Florida

Electoral advances in DC, Oregon, Guam...

leafIn the Nov. 4 elections, voters in Washington DC approved Initiative 71, a legalization measure allowing residents to grow up to six plants at home and possess up to two ounces. The victory portends a showdown with Congress, as the Republicans will now control both houses. Oregon approved Measure 91, a legalization measure giving regulatory control to the state liquor control agency and allowing Oregon citizens to grow up to four plants. We continue to await word on a legalization measure in Alaska. A medical marijuana measure in Florida was defeated. Guam became the first US territory to pass a medical marijuana measure. (Reuters, NPRSmell The Truth)

Federal court: warrant needed for cell-phone tracking

Posted on June 16th, 2014 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

Shadow WatchIn what could turn out to be a landmark case, the US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in Atlanta ruled June 11 that police must obtain a warrant to get a person's cell phone location history from the service provider. Police conducting a robbery investigation in Miami had obtained the location histories of four suspects after getting an order from a federal judge. But the standard for getting a so-called "D-order" is that it be "relevant and material" to an investigation—lower than the "probable cause" standard required for a warrant under the Fourth Amendment. The court found "that cell site location information is within the subscriber's reasonable expectation of privacy. The obtaining of that data without a warrant is a Fourth Amendment violation." Nathan Freed Wessler, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) who helped argue the case, hailed the ruling in United States v. Quartavious Davis as "a resounding defense of the Fourth Amendment's continuing vitality in the digital age."

George Zimmerman acquitted

Posted on July 14th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

Evidence of Trayvon Martin's marijuana use was allowed by the judge, but not submitted in the George Zimmerman murder trial, which wrapped up this week in Florida with a not guilty verdict. As a result, when the defense rested its case on July 11, jurors did not hear about the trace amounts of THC that were uncovered in Martin’s autopsy. The limited value of the evidence likely played a part in the defense team's decision. The THC level (around 1.5 nanograms, according to the medical examiner) almost certainly indicates that any marijuana use by Martin didn't take place on the evening that he was shot by Zimmerman and probably wasn’t even recent.

SCOTUS upholds Fourth Amendment in drug-sniff case

Posted on March 27th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

The US Supreme Court ruled March 26 in Florida v. Jardines that an alert from a drug-sniffing dog on a suspect's front porch constitutes a search within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment. The ruling upheld the Florida Supreme Court, which held that evidence gathered pursuant to search warrant obtained based on the positive alert from the dog must be suppressed because the dog's presence itself constituted a warrantless search. The case stemmed from a 2006 incident in which Miami police and DEA agents, acting on a tip, place the home of Joelis Jardines under warrantless surveillance. Following the canine alert, a warrant was obtained, which uncovered Jardines' indoor grow operaiton.

Giving cops the finger constitutionally protected: Second Circuit

Posted on January 3rd, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

Police can't pull you over and arrest you just because you gave them the finger, the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York ruled Jan. 3. In a 14-page opinion, the court found that the "ancient gesture of insult is not the basis for a reasonable suspicion of a traffic violation or impending criminal activity." John Swartz and his wife Judy Mayton-Swartz had sued two police officers who arrested Swartz in May 2006 after he flipped off an officer who was using a radar device at an intersection in St. Johnsville, NY. Swartz was charged with a violation of New York's disorderly conduct statute, although the charges were dropped on speedy trial grounds.

Media coverage smears LSD in face-eating episode

Posted on May 30th, 2012 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , .

"A Miami man fatally shot by police after he refused to stop gnawing on another man's face may have been under the influence of a new form of the 1960s hallucinatory drug LSD, a top police officer said on Wednesday." So reads the Reuters account of the ghoulish May 29 incident that made national headlines—most of them inaccurate. The account quotes Armando Aguilar, president of the Miami Fraternal Order of Police saying: "We've had at least two incidents in the past couple of months with people claiming they took a new form of LSD and complained of feeling a burning sensation that forced them to take their clothes off and led them to become very violent." This is all nonsense. LSD is an acronym for a chemical formula; there is no such thing as a "new form" of lysergic acid diethylamide. So what is going on here?

Cannabis used to smear Trayvon Martin

Posted on March 28th, 2012 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , .

ThinkProgress notes that over the last 48 hours, there has been a sustained effort to smear Trayvon Martin, the unarmed 17-year old African American shot dead last month in Sanford, FL, by self-appointed "neighborhood watch" vigilante George Zimmerman—who has notoriously still not been arrested. Martin's mother, Sybrina Fulton, said, "They killed my son, now they're trying to kill his reputation." Sleazy tricks apparently include circulation of a picture on Michelle Malkin's website Twitchy of a tough-looking kid in baggy pants which was passed off as from Martin's Facebook page (it wasn't—his actual Facebook photo is pictured here). Here are some other dirty tricks documented by ThinkProgress:

National cannabis prices mapped

cannabis price mapThe oddly named mapping website FloatingSheep.com has produced a map showing the differences in the retail price of cannabis in the United States, coast to coast. The map—apparently featured in the September issue of Wired magazine under the cheeky title "Infoporn: O Say, Can You THC?"—is based on information gleaned from consumer reports on the Price of Weed website.

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