Maryland

Baltimore police hit by drug scandal

Posted on March 3rd, 2017 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

police Seven Baltimore police officers were arrested by federal agents March 1 on racketeering charges. The officers are accused of conducting illegal stops, stealing money and drugs from suspects, swearing false affidavits, submitting false incident reports and participating in overtime fraud. One of the officers was also charged in a separate drug conspiracy indictment, involving a heroin distribution ring. The charges are the latest blow to Baltimore's already scandal-mired police force.

Feds blast Chicago cops, reach deal over Baltimore abuses

Posted on January 14th, 2017 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , , , .

Chicago The US Justice Department on Jan. 13 issued a report charging the Chicago Police Department with a pattern of civil rights abuses. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said the federal probe, covering the period from 2012 to 2016, found that the Chicago police force "engages in a pattern or practice of use of excessive force that violates the Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution." The Fourth Amendment protects citizens from unreasonable search and seizure.

Baltimore imbroglio over secret aerial surveillance

Posted on September 5th, 2016 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

Shadow WatchOfficials and civil rights advocates in Baltimore are expressing outrage over revelations that a private company has been conducting secret aerial surveillance on behalf of the city's police department—collecting and storing footage from neighborhoods, with no public oversight. Ohio-based Persistent Surveillance Systems has for months been testing sophisticated new cameras afixed to a small Cessna flying over the city, according to an Aug. 23 report in Bloomberg Businessweek, which was given exclusive access to the testing program. Police the following day confirmed the program to the Baltimore Sun, admitting to having collected some 300 hours of surveillance this year.

#BlackLivesMatter and the cannabis stigma

Posted on May 4th, 2015 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , .

BlackLivesMatterHere we go again. As with Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin, conservative pundits are now exploiting the cannabis stigma to tarnish the reputation of Freddie Gray, the young African American man whose death at the hands of the Baltimore police last month led to an uprising in the city, a new national wave of #BlackLivesMatter protests, and finally charges against six officers. Daily Caller gloats in a headline: "Freddie Gray Had A Long Rap Sheet"... But take a look at the provided list of charges: "Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance... Possession of narcotics with intent to distribute... Possession of marijuana... Distribution of narcotics, unlawful possession of a controlled dangerous substance..." Yeah, burglary and assault are on the list as well. But Snopes, examining the veracity of the claim, quotes the Associated Press: "Court records indicate that Gray's arrests were mostly for drug possession/distribution charges and various minor crimes, many of which were not prosecuted."

Maryland passes decrim law, expands medical program

Posted on April 8th, 2014 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

cannabisPossession of personal quantities of cannabis will no longer be a crime in Maryland under a law passed April 7 and sent to Gov. Martin O'Malley. Adults caught with less than 10 grams will get a citation and be fined, but will no longer face jail. O'Malley has pledged to sign the law—a reversal from views he held as Baltimore's tough-on-crime mayor. "As a young prosecutor, I once thought that decriminalizing the possession of marijuana might undermine the public will necessary to combat drug violence and improve public safety," O'Malley said in a statement. "I now think that decriminalizing possession of marijuana is an acknowledgment of the low priority that our courts, our prosecutors, our police, and the vast majority of citizens already attach to this transgression of public order and public health. Such an acknowledgment in law might even lead to a greater focus on far more serious threats to public safety and the lives of our citizens.”

SCOTUS upholds warrantless DNA collection

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

Shadow WatchThe US Supreme Court ruled 5-4 June 3 in Maryland v. King that police may collect DNA samples from individuals arrested and charged with serious crimes. The respondent in the case, Alonzo King, challenged the validity of Maryland's DNA Collection Act after state officials used a DNA sample taken after a 2009 arrest on assault charges to implicate him in a 2003 rape. In an opinion by Justice Anthony Kennedy, the majority found that the warrantless DNA collection does not violate Fourth Amendment rights. Kennedy wrote:

Flawed medical marijuana bill passes Maryland legislature

Posted on April 8th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

medical marijuana The Maryland Senate voted 42-4 on April 8 to pass a new medical marijuana bill—but patient advocates say that HB1101 is more symbolic than practical. HB1101, already passed by the House of Delegates, would extend the current affirmative defense for patients who are arrested and prosecuted under state law, but would provide no way for patients to obtain their medication. Agreeing with the sentiment of advocates, the nonpartisan Maryland Department of Legislative Services issued a fiscal note last month that questioned the bill's effectiveness, casting doubt on whether it will ever meet legislators' expectations.

Maryland House approves medical marijuana bill

Posted on March 26th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

medical marijuanaThe Maryland House of Delegates on March 25 approved a bill to legalize medical marijuana by a vote of 108-28. The bill would also create a state commission to manage medical marijuana programs at participating academic medical research centers. While the number of distribution centers to be created is uncertain, neither the University of Maryland nor Johns Hopkins University have demonstrated interest in being involved in the distribution system.

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