DoJ shuts down asset forfeiture program after Congress slashes its budget

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In America, your belongings can be confiscated by the police without warrant or evidence as proceeds of a crime, and then the government sues your possessions (not you), in lawsuits like "Township of East Bumblefuck vs $50,000 in $100 bills." Read the rest

DEA ignored prosecutor's warning about illegal wiretap warrants, now it's losing big

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For years, the DEA relied on a Riverside, California magistrate judge, Helios Hernandez, to write illegal wiretap warrants, making Hernandez the national champion of wiretapping warrants, signing off on five times more than any other judge in America. Read the rest

EFF and Human Rights Watch force DEA to destroy its mass surveillance database

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The EFF has just settled a case against the Drug Enforcement Agency on behalf of its client, Human Rights Watch, which sued the Agency over its decades-long program of illegal mass surveillance. Read the rest

San Francisco Airport security screeners charged with complicity in drug-smuggling

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Three screeners working for Covenant Aviation Security -- the TSA contractor that provides government-funded genital massages at SFO -- have been arrested for alleged participation in a scheme to smuggle "real and simulated cocaine" onto planes. Read the rest

Not (just) the War on Drugs: the difficult, complicated truth about American prisons

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U Penn political scientist Marie Gottschalk has a new book out, Caught: The Prison State and the Lockdown of American Politics, in which she expands on her prodigious work on the root causes of America's astounding rate of incarceration. Read the rest

LA considers EDM festival ban

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Perhaps the first effective strategy in America's decades long war on drugs, after 2 recent teen deaths, Los Angeles County is considering banning all EDM festivals.

Via MyNewsLA:

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to explore banning raves on county property while examining security and safety measures at the music/dance festivals following the weekend deaths of two women at the HARD Summer music festival at the Pomona fairgrounds, apparently from drug overdoses.
Read the rest

200 kilos of cocaine found inside hollowed-out pineapples

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Police in Spain found 200 pounds of cocaine stashed in hollow pineapples that arrived on a ship from Central America. From a statement released by the interior ministry of Spain:

"Among the thousands of fresh pineapples inside the containers, they found fruit that had been hollowed out and stuffed with drugs and then covered with a yellow wax that simulated the color of pineapple pulp."

Read the rest

Apex: final Nexus book merges the drug war with transhumanism

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Ramez Naam's Nexus trilogy has concluded with a huge, thrilling, globe-spanning book called Apex that nailed it.

Crowdfunding medical MDMA and magic mushrooms

An activist couple (she's a neurscientist, he's a psychologist who successfully treated his depression with psychedelics) (they fight crime!) are raising $1M on Indiegogo to fund production of medical-grade MDMA and psilocybin. Read the rest

Court says DEA is allowed to secretly fill your truck with weed, get into firefights with Zetas

Craig Patty asked his employee Lawrence Chapa to help take one of his two trucks to the garage, not realizing that Chapa was a DEA undercover planning to fill the truck with weed, which ended in a firefight with a Los Zetas hit squad that killed the driver, who was a DEA informant. Read the rest

Kansas kid corrects anti-drug teacher, cops raid his house

The 11-year-old son of medical marijuana advocate Shona Banda spoke out in his Kansas classroom to correct his teacher's misinformation about pot; then the state of Kansas raided his house and took him away from his mother. Read the rest

The Tory war on science in Canada: a chronology

Nine years of cuts; muzzlings; bad science, retaliatory firings, burned libraries, layoffs, closed investigations, censorship, withdrawal from international accords; Read the rest

John Oliver on Civil Forfeiture

As always, John Oliver's take on something newsworthy, corrupt, and jaw-droppingly absurd manages to nail it straight through the beating heart. Read the rest

The clown-prince of DHS checkpoint refusal videos

We've covered Checkpoint Refusal videos before (1, 2, 3) -- these are videos recorded by people who object to the DHS's internal checkpoints, where you are asked (but can refuse) to state your citizenship and allow your car to be searched -- but I missed the most prolific, funniest, and weirdest checkpointer of them all: Robert Trudell. Read the rest

DOJ helps local cops get around state limits on civil forfeiture

Many states have passed laws limiting how much of your stuff the police can steal when they accuse you of a crime, but the Department of Justice has the solution for local cops: they will "adopt" a local seizure, making it federal and exempting it from state-level corruption controls. Read the rest

Protesters burn capital building in Mexican state seat

Students and faculty from a teachers' college in Guerrero state set fire to a government building in Chilpancingo in fury at the disappearance of 43 student teachers believed to have been kidnapped by corrupt police officers working with a drug cartel. Read the rest

Surveillance state: the NSA doesn't stand alone

The NSA is supposed to be America's offshore spy agency, forbidden from spying on Americans. But as an important article by the Electronic Frontier Foundation's Nadia Kayyali points out, the FBI, DEA and other US agencies have closely integrated the NSA into their own efforts, using the NSA's mass surveillance to gather intelligence on Americans -- as Glenn Greenwald's No Place to Hide discloses, the NSA isn't a stand-alone agency, it is part of an overarching surveillance state. Read the rest

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