfonauts, thought you might like to know that we’ve uploaded Never Get Busted Again: Volume 1 Traffic Stops to YouTube. You can now watch it for free.

Watch Barry Cooper, a former police officer in Texas focusing on narcotics interdiction for eight years, teach you exactly what you need to know to stay out of jail. With over 800 felony and misdemeanor narcotics arrests, DEA training, and extensive experience with K-9s (drug dogs), Barry’s friendly, plain spoken and honest attitude makes it easy and entertaining for you to learn what you need to know.

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Medical pot dilemma: Where to get the first seeds?

By Hajime NAKANO via Flickr (CC by 2.0)

By Hajime NAKANO via Flickr (CC by 2.0)

via El Paso Inc:

As more states legalize medical marijuana, there’s one stage in the process nobody wants to talk about: the part where people still have to break the law.

After growers obtain licenses, plan for security and build facilities, they then must obtain their first seeds or cuttings — while regulators turn a blind eye.

“It has to be hush-hush,” said Bradley Vallerius, an attorney focused on the emerging industry in Illinois. “I’ve seen the moment where the client realizes this is a problem” — and wonders how they’re supposed to get started.

The situation is known as the “immaculate conception” or the “first seed” problem. Those involved see it as an absurd consequence of the nation’s patchwork of laws, with 23 states allowing medical marijuana sales, Colorado and Washington state allowing recreational use and a federal prohibition in place.

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Legal highs need regulation, not an outright ban

Bans don’t work. matthijs, CC BY-NC-ND

Bans don’t work. matthijs, CC BY-NC-ND

This article was originally published on The Conversation.
Read the original article.

By Matthew Warren, University of Oxford

A few doors down from my house, a man is selling drugs. He has herbs to smoke that could leave me happy and stoned and various white powders to ingest that could keep me partying all night. All this would be totally legal, because he runs my local head shop.

Such easy access means people succumb to buying these drugs. One in five freshers who are starting universities this month have admitted to trying one of these legal highs.

Like many countries, the UK is currently working out how to deal with legal highs, or, to use the proper nomenclature, New Psychoactive Substances (NPS). Over the past decade, the use of NPS has become increasingly common as more and more products and head shops enter the market.… Read the rest

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Reporter Learns How Easy it is to Create a Technically Legal Recreational Drug

0Raw Story with another fine example of the ludicrous nature of drug prohibition:

The market in legal highs is growing. In 2009, the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction’s early warning system discovered 24 new drugs. In 2010, it found another 41; in 2011, another 49; and in 2012, there were 73 more. By October 2013, a further 56 new compounds had already been identified: a total of 243 new drugs in just four years.

Or rather, make that 244, because as part of a two-month investigation for the online science and technology publisher Matter, I just devised a new, legal drug, had it synthesised in China, and delivered to a PO Box in central London. It is a close chemical cousin of a substance that was well-loved by some of the world’s most famous musicians, and, it’s rumoured, by John F Kennedy, Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, and Truman Capote – but was banned decades ago.

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Uruguay Likely to Create Legal Marijuana Market

Flag_of_Uruguay.svgUruguayan lawmakers say that creating a legal marijuana market will save money and lives.

Via The Guardian:

Uruguay’s unprecedented plan to create a legal marijuana market has taken its critical first step in the lower house of Congress.

All 50 members of the ruling Broad Front coalition approved the proposal just before midnight on Wednesday in a party line vote, keeping a narrow majority of the 96 MPs present after more than 13 hours of passionate debate.

The measure now goes to the Senate, where passage is expected to make Uruguay the first country in the world to license and enforce rules for the production, distribution and sale of marijuana for adult consumers.

Legislators in the ruling coalition said putting the government at the centre of a legal marijuana industry is worth trying because the global war on drugs had been a costly and bloody failure, and displacing illegal dealers through licensed marijuana sales could save money and lives.

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Zurich Invite People to Come in Their Sex Boxes

“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” – Albert Einstein.

Attempts to curb the dangers of prostitution in Zurich mean that soon the Swiss City’s council will be operating specially designated “sex boxes” according to The Telegraph:

[These will] provide a discreet location for prostitutes and their clients to conduct business when they open in August next year.

Located in an industrial area of the city, the row of garage-like boxes will have roofs and walls for privacy, and easy access for cars. The council estimates that around 30 prostitutes will meet clients at the site of the boxes, and use the drive-in slots on a first-come-first-served basis.

[My emphasis]

Telegraph version here.

This last bit sounds very practical. A last-come-first-served basis might be problematic.

The booths will have inbuilt panic alarms and are aimed at making prostitution ‘safer’ and more economically viable, according to The Daily Mail:

An on-site counsellor will also be provided in the taxpayer funded scheme.

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