asset forfeiture

The Supreme Court Just Struck a Huge, Unanimous Blow Against Policing for Profit

Mark Joseph Stern, writing for Slate:

The Supreme Court struck an extraordinary blow for criminal justice reform on Wednesday, placing real limitations on policing for profit across the country. Its unanimous decision for the first time prohibits all 50 states from imposing excessive fines, including the seizure of property, on people accused or convicted of a crime. Rarely does the court hand down a ruling of such constitutional magnitude—and seldom do all nine justices agree to restrict the power that police and prosecutors exert over individuals. The landmark decision represents a broad agreement on the Supreme Court that law enforcement’s legalized theft has gone too far.

It’s rare to see a unanimous decision come out of the Supreme Court. This is excellent news for civil asset forfeiture reform. And it’s been a long time coming. But don’t make the mistake of thinking that the law is crystal clear now—some things remain undefined:

But Wednesday’s decision leaves some questions unanswered. The court has already ruled that when the federal government seizes money or property, the fine must not be “grossly disproportional to the gravity of [the] offense.” Presumably, this same standard now applies to the states. But when is a forfeiture grossly disproportionate? Does Indiana’s seizure of Timbs’ Land Rover meet this standard? Ginsburg didn’t say, instead directing the Indiana Supreme Court to evaluate the question. Prepare for a flood of litigation urging federal courts to determine when civil asset forfeiture crosses this constitutional line.


This Week in Psychedelics - 3.31.17

Image by  Dahtamnay , courtesy of  Creative Commons  licensing.

Image by Dahtamnay, courtesy of Creative Commons licensing.

Cannabis

  • Canada Is Going to Legalize Marijuana in 2018 (TIME)
  • Marijuana Treated Like Alcohol? Legislation Filed In Senate and House (NORML)
  • Johns Hopkins University Dropped Out of a Clinical Trial for Smoked Cannabis, and Veterans With PTSD Want to Know Why (Reason)
  • Are You Overdosing on Cannabis? Preventing Negative Side Effects From Marijuana (Psychedelic Times)
  • List of Major Cannabinoids in Cannabis and Their Effects (Leafly)
  • Research Suggests Legal Cannabis Is Failing To Corrupt Youth (Forbes)
  • First Amendment Victory Over Ban on Political Contributions from Medical Marijuana Businesses in Illinois (Reason)
  • Colorado Has a Plan to Avoid a Marijuana Crackdown by President Trump (TIME)
  • John Kasich Says Medical Marijuana Has No Place in Stopping Ohio's Opioid Crisis (TIME)
  • Georgia lawmakers expand medical cannabis conditions, but still haven't legalized cultivation (The Cannabist)
  • Illinois Considers Cannabis Legalization, Seeking Financial Boost (Leafly)
  • Wisconsin City Removes Fines for Marijuana Possession and Consumption (NORML)
  • Cannabis infused candy floss edibles now exist and they need to come to the UK (Metro)
  • Chatting With Chef Dave Hadley: Chopped Winner and Cannabis Connoisseur (Leafly)
  • Cannabis growing expo attracts international audience (Northern Nevada Business Weekly)
  • Queensland Takes Lead as Australian Cannabis Stocks Soar (Leafly)
  • Kansas City Voters to Weigh in on Decriminalization Measure – Yes on 5 (NORML)
  • This Patient Was Denied a Kidney Transplant Over Medical Marijuana (ATTN:)
  • Could cannabis crowns become Coachella's hot new floral headpiece? (Los Angeles Times)
  • 'I gave my dying son cannabis to ease his cancer symptoms and he made a miracle recovery' reveals mum (Mirror)
  • The DEA's Approval of This Drug Highlights Its Own Hypocrisy (ATTN:)
  • How to Make DIY Cannabis-Infused Lube (Leafly)
  • Trafficked and enslaved: the teenagers tending UK cannabis farms (The Guardian)

LSD

  • Taking LSD 'could actually heal your brain' rather than just treating mental illness (Metro)
  • The extraordinary story of the Welsh LSD ring that supplied 60% of global supply and was worth equivalent of half a billion pounds (Mirror)

Psilocybin/Magic Mushrooms

  • I Saw The Light: Reducing anxiety, stress, depression, more with shrooms (City Paper)

MDMA/Ecstasy

  • For women, ecstasy could more easily become a nightmare (The Rival)
  • MDMA spike in Tasmanian regional area could be linked to music festival, ACIC says (ABC Online)
  • Darwin has highest levels of MDMA consumption according to analysis of waste water by Australian Crime Commission (The Mercury)
  • Which capital city in Australia has the dodgiest MDMA? (Happy)

Ayahuasca/DMT

Iboga/Ibogaine

  • Can ibogaine treatment facilitate long-term recovery from addiction? (iBogaine-Thailand)

Morning Glory Seeds

  • Why Chewing Morning Glory Seeds Gets You High (Inverse)

Dissociatives

  • How Ketamine's Neurological Functions Make It a Promising Psychedelic for Psychotherapy (Psychedelic Times)
  • Ketamine: A Club Drug That May Be the Future of Antidepressants (Big Think)
  • Is ketamine use for depression safe? (ABC Online)
  • Police: Man high on PCP strips naked, trashes Turkey Hill (WFMZ)
  • Frederick man ran from officers, tossed jar of PCP, police say (The Frederick News-Post)

Opiates/Opioids

  • The Fanged Fish That Drugs Its Enemies With Opioids (Wired)
  • Seattle to let heroin addicts shoot up in first-ever government 'supervised injection facility' (The Blaze)
  • Donald Trump's Opioid Commission Is Stacked With Prosecutors and 12-Steppers (Reason)
  • Australia was waging a war on opium smuggling in early 1900s (Daily Telegraph)
  • Who's Next? Perspectives on Fentanyl Poisoning and the Opioid Crisis (Reality Sandwich)
  • Naloxone nasal spray possibly saves lives, but is hard to find (The Telegraph)
  • Proposal Would Bill Naloxone Recipients for Drug Costs (Maine Public)
  • Heroin Use Is Spiking Among White Americans (TIME)
  • Fentanyl, the Opioid Crisis and Naloxone (Psychedelic Press UK)
  • Educating Public on Naloxone Options Key to Dealing with Opioid Epidemic (Pharmacy Times)
  • Parrots on high branches gorge on poppies feeding opium addiction (Daily Mail)

Absinthe

  • I got drunk off of absinthe and didn't hallucinate. What gives? (ScienceLine)

Kratom

Kava

Khat

  • Miraa chewing causes serious mental problems, study reveals (The Standard)

Miscellaneous Psychedelics/Psychoactives/Drug Policy

  • DEA Seized $4 Billion From People Since 2007. Most Were Never Charged with a Crime (Reason)
  • The Future of Permanent Psychedelic Sanctuaries Beyond Festivals (Psychedelic Times)
  • Bill Clinton Said He 'Didn't Inhale' 25 Years Ago—But the History of U.S. Presidents and Drugs Is Much Older (TIME)
  • Detroit Police Department Blames Drug War for Shooting So Many Dogs (Reason)
  • Efforts launched to legalize marijuana, heroin, cocaine, LSD and other drugs in Arizona (FOX 10)
  • LAUGHING AND LEARNING ABOUT PSYCHEDELICS (Dope Magazine)
  • Detroit Argues Dogs Killed in Drug Raid Were 'Contraband' Because They Were Unlicensed (Reason)
  • Sad Legislation or SADDEST Legislation?: The Protecting Kids from Candy-Flavored Drugs Act of 2017 (Reason)

Disclaimer: "This Week in Psychedelics" does not censor or analyze the news links presented here. The purpose of this column is solely to catalogue how psychedelics are presented by the mass media, which includes everything from the latest scientific research to misinformation.

This Week in Psychedelics - 11.4.16

Image by  Dahtamnay , courtesy of  Creative Commons  licensing.

Image by Dahtamnay, courtesy of Creative Commons licensing.

Cannabis

  • Study: Recreational Marijuana in Canada Could Generate More Money Than Booze (TIME)
  • What We Know About the Other Components of Cannabis (ATTN:)
  • Fake Memes About Hillary Clinton's Marijuana Policy Are Spreading (ATTN:)
  • Watch Pusha T's PSA Supporting Cali Marijuana Bill (Rolling Stone)
  • Medicinal cannabis crops now legal in Australia (The Guardian)
  • Why Big Pharma is Spending so Much Money to Defeat Marijuana Initiatives (Reason)
  • Study: Marijuana Retailers Not Selling To Youth (NORML)
  • Lower Taxes Will Help Bring Legal Weed out of the Black Market (Reason)
  • Studies: Changes In Marijuana's Legal Status Not Associated With Increased Use By Young People (NORML)
  • New Study Shows Cannabis May Improve Night Vision (Merry Jane)
  • Colorado Politicians Lend Lies to Pot Prohibitionists in Arizona and California (Reason)
  • Here's Why Fears About Weed in Halloween Candy Are Overblown (ATTN:)
  • Cannabis Tampons: 4 Facts To Know, Including Pain And Anxiety Relief (Medical Daily)
  • California's Marijuana Initiative Is Needlessly Punitive and Restrictive (Reason)
  • 5 Cannabis Stocks to Invest in Before Election Day (Leafly)
  • Willie Nelson: The Outlaw Country legend reflects on his personal cannabis history (The Denver Post)
  • Illinois Sheriff Passes Off Japanese Candy As Marijuana-Infused Halloween Treat (Reason)
  • Will Seattle cannabis tourism take a hit if other states legalize weed? (MyNorthwest.com)
  • Why You Shouldn't Buy Cannabis on the Streets of Prague (Leafly)
  • Healing with Massage and Cannabis (The Stranger)
  • Texas cannabis oil businesses face staggering fee increase for licensing (The Denver Post)
  • Costs of Growing Cannabis at Home vs. Buying Bud at a Dispensary (Leafly)
  • MS sufferer avoids jail after she tells judge she thought cannabis was OK because Prince Charles talked of its benefits on TV (The Telegraph)
  • Eagles' Josh Huff Latest NFL Player with Marijuana Problem (Reason)
  • North Coast cannabis industry runs on cash (The North Bay Business Journal)
  • San Diego Police Seize Family's Bank Accounts Because the Dad Ran a Medical Marijuana Business (Reason)
  • Cannabis addiction support centre to close doors after government cuts funding (ABC Online)
  • Marijuana's Catch-22: Is There No Way for Cannabis to Succeed? (Fox Business)

LSD

  • Transhumanist Proves Schrödinger's Cat Experiment Isn't Better on LSD (Inverse)
  • Tom Wolfe interview: 'I never took LSD – it was far too dangerous' (The Telegraph)
  • Unforgettable photos of psychedelia and debauchery from the golden age of LSD (CNN)
  • Music Composed & Played by LSD-Influenced Musicians (Los Angeles Free Press)
  • Filmmaker Roger Corman talks about his lovely LSD trip (KPCC)

Psilocybin/Magic Mushrooms

MDMA/Ecstasy

  • Staying Hydrated on Molly: The Tricky Relationship Between MDMA and Water Intoxication (Psychedelic Times)
  • Why Couples Are Taking Illegal Drug MDMA To Save Their Marriages (Your Tango)

Ayahuasca/DMT

  • The Nuclear Option: A Personal Story of Treating Social Anxiety with 5-MeO-DMT Psychedelic Therapy (Psychedelic Times)
  • Brazil's Psychedelic Rehab Center Treats Drug Addicts With Ayahuasca (Motherboard)
  • Was Moses tripping when he saw the burning bush? Should you try? (The Times of Israel)
  • Millennials boost Columbia tourism in search for hallucinogenic plant (Metro)

Peyote/San Pedro/Mescaline

  • 'Doctor Strange' includes an Easter egg about tripping on mescaline (The Daily Dot)

Iboga/Ibogaine

  • An Anti-Addiction Drug Called Ibogaine Could Be a Wonder Cure—Or an Addict Killer (Scientific American)

Dissociatives

Opiates/Opioids

  • What Donald Trump Gets Wrong About the Opioid Epidemic (ATTN:)
  • Opioid Poisoning In Toddlers Increases 205% (TIME)
  • Heroin Isn't The Scariest Part Of The Drug Crisis (Forbes)
  • What It's Like Saving Lives on the Front Lines of Vancouver's Opioid Crisis (VICE)

Kratom

Kava

Khat

Miscellaneous Psychedelics/Psychoactives/Drug Policy

  • Undercover With a Border Militia (Mother Jones)
  • Obama Commutes Sentences of 98 Drug Offenders, Including 42 Lifers (Reason)
  • The "Do-nothing Congress" moved the needle on drug reform (The Hill)
  • The Existential Medicine (Baltimore Magazine)
  • A Filipino Mayor Is Among 10 Dead in the Latest Wave of Drug-Related Killings (TIME)
  • The 'dark web' isn't all guns and drugs (Engadget)
  • Countess Amanda Feilding Has Spent 50 Years as a Pioneer of Psychedelics Research and Altering Her Own Mental State (AlterNet)

Disclaimer: "This Week in Psychedelics" does not censor or analyze the news links presented here. The purpose of this column is solely to catalogue how psychedelics (and other psychoactives) are presented by the mass media, which includes everything from the latest scientific research to misinformation.

Weekend Thoughts - 4.9.16

Image  by  Paralog , courtesy of  Creative Commons  licensing.

Image by Paralog, courtesy of Creative Commons licensing.

Happy Saturday y'all! Below, I have rounded up some things for you to think about this weekend:

1. If you're feeling a bit off today, check out this compilation of meditation and yoga-related apps in an article titled "Meditation Apps That'll Keep You From Losing Your Mind". Some of the apps featured include Headspace (one of my favorite meditation apps), Whil, Stop, Breathe & Think, and Mindbody.

2. It seems that the more educated people are about civil asset forfeiture, the less likely they are to support it. In fact, nearly 1 in 10 people polled in Utah and Florida knew someone personally who had property or cash stolen legally by police without being charged with any crime. For those of you interested in learning more about asset forfeiture, check out this resource. And bear this in mind next time you see a cop—in almost all cases, they have the ability to rob, shoot, or kill you with only the slimmest chance of facing any legal repercussions for their actions.

That's all for this week's edition of Weekend Thoughts. Until next week, keep thinking wilder.

This Week in Psychedelics - 12.18.15

Image by  Dahtamnay , courtesy of  Creative Commons  licensing.

Image by Dahtamnay, courtesy of Creative Commons licensing.

Cannabis

  • Year in Review: 2015's Biggest Moments in Cannabis (Leafly)
  • Will Marijuana Prohibition Be Over In 5 Years? (Reset.me)
  • Bureaucratic Hurdles & Spotty Access To Medicinal Cannabis Gives Rise To 'Cannabis Refugees' (MintPress News)
  • Kentucky Lawmaker Submits Bill to Legalize Statewide Cannabis Industry (High Times)
  • Feds Tell Supreme Court to Stay Out of State Marijuana Dispute (TIME)
  • Jeb Bush Just Made a Series of False Comments on Marijuana (ATTN:)
  • Study Explores Health Effects of High-THC Cannabis (Leafly)
  • Meet the Weed Genius Designing the World's First Cannabis Ranch (Inverse)
  • This Secret Document Reveals One Big Bank's Crazy Marijuana Plans (ATTN:)
  • 6 Things YOU Can Do for Cannabis Prisoners (High Times)
  • Congress Unveils 2016 Omnibus Spending Bill, Reauthorizes Marijuana Protections (NORML)
  • 'Completely sober' drivers who smoked cannabis in last week could be prosecuted under new laws (Breaking News)
  • Report: Criminal Justice Referrals Still Driving Marijuana 'Treatment' Admissions (NORML)
  • Donald Trump and Harry J. Anslinger: Two Peas in a Pod (NORML)
  • Intentional Cannabis Business Conference: What if California's Marijuana Regulations Suck? (Marijuana Politics)
  • Research Says Cannabis Affects Intestinal Flora And May Prevent Obesity (High Times)
  • Mum treats boy, 6, with cannabis oil for ADHD despite authorities threatening to take him away (The Daily Telegraph)
  • How Pairing Yoga, Cannabis, and Music Creates Positive Vibrations (Leafly)
  • Time to change cannabis laws (The Valdosta Daily Times)
  • Marijuana Users Just Scored A Victory in Washington (ATTN:)
  • High School Seniors Now Prefer Marijuana to Cigarettes (TIME)
  • Here's Why You Get the Munchies (ATTN:)
  • 10 Cannabis Strains That Ease Insomnia (Reset.me)
  • Cannabis research task force begins work (Portland Tribune)
  • How Do Vaporizers Preserve Cannabis "Fidelity"? (Leafly)
  • Delaware Decriminalization Law Takes Effect (NORML)
  • Solicitor General Says SCOTUS Shouldn't Hear Challenge to Marijuana Legalization (Reason)
  • Cannabis dispensary initiative likely, petition has enough signatures (Appeal-Democrat)
  • Renewed Riders Bar Medical Marijuana Meddling, Block Full Legalization in D.C. (Reason)
  • The Beginner's Guide to Buying Dabs and Cannabis Extracts (Leafly)
  • New Religion Claims 'Marijuana Cures Racism' (NewsBlaze)
  • Marijuana Ads Are 'Nonmailable', but That Doesn't Mean You Can't Mail Them (Reason)
  • NORML's Weekly Legislative Round Up (NORML)
  • Justice Department urges Supreme Court to throw out Nebraska/Oklahoma lawsuit (Drug WarRant)
  • KY Senator files "Cannabis Freedom Act" Rolling Medicinal And Recreational Use Together In One Hit (The State Journal)
  • High-Potency Cannabis Linked to Brain Damage, Experts Warn (Medscape)
  • KY senator pre-files Cannabis Freedom Act (WFIE)

LSD

  • LSD Can Alter Consciousness by Reorganizing Brain Networks (Counsel & Heal)
  • LSD and Spiritual Awakening (Reality Sandwich)
  • Founder Of Alcoholics Anonymous Said LSD Experience Could Help Addicts Stay Clean (AlterNet)
  • LSD is Way Healthier Than Medical Marijuana (Clapway)
  • Researchers use fMRI to map effects of LSD on brain activity (DOTmed.com)
  • LSD Effects Are Similar To The First Stage of Psychosis, Could Provide Model For Research (Medical Daily)
  • Boy Scout Leader Accused of Giving Teen Member LSD, Pot (ABC News)
  • Miley Cyrus Continues Odd Behavior, Swears She's Not On LSD (The Inquisitr)
  • Why LSD causes hallucinations, scientists may have an answer (International Business Times)
  • A Brain On LSD Looks Like A Psychotic Brain, Says New Study (Tech Times)
  • Police: Man sold LSD three times in Kane County (Chicago Daily Herald)

Psilocybin/Magic Mushrooms

  • Is Christmas All About a Magic Mushroom? (AlterNet)
  • 'Magic Mushrooms' May Permanently Alter Personality (Live Science)
  • Are Santa's Reindeer Tripping Shrooms? (High Times)
  • Cancer: Magic mushrooms fight off depression and anxiety — with a side of 'mystical experiences' (International Business Times)
  • The Gates of Hell: MKULTRA, Robert Graves, William Sargant, & Wasson's Magic Mushroom (Occult Yorkshire 10) (Auticulture)
  • Miley Cyrus Is A Half-Naked Psychedelic Mushroom In Paper Magazine Shoot (The Huffington Post)
  • Man arrested for possessing 70 magic mushrooms has happiest mugshot EVER (The Sun)
  • How magic mushrooms can HELP cancer patients: Active ingredient 'reduces anxiety and depression' (Daily Mail)

MDMA/Ecstasy

Ayahuasca/DMT

  • America Is Getting Its First Legal Ayahuasca Church (VICE's Munchies)
  • A British Tourist Has Been Killed at a Peruvian Ayahuasca Ceremony (TIME)
  • My Interview on Ayahuasca And The Importance of Psychedelics (The Daily Banter)
  • The Visionary Activist Show — Caroline hosts Dr. Rick Strassman (KPFA)
  • Canadian man kills Brit in psychedelic ceremony in Peru's Amazon (The Jerusalem Post)
  • America's First Legal Ayahuasca 'Church' Lets You Trip on Hallucinogenic Tea (Complex)

Synthetic Cannabinoids/Psychoactive Research Chemicals

  • PMA is toxic drug making its way onto Australia's drug scene (News.com.au)

Dissociatives

Opiates/Opioids

  • Washington Could 'Cut a Deal With Daesh in Afghanistan to Counter Russia' (Sputnik International)
  • Painkillers, heroin drive increase in US overdose deaths (Live 5 News)
  • A Mother Tries to Restart, but Heroin's Sway Will Not Relent (The New York Times)
  • Afghan opium cultivation drops for first time in six years (The Express Tribune)
  • Narcan use expanding as overdoses soar (The Bristol Press)
  • Thailand Opium Eradication Effort Still a Model for Other Nations (Voice of America)
  • Myanmar's high opium output a huge test for Suu Kyi government: UN (Reuters)
  • 'Heroin' documentary hard to watch, but necessary (Sentinel & Enterprise)
  • That time Ted Cruz quoted an opium dealer at a Republican presidential debate (The Washington Post)
  • Myanmar Opium Farmers' Forum report published today (Transnational Institute)
  • Naloxone: Heroin overdose cure to be available over the counter as drug makes a comeback (ABC)
  • Myanmar Opium Farmers' Forum report published (Mizzima News)

Absinthe

Kava

Khat

  • Kenya: Varsity Researchers Involved in Miraa Study Insist Crop Is Harmful to Users (All Africa)
  • Royal Oman Police arrests three for smuggling Khat into Dhofar (Times of Oman)
  • Video: Eastern Oromia Rocked by Oromo Protests as Awaday Fights Back (Gadaa)

Miscellaneous Psychedelics/Psychoactives/Drug Policy

  • The People Are Rising Up Against the Destructive Drug War: 8 Key Developments (AlterNet)
  • Top White House Drug Official: War on Drugs is a Failure (ATTN:)
  • Drug Czar Wants More Money to Spend on Taking Your Stuff (Reason)
  • Jury Acquits the Only Cop Who Faced Charges After a Drug Raid Maimed a Toddler (Reason)
  • Demand rises for drug information at dance music events (The Age)
  • Still in a Crib, Yet Being Given Antipsychotics (The New York Times)
  • DEA ignored prosecutor's warning about illegal wiretap warrants, now it's losing big (Boing Boing)
  • The psychedelic underground temples of Damanhur (Boing Boing)
  • Miley Cyrus Says She's Never Tripped On Psychedelics, Eyes Roll (Refinery29)
  • Finding Guidance on the Hero's Journey: A Story of My Apprenticeship With "The Cacao Shaman" (High Existence)
  • Robert Moog: The True Genius Behind Psychedelic Music (Energy and Capital)
  • Psychedelic Press Journal Volume VI is out now! (Psychedelic Press UK)
  • "Alcohol and the Human Body," a cautionary film from 1949 (Boing Boing)
  • After illegal wiretap, suspects go free and want a refund (USA Today)
  • EFF and Human Rights Watch force DEA to destroy its mass surveillance database (Boing Boing)
  • A Victory for Privacy and Transparency: HRW v. DEA (Electronic Frontier Foundation)
  • EFF confirms that the DEA has deleted its phone call database (Engadget)
  • Drug War Draftees (Reason)
  • These Psychedelic Rainbow Bagels Are Blowing Up on Instagram (Yahoo! Food)
  • Justice officials fear nation's biggest wiretap operation may not be legal (USA Today)
  • Psychedelics can't be tested using conventional clinical trials (Aeon)
  • Dead Informants Highlight the Drug War's Cruel Chain of Betrayal (Reason)
  • Janis Joplin's psychedelic Porsche sells for $1.76 million at auction (WCMH)
  • New Study: How to Get High Without LSD or Magic Mushrooms (Clapway)

Disclaimer: "This Week in Psychedelics" does not censor or analyze the news links presented here. The purpose of this column is solely to catalogue how psychedelics (and other psychoactives) are presented by the mass media, which includes everything from the latest scientific research to misinformation.