Boxer: Legalizing pot could increase crime, car accidents

Who elected this idiot anyway? And will they learn the error of their ways and vote against her in the next election?

From Raw Story:

California Sen. Barbara Boxer has a message for marijuana law reform activists: Just say no.

The liberal senator’s position might come as a surprise, but it’s no surprise to those who follow California politics: Boxer is facing perhaps the toughest reelection race of her career in 2010. She’s neck-and-neck with former GOP Rep. Tom Campbell and slightly ahead of former Hewlett Packard chief Carly Fiorina.

In a statement issued late Friday to liberal blog Talking Points Memo, Boxer’s campaign manager Rose Kapolczynski said the senator opposes a California ballot measure that seeks to legalize and tax marijuana.

“Senator Boxer does not support this initiative because she shares the concerns of police chiefs, sheriffs and other law enforcement officials that this measure could lead to an increase in crime, vehicle accidents and higher costs for local law enforcement agencies,” Kapolczynski said. “She supports current law in California, which allows for the use of medicinal marijuana with a doctor’s prescription.”

Boxer’s six-year Senate term comes to a close this year. She’ll stand for election Nov. 2 against a yet-to-be-determined Republican challenger.

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The marijuana legalization measure will be on the Nov. 2 ballot as well.

If California voters approve, it will be the most comprehensive reform of marijuana laws ever undertaken in the United States. While some states, such as Oregon, have relatively lax penalties for possession, no state has attempted to regulate and tax the herb before.

The measure’s chances are good: A poll taken last April found that 56 percent of Californians want to see the herb legalized and taxed.

According to the L.A. Times, the measure would make it legal for anyone over 21 to own an ounce or less of pot, and to grow pot for personal use in a space no larger than 25 square feet. It would also give cities the right to license marijuana growers and sellers, and to collect taxes on the crop.

Tool Maker Loses Lawsuit For Not Violating Another Company’s Patents

From TechDirt:

Patent system supporters regularly point (slightly misleadingly) to the claim that the patent system gives patent holders the right to exclude others from using their inventions. And, thus, most lawsuits we see around patents revolve around cases involving a company manufacturing a product that includes a patented invention. But what about a lawsuit for a company that deliberately chose not to license or use a patented technology, because it was too expensive?

Welcome to today’s world.

A few years back, there was a lot of attention paid to videos from a company called SawStop that made a pretty cool product that protected your fingers from a table saw. You may have seen the videos:


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McLoud residents “hook up or pay up”

This is amazing. Pay for something you don’t use, or be fined? WTF!

From kfor.com:

MCLOUD, OK — Several residents in McLoud are upset after the city announced a $17 water bill for residents who use a well. According to City Manager Larry Dillon, the small fee will help pay for emergency services such as police officers and fire fighters. Because of an old city ordinance, rural residents with in 100-yards of a water line didn’t have to pay for those services; but because of a struggling economy, every dollar counts.

If local residents don’t want to pay the fee they’ll have to connect to the water line.

“I know nobody likes to pay extra bills, but it’s a reality of life and you have to pay your way because there is no free ride anywhere,” said Dillon.

If local residents don’t pay the $17 monthly charge or hook up to the water line, city officials will fine them of $20 per day.

Border patrol arrests man for crossing street

From Raw Story:

The town of Derby Line, Vermont, may be one of the most unusual places in North America. Running right through it is the Canadian border, on the other side of which is the village of Rock Island, Quebec.

To the average visitor, the two towns appear to be one. In fact, the towns are so integrated that the border runs right through a public library — a convenient venue for extradition hearings.

For years Canadian visitors to Derby Line often didn’t notice the little US Customs booth on the side of the town’s main street — and ended up getting a dressing-down from a border guard when they inadvertently entered the United States.

But for the residents of Derby Line, crossing back and forth between the US and Canada unfettered had been no big deal for years.

But last year, gates went up at the major crossings in the town, “as part of added security measures,” reports WCAX. And now, at least one resident of Derby Line has been arrested for doing what he had been doing for years — crossing into Canada for a bite to eat.

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Four Bronx buddies facing year in jail after ‘hitting’ off-duty transit cop – with a snowball!

From NYDailyNews.com (with video):

Four Bronx buddies are facing a year in jail for criminal possession of a weapon – a snowball that hit an off-duty transit cop.

The young men say they were horsing around in the late February storm when an errant snowball smacked Officer Adonis Ramirez in the leg.

Next thing they knew, he was waving a gun at them and calling for backup. Now they’re facing a slew of charges and readying a $10 million suit against the city.

“When I was in Central Booking, people asked me what I was locked up for, and I said a snowball,” said Johnathan Rodriguez, 22. “Everyone started laughing.”

The NYPD doesn’t think it’s a joke.

A police source said the cop, who was in street clothes, was barraged with snowballs and taunts and chased down the street “in a threatening manner.”

The Bronx district attorney has no plans to drop charges against the four friends, three of whom have prior arrests for minor incidents.

“You would think that the NYPD would focus on real crimes and not on young men playing in the snow during a nor’easter,” said lawyer Neil Wollerstein.

He’s planning to hit the city with a $10 million false arrest and malicious prosecution suit on behalf of the four and a 15-year-old pal who was arrested but had the charges dropped in Family Court.

“The DA’s office is prosecuting nonsense here.”

The group says Ramirez was the one who behaved badly – failing to identify himself as a cop when he pulled out a gun and ordered them to the ground.

“He screamed, ‘You don’t know who I am,'” said Manuel Rondon, 18, a student at Monroe College.

“He pulled out the gun and aimed it at me when he was 3 feet away. I thought he was going to kill me.”

“I thought he was some drug dealer who was going to shoot me in the head and walk away,” said Christian Perez, 19. “We only hit him once, and it was by mistake.”

Ariel Lopez, a 17-year-old senior at Jane Addams High School, said he and the others “were all really scared.”

Police sources said Ramirez, on the force since July 2003, was leaving a friend’s apartment when he encountered the group.

“After passing them, he’s hit in the back with several snowballs,” a police source said.

“He continues walking toward his car despite them yelling that he’s a bitch.”

After the cop heard the group run toward him, he identified himself as a cop and called 911, summoning officers who arrested the snowball-throwers, the source said.

The criminal complaint says Ramirez told cops someone in the group said, “Let’s jump him” in Spanish – though the defendants point out only one of them speaks the language.

Rodriguez, Rondon, Perez and Lopez were taken to the 44th Precinct stationhouse and charged with weapons possession, attempted assault, menacing and harassment.

Lopez and Rodriguez each have a prior arrest, but the charges were dismissed after they stayed out of trouble for a year. Rondon has a criminal trespassing case that was slated to be dismissed in May.

Rodriguez filed a civilian complaint against Ramirez, and he and his friends think the NYPD should discipline the jumpy cop.

“He shouldn’t be able to carry a gun again,” said Perez. “I don’t think he should be able work on the streets.”

Troopers raid popular bars for unlicensed beers

From philly.com:

IT WAS ELIOT NESS and the Untouchables, as played by the Keystone Kops.

More than a dozen armed State Police officers conducted simultaneous raids last week on three popular Philadelphia bars known for their wide beer selections. The cops confiscated hundreds of bottles of expensive ales and lagers, now in State Police custody at an undisclosed location.

The alleged offense: Although the bar owners had bought the beer legally from licensed Pennsylvania distributors and had paid all the necessary taxes, the police claimed that nobody had registered the precise names of the beers with the state Liquor Control Board – a process that requires the brewers or their importers to pay a $75 registration fee for each product they want to sell in Pennsylvania.

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Extra small condoms for 12 year-old boys go on sale in Switzerland

I’m not sure what to say about this one…

From TheTelegraph (U.K.):

Called the Hotshot, the condom has been produced after government research showed 12 to14-year-olds did not use sufficient protection when having sex.

The study, conducted on behalf of the Federal Commission for Children and Youth, interviewed 1,480 people aged 10 to 20.

It showed more 12 to 14-year-olds were having sex, in comparison with the 1990s.

The Hotshot condoms, which cost 7fr60 (£4.70) for a packet of six, have been created by Lamprecht AG, a leading condom manufacturer in Switzerland.

The company has said the UK would be “top priority” if they expanded abroad, considering that it has the highest teenage pregnancy rate in Europe.

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