Jacob Sullum
Jacob Sullum
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A Phony Warrant, a Deadly Drug Raid, and a Barrel of Bad Apples in Houston

A Phony Warrant, a Deadly Drug Raid, and a Barrel of Bad Apples in Houston

On January 28, 2019, plainclothes narcotics officers broke into a house on Harding Street in Houston and killed all three occupants: Dennis Tuttle, a retired 59-year-old machinist; his 58-year-old wife, Rhogena Nicholas; and their dog. The couple's families marked the two-year anniversary of that deadly home invasion by filing federal civil rights lawsuits against the city, its police chief, and 13 officers implicated in the operation.The raid, which was triggered by a phony tip, was based on a no-knock search warrant that Officer Gerald Goines obtained by falsely portraying Tuttle and...

Apr 22
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Arbitrary THC Limits Could Wipe Out Much of the Cannabis Industry

Arbitrary THC Limits Could Wipe Out Much of the Cannabis Industry

Several years ago in Colorado, during a tour of marijuana dispensaries in the ski towns near Denver, my host offered me a pipe that contained a cannabis strain he called Buddaface or Buttaface—or maybe even , which is an actual thing. He said it had a THC content somewhere between 20 and 30 percent.For reasons that will soon be clear, I cannot vouch for the spelling or the exact strength. But the audio record of that ride revealed what happened after I took a puff or two: What had been an interview, or at least a conversation, lapsed into long silences punctuated by random remarks about the...

Apr 20
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The COVID-19 Disaster That Did Not Happen in Texas

The COVID-19 Disaster That Did Not Happen in Texas

When Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, lifted his statewide face mask mandate and his limits on business occupancy in early March, Democrats that he was inviting a public health disaster. Yet a month and a half later, newly identified coronavirus cases in Texas have by more than 50 percent, and daily deaths have dropped even more.Meanwhile, states with stricter COVID-19 regulations have seen spikes in daily new cases. This is not the pattern you would expect to see if government-imposed restrictions played a crucial role in curtailing the pandemic, as advocates of those policies...

Apr 21
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Increases in Coronavirus Cases Are Happening Mainly in States With Stricter COVID-19 Rules

Increases in Coronavirus Cases Are Happening Mainly in States With Stricter COVID-19 Rules

When Texas Gov. Greg Abbott lifted most of his state's remaining COVID-19 restrictions at the beginning of March, critics that he was inviting a public health disaster. President Joe Biden Abbott's changes, which among other things ended the state's face mask mandate and allowed businesses to serve customers at full capacity, reflected "Neanderthal thinking." Gilberto Hinojosa, chairman of the Texas Democratic Party, the shift was "extraordinarily dangerous" and "will kill Texans."A month after Abbott made those decisions, newly identified infections and daily deaths continue to decline in...

Apr 5
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Congress Uses COVID-19 As a Cover for an Epidemic of Fiscal Recklessness

Congress Uses COVID-19 As a Cover for an Epidemic of Fiscal Recklessness

The "recovery rebates" that Americans began receiving this week supposedly have something to do with the economic damage caused by COVID-19 and the control measures it inspired. But like most of the so-called , these payments, which account for more than a fifth of the bill's $1.9 trillion price tag, are only tenuously related to the pandemic.The Democrats who championed the law hope those bribes will in the midterm elections. But you really should be thanking your children and grandchildren, because they will ultimately pick up the tab for this package and the rest of the $5 trillion...

Mar 17
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Dianne Feinstein's Latest 'Assault Weapon' Bill Is Just As Illogical As All the Previous Ones

Dianne Feinstein's Latest 'Assault Weapon' Bill Is Just As Illogical As All the Previous Ones

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D–Calif.) yesterday an "updated" version of her proposed ban on "military-style assault weapons," invoking "domestic terrorism" as a justification. "We're now seeing a rise in domestic terrorism," she says, "and military-style assault weapons are increasingly becoming the guns of choice for these dangerous groups." Yet her bill, which so far has attracted in the Senate, makes as a response to terrorism than it does as a response to mass shootings.The , like the Feinstein-sponsored 1994 ban that expired in 2004, would prohibit the manufacture and sale of numerous...

Mar 12
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Despite Its Much Stricter COVID-19 Policies, California's Per Capita Death Rate Is Only Slightly Lower Than Florida's

Despite Its Much Stricter COVID-19 Policies, California's Per Capita Death Rate Is Only Slightly Lower Than Florida's

California led the country in imposing COVID-19 lockdowns last spring, and Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) kept broad restrictions in place longer than many other governors, lifted them more gradually, and repeatedly re-imposed them. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), by contrast, was widely criticized for belatedly ordering a less sweeping lockdown, lifting it too early, and allowing social, educational, and economic activity to continue with modest restrictions even as cases surged in the summer and winter. Yet California's per capita COVID-19 death rate, according to , is just 7 percent lower than...

Mar 10
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As the 9th Circuit Takes Another Look at California's 10-Round Magazine Limit, It Should Demand More Than Speculation From the Law's Defenders

As the 9th Circuit Takes Another Look at California's 10-Round Magazine Limit, It Should Demand More Than Speculation From the Law's Defenders

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit yesterday a 2020 decision that blocked California's ban on magazines that hold more than 10 rounds. A federal judge in 2019 that the law, which prohibits possession as well as manufacture and sale, was inconsistent with the Second Amendment. Last year a three-judge 9th Circuit panel . Now the full court will rehear Duncan v. Becerra, raising the possibility that the ban will be upheld after all.California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, the defendant in the lawsuit, welcomed that development. "Large-capacity magazines have been used in many...

Feb 26
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The Biden Administration's Obfuscation on Using Clemency To Free Pot Prisoners Is Not a Hopeful Sign

The Biden Administration's Obfuscation on Using Clemency To Free Pot Prisoners Is Not a Hopeful Sign

On 4/20 last week, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki reiterated President Joe Biden's to marijuana legalization and muddied his intentions regarding people serving time in federal prison for growing, transporting, or selling cannabis. Biden's support for maintaining the federal ban on marijuana is consistent with what he said during his presidential campaign. But his position on federal marijuana offenders is ambiguous, and Psaki only compounded the confusion by irrelevantly noting his plans to move cannabis from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act to Schedule II.House Judiciary...

Apr 26
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