Legalization is only halfway to justice

❝ Happy 4/20, everyone! Now that pot is legal in 33 states and counting, it’s a pretty heady moment for stoner culture. Fans of cannabis can celebrate 4/20 openly and in style in more places than ever before. And even if you’re not in a state that legalized pot, there’s a still a pretty good chance that the cops won’t hassle you as you spend 4/20 doing your thing.

If you’re a white person

❝ Sorry to bring you down, but that’s the harsh reality. If you love pot AND you’re white, everything is totally awesome these days. In 2017, 81% of cannabis executives were white. Meanwhile, even in states where pot is legal, and even though Black people and white people use pot at similar rates, Black people are still arrested way more often than whites. We love 4/20 and we love legalization, but that’s not OK.

That’s not enough.

RTFA for facts and ideas. No rest without justice.

Detained by the Border Patrol in Montana — for speaking Spanish


He has a badge and a gunDifferent incident; but, you get the idea!

❝ Two Montana women are suing US Customs and Border Protection officers for detaining them at a gas station last year because they were speaking Spanish

Ana Suda and Martha Hernandez were questioned in May by a uniformed officer as they waited in line to buy eggs and milk at a convenience store in Havre, Montana — a tiny town 35 miles from the US border with Canada. The officer then detained the two women, who are American citizens, for 30 to 40 minutes outside by his patrol car.

Suda filmed the heated encounter on her cellphone

❝ Detaining someone solely for speaking Spanish is the same thing as stopping someone solely because of their race — which is illegal.

Not that I would expect everyone with a badge and a gun to know the law or respect the law. I know many who do. I have also confronted some who don’t care about anything but their sense of power – and personal bigotry.

Summer job gets some help from Brother Blue, Sister Blue

There are couple kinds of people who end up as coppers. These are the best.

Apple’s next-gen iPhone/iPad iOS adds feature to block criminal and political snoops – and coppers!


appletoolbox.com

❝ Apple in a statement to AppleInsider on Wednesday said iOS 12’s incarnation of “USB Restricted Mode” will thwart not just criminals, but searches by spies and police.

❝ In regards to law enforcement, the feature was created to protect iPhone owners in countries where the police seize phones at will. The move is aimed at regions with fewer legal protections than the U.S…

❝ Apple decided to make improvements to iOS security after learning of iPhone cracking techniques being used by both criminals and law enforcement agencies…With USB Restricted Mode, those attempting to gain unwarranted access to an iPhone will have an hour or less to reach a cracking device before being locked out.

Bravo! Apple still leads the pack when it comes to concern for individual privacy, offering protection ignored by many in the tech industry. And a helluva lot of politicians, pimps and police.

Hacker snooping — think it’s just the Feds we have to watch?


No – he’s not leaving his badge number

❝ …Many members of the public first became aware of the FBI’s interest in hacking in February, when the bureau and Apple battled over a locked iPhone belonging to one of the San Bernardino, California, shooters. That spat ended abruptly when the FBI announced it had hacked into the iPhone without Apple’s assistance…

❝ The present debate around law enforcement hacking is, for good reason, focused mostly on the FBI. At present, the most sophisticated law enforcement hacking capabilities belong to the federal government and remain classified. And although state and local police certainly investigate some serious crimes within their jurisdictions, the FBI routinely handles serious crimes — child pornography, human trafficking, financial crime resulting in the loss of millions of dollars. By many measures, the gravity of the crimes the FBI investigates makes it understandable that when we consider extraordinary hacking measures used by law enforcement, we would start with the FBI.

❝ But law enforcement hacking is not just a matter for the feds, thanks to two trends in particular.

First, just like law-abiding citizens, criminals have access to legal services that allow them to encrypt communications, browse privately, and otherwise minimize their digital footprints. Smartphone encryption frequently prevents crime, but as these tools become easier to use and the commercial default, it isn’t difficult to imagine that criminals—even those who aren’t technologically sophisticated — will use them, too.

Second, state and local police departments are very interested in hacking capabilities that could, as they see it, improve their ability to fight crime. Leaked emails from the past several years show that law enforcement agencies around the country have received demonstrations of spyware being sold by the controversial Italian-based company Hacking Team, whose mission is to “provide effective, easy-to-use offensive technology to the worldwide law enforcement and intelligence communities.” Hacking Team boasts of software that helps law enforcement “hack into [their] targets with the most advanced infection vectors available.”

❝ The federal government is also sharing cybercrime-related knowledge with state and local police departments. The National Computer Forensics Institute, a federally funded center, is “committed to training state and local officials in cyber crime investigations” and offers tuition-free education on many elements of policing in a high-tech crime era. And after unlocking the San Bernardino iPhone, the FBI hastened to assure its local partners that it would share technical assistance whenever possible.

RTFA for details. Reflect upon your local coppers being as likely – more likely? – than the Feds to consider Free Speech a crime. They can expect the range of political fools from Trumpkins to FuzzyWhigs to back them up. Many of America’s conservatives look at the Bill of Rights as a failed experiment.

Colorado’s legal weed impacts Kansas – not necessarily in a bad way

❝ Early results from a survey of law enforcement agencies conducted by the Kansas attorney general suggest legal Colorado marijuana is having a big impact on Kansas, but it may not be all negative.

Attorney General Derek Schmidt received responses from 390 Kansas law enforcement agencies and district attorneys indicating that less marijuana is being confiscated, but it’s much higher in potency than pot smuggled in from Mexico.

Survey results also show that the legal system has been swept by changing attitudes about marijuana, with some jurisdictions no longer enforcing pot laws much. When they do they’re finding it tough to win convictions…

“The criminal justice system is moving in the direction of what appears to be changes in public attitude,” Schmidt said. “Obviously not moving as far as some people would like, but there is obviously an evolution or a change, and this showed that it has reached the enforcement level as well.”

❝ Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington have legalized marijuana. California, Arizona, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada will vote on marijuana legalization this fall…

❝ Schmidt said he also is concerned about the growing popularity of edibles, which are food products made with marijuana or infused with marijuana oils.

The Kansas Highway Patrol reported its seizure of marijuana edibles increased from zero in 2013 to more than 30 in 2015. Confiscated items have included chocolates and other candies, powder mix, hot sauce — even lip balm.

Got that part right. The simplest reason for me NOT smoking ganja is that I don’t smoke. Now, if it was legal for me to add Alice B. Toklas brownies to my weekly baking – I’d certainly check out some recipes.

After coppers were given body cameras complaints fell 98%

❝ Cameras worn on police uniforms have been lauded as a possible solution to many of the problems facing officers in the line of duty, from violence against law enforcement to the unnecessary use of force. The US Department of Justice recently announced a plan to spend $20 million on body cameras for cops in 32 states.

❝ The cameras are controversial, as all surveillance technology tends to be. And until recently, there’s been little hard evidence about how effective body cameras actually are. According to new research from the University of Cambridge, which studied seven police forces in the US and the UK, the answer is that they are transformative in at least one way.

Researchers used complaints against police as a proxy for the effect of the cameras, hypothesizing that one major reason for complaints is that cops behaved in a negative, avoidable way…

Compared to the previous year when cameras were not worn, complaints across the seven regions fell by 98% over the 12 months of the experiment. The study encompassed nearly 1.5 million officer hours across more than 4,000 shifts…

❝ The theory is that cameras make police officers more accountable for their actions, because people tend to change their behavior when they believe they are being observed. At the same time, this also limits non-compliance from people with whom the police interact…

They also noted that there was a reduction in the amount of complaints against officers who didn’t wear cameras but were working in the same forces among those who did. The researchers called this “contagious accountability.” All officers were acutely aware of being observed more closely, whether they were wearing a camera or not.

Nothing new about the result. Folks often forget about the Hawthorne effect because it’s been decades since it was noted in the results of a number of experiments at one location. The Hawthorne Works in Cicero, Illinois.

Knowing that is fun. The result is what’s important, however.