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Synthetic Cannabinoids & Operations Log Jam (Federal) and Artificial High (Penna)

July 30, 2012

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Wasn’t last week fun?  109 cities, 91 arrests, 235 search warrants.  19 manufacturers, a few sales reps, and a bunch of stores. Most of the stuff taken was 100% legal – clean pipes, uncontrolled substances, and new generation blends of aromatherapy and incense products.  And hookahs.  They took my client’s hookahs.  WTF? The chest thumping […]

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Synthetic Cannabinoids: An Introduction

July 8, 2012

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I happily walked around thinking “cannabinoids” was pronounced similar to “cannabis.”  T’isn’t.  The emphasis is on the second syllable – NAB.  Can-NAB-i-noids.  Glad we got that out of the way. Here’s the drill … Marijuana’s active ingredient is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol.  “THC” to those who like shorthand.  THC is a cannabinoid-receptor agonist.  Stated differently, THC works with the receptor […]

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Cops & Quota Systems

February 27, 2012

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Cops & Quota Systems

Cops actually have a quota for the number of Terry Stops, traffic stops, arrests, etc.?  Go figure.  Aren’t all governmental interventions into our privacy supposed to be supported by reasonable suspicion or probable cause?  That’s certainly the Constitutional standard, but it seems not so much reality. A NYC cop has filed a lawsuit.  Here’s the […]

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Smoking weed and doing time

February 16, 2012

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Smoking weed and doing time

First, don’t apply the “non-violent” label to stoners too quickly.  See here.  But let’s assume that we have a true non-violent offender.  The dude just smokes weed and wears pajamas in public. How does Pennsylvania law address him?  We’re gonna use a “small amount” of weed – that’s 30 grams.  Dude, if you’re carrying more […]

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Juvenile Criminals: Coddle or smack upside the head?

January 24, 2012

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Juvenile Criminals: Coddle or smack upside the head?

Our precious little snowflakes would never hurt anyone, right?  They didn’t intend to put the hurt on that person. They didn’t mean to steal.  The other kid instigated it.  Blah, blah, blah.  But ask instead about someone else’s kid, and the story changes – That kid was always trouble; the parents are useless; he hangs with […]

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Don’t Talk to Cops. Ever. But do listen to this cop talk.

January 20, 2012

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Don’t Talk to Cops. Ever.  But do listen to this cop talk.

I was surfing the net for criminal topics.  As best as I can recollect, I got on the Ohio Public Defender site, and then found a link to the video below.  When someone devotes 48 minutes to explaining why not to talk to cops – and that someone is not some girl from the hood, […]

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Trolling Research Papers, January 2012

January 19, 2012

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Trolling Research Papers, January 2012

I can spend hours at a clip trolling the Social Science Research Network for papers.  Hit “Browse” by the masthead and have at it, or type “Criminal” (or whatever) in the search box then change the sort to “Date Posted, Descending.”  Just watch the original publication date because it doesn’t always coincide with the SSRN […]

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Hate Crimes: Enhancing mens rea to what end?

January 18, 2012

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Hate Crimes: Enhancing mens rea to what end?

I’ll cut right to the chase on Hate Crimes.  I don’t like them.  Allow me to explain.  It’ll take a few paragraphs … Let’s say that someone beats me upside the head with a baseball bat.  Hate when that happens.  I suffer significant injuries.  He gets 2 to 4 years on an Agg Assault charge. […]

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Being a Snitch as a Business Plan

January 17, 2012

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Being a Snitch as a Business Plan

I love it when someone gets all, “Hey, yo, I ain’t no snitch!”  Their nose gets crinkly, and if you’re lucky you can catch the beam of ambient light as it exits their nostrils because there’s no mass to impede its journey from their ears. Let’s deconstruct the situation that leads to that proclamation.  Someone […]

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SCOTUS Criminal Opinions – January 10-11, 2012

January 13, 2012

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SCOTUS Criminal Opinions – January 10-11, 2012

The Supreme Court of the United States done us right good – two days, four opinions with criminal-law implications.  We may not like them, but final rulings are always a good thing.  Let’s dig in. We were waiting for Perry v. New Hampshire after our writing on eyewitness testimony, and now we have it.  Here’s the […]

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