Posts Tagged ‘illegal drugs’

Microblog 2008-12-22

Found here and there on the web, some matters on topic, some not:

This will have to be a short microblog, due to impending depositions, but it’s better than no microblog at all.

Cops busted in probable cause sting

Police wouldn’t manufacture fictitious probable cause to obtain warrants for a drug raid, would they? Don’t be so sure:

KopBusters rented a house in Odessa, Texas and began growing two small Christmas trees under a grow light similar to those used for growing marijuana [grow lights are themselves lawful — ed.]. When faced with a suspected marijuana grow, the police usually use illegal FLIR cameras and/or lie on the search warrant affidavit claiming they have probable cause to raid the house. Instead of conducting a proper investigation which usually leads to no probable cause, the Kops lie on the affidavit claiming a confidential informant saw the plants and/or the police could smell marijuana coming from the suspected house.

The trap was set and less than 24 hours later, the Odessa narcotics unit raided the house only to find KopBuster’s attorney waiting under a system of complex gadgetry and spy cameras that streamed online to the KopBuster’s secret mobile office nearby.

(WindyPundit, Dec. 6; Balko, “Hit and Run”, Dec. 6; J.D. Tuccille, Dec. 7). A cautionary view: Greenfield. And Orin Kerr @ Volokh has likewise warns that we don’t know yet all of the circumstances about the engineering of the sting, raid and video; read the comments as well.

“Pub-goers to be tested for drugs”

The spirit of liberty seems to have been numbed in Scotland: “Pub-goers in Aberdeen are facing a drugs test before entering bars as part of a crackdown by Grampian Police. … The test is voluntary, but customers will be refused entry if they do not take part.” The tests will be conducted using a new technology that takes swabs of hands and analyzes them instantly for drug residues, which will be grounds for search or arrest. (BBC, Oct. 31, via Massie (“ghastly”)).

More: Per commenter Mike Blackburn, “As I understand it, the campaign was run by clubowners who wanted to find a way of keeping drugs out of their clubs. The police were only really involved as administrators.”

The pseudoephredine trap

The cold and allergy remedy may be sold over the counter, but that doesn’t mean buyers like Gary Schinagel, a 47-year-old Iowa investment executive who has suffered from nasal congestion since childhood, can stay out of serious legal trouble should they purchase it in other than the government-approved manner. (John Skipper, “Man says stuffy nose did him in”, Mason City (Ia.) Globe Gazette, Sept. 22; Jacob Sullum, Reason “Hit and Run”, Oct. 3; Colleen O’Shaughnessy, “Mason City Man Tries To Clear His Name”, KIMT, undated).

W.V.: pot smoker sues over rejection by pain management center

As a condition of granting pain-management services, Family Care Health Center in Putnam County, West Virginia required patient Ronald Sprouse to sign an agreement stipulating that he would cooperate with unannounced urine and bodily fluid testing and that the presence of “unauthorized substances (legal or illegal) will result in discharge from the practice.” Kicked out of the program after testing positive for cannabinoids, Sprouse admits using them but is suing the health center and doctor anyway: “When he does not smoke marijuana, Sprouse claims he becomes violent toward his family and does not leave his house in fear of how he will react toward others in society.” He is representing himself. It’s too bad for his case that he doesn’t live in California, where lawmakers seem to be headed toward making medical marijuana smokers a legally protected class. (Kelly Holleran, “Pot smoker sues for getting dismissed from pain management center”, W.V. Record, Sept. 8)(& KevinMD, ER blog Crass-Pollination).