Author Archive | Jacob Sullum

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Marijuana Is Bad, DHS Chief Says, Although It’s ‘Not a Factor in the Drug War’

In a Meet the Press interview on Sunday, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said “marijuana is not a factor in the drug war,” which is instead focused on methamphetamine, heroin, and cocaine. Apparently that dismissive comment got Kelly into trouble, because two days later, in a speech at George Washington University, he gave marijuana top […]

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Federal Judge Says Molestation Law Criminalizing Diaper Changes Violates Due Process

In every state but one, sexual intent is an essential element of child molestation. Arizona is unique in criminalizing a wide range of innocent conduct that involves directly or indirectly touching children’s private parts, including bathing, diapering, or circumcising them. Instead of requiring prosecutors to prove sexual intent, Arizona’s law puts the burden on defendants […]

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California’s Governor Rejects Anti-Competitive Marijuana Rules

Wikimedia CommonsOn Tuesday night California Gov. Jerry Brown unveiled proposed legislation aimed at reconciling Proposition 64, the 2016 ballot initiative that legalized cannabis for recreational use in that state, with the medical marijuana regulations that state legislators approved in 2015. The bill generally favors the more liberal rules of Proposition 64, a.k.a. the Adult Use […]

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Trump Adviser Urges Him to Keep Sessions From Harassing State-Legal Pot Suppliers

Roger Stone, the longtime Republican operative and adviser to Donald Trump, is publicly urging the president to reject Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ “outmoded thinking on marijuana” and keep him from harassing state-licensed cannabusinesses. In a recent blog post, Stone, a self-described libertarian, reminds Trump that as a presidential candidate he repeatedly said marijuana legalization should […]

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Dressing Like the Joker Is a Felony in Virginia

Winchester Police DepartmentLast Friday police in Winchester, Virginia, arrested a guy for walking around dressed as The Joker. Yes, the Batman villain. And yes, that is illegal in Virginia. Jeremy Putman, 31, was charged with violating Virginia’s anti-mask law, which makes it a Class 6 felony, punishable by one to five years in prison, for […]

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KittenFeed Hoax Shows the Perils of Expecting Trump to Act Like Trump

Yesterday I decided not to write a post about a San Francisco teenager who supposedly received cease-and-desist letters from the Trump Organization in response to her website mocking the president. Although the widely repeated story was sadly plausible in light of Donald Trump’s legendary touchiness and litigiousness, the teenager, identified only as “Lucy,” was interviewed […]

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Senators Urge Sessions to Keep Trump’s Promise of Marijuana Federalism

Yesterday 11 senators sent Attorney General Jeff Sessions a letter expressing concern about recent statements suggesting he plans to enforce the federal ban on marijuana against state-licensed businesses that serve recreational cannabis consumers. The senators, all of whom represent states that have legalized marijuana for medical or recreational use, urged Sessions to stick with the […]

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The Federal Ban on Sports Betting Is Unfair, Unnecessary, and Unconstitutional

Pinnacle SportsThis month Americans are expected to bet something like $9 billion on the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, almost all of it through illegal channels. That’s because federal law prohibits wagering on sporting events everywhere except Nevada, which was grandfathered by the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992. (PASPA also allows pre-existing sports […]

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