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Top Court Rules Cops Can No Longer Stop People After Claiming to Smell Marijuana

(Matt AgoristIn a major win for freedom, Maryland’s top court ruled this month that police can no longer stop people based on the smell of marijuana.

In case after infuriating case, the Free Thought Project has reported on instances of horrifying rights violations all stemming from a police officer claiming to smell a plant. We have seen both women and men sodomized and raped — often times in public — as cops search for this smell. We have seen entire families held hostage, women and children beaten up, rampant sexual assault, and all of it stemming from a plant smell. Apparently, the violence has gotten so out of hand that one top court in Maryland is doing something about it.

The Court of Appeals of Maryland, the highest-ranking court in the state, said in a ruling this week — which opened by quoting Bob Dylan singing “the times they are a-changin’” — that police are not justified in searching a person based solely off of the smell of marijuana, according to a report in the Hill.

The ruling was unanimous and common sense prevailed among all seven judges. The ruling came from a case that unfolded in 2016 in which Michael Pacheco was searched and subsequently arrested because police claimed to smell weed in his car.

As the Hill reports:

During the incident, two officers, identified in court documents as Groger and Heffley, were conducting a “routine foot patrol” in Wheaton, Md., when they noticed Pacheco alone in a “dark parking spot” behind a laundromat, the court’s 27-page opinion states.

After growing suspicion of the idea of someone sitting “in his or her car rather than in the laundromat, which was open at the time,” the officers decided to approach the vehicle.

Upon approaching Pacheco’s car, the officers said that they smelled “fresh burnt” marijuana.

Court documents said that shortly after, Heffley noticed a “marijuana cigarette in the vehicle’s center console, which he testified he knew immediately was less than ten grams.”

Despite a 2014 law which decriminalized possession of marijuana of up to 10 grams, police used the marijuana smell as justification for a warrantless search and subsequent arrest for both marijuana and cocaine which police would later find. Pacheco would then go on to challenge the arrest as illegal, based on this unlawful search.

“Pacheco moved to suppress the cocaine, arguing that the officers’ warrantless search of his person was illegal because, at the time of the search, the officers lacked probable cause to believe that he possessed ten grams or more of marijuana,” court documents state. “The State countered that the odor ‘provided probable cause to search ‘both the vehicle and [Mr. Pacheco].’”

The lower courts did not agree with the suppression of the evidence, so Pacheco appealed it to the state’s top court and this month, he won.

“In the post-decriminalization era, the mere odor of marijuana coupled with possession of what is clearly less than ten grams of marijuana, absent other circumstances, does not grant officers probable cause to effectuate an arrest and conduct a search incident thereto,” the court stated in the ruling.

“It is well established that individuals have a heightened expectation of privacy in their person as compared to their automobile, meaning the probable cause analysis for the search incident to arrest exception versus the automobile exception will often differ given the respective justifications for those exceptions and the facts and circumstances of each case,” it added.

This ruling is a major boon for freedom and will only serve to improve police and citizen interactions by removing one of the ways police can harass individuals. Hopefully it will spread to other states.

As TFTP reported in June, an infuriating video was shared with the Free Thought Project showing North Carolina cops violate the rights of multiple innocent people because one of them smelled marijuana. No marijuana was found, but that didn’t stop cops from holding a family and their guests hostage for over an hour to look for it.

Also in June, TFTP reported the case of Erica Reynolds, 37, who is seeking $12.5 million in damages accusing police of sexual assault and battery, wrongful arrest, false imprisonment, gross negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The reason for this sexual assault and battery? Cops smelled weed.

Just last month, TFTP reported on another case in which Chanel Bates, 26, was leaving a restaurant when she was targeted by police who claimed they smelled marijuana. The officers’ olfactory intuition was then used as the justification to detain, savagely beat, and kidnap the entirely innocent woman who had caused harm to no one. The infuriating and disturbing scene was captured on video.

In the land of the free, cops will claim to smell a plant on you and use that claim to violate your body in the most horrific way. And some people still have the audacity to call this “justice.” Luckily, as this ruling in Maryland highlights, these people are becoming fewer by the minute.

Source:

https://thefreethoughtproject.com/cops-smell-marijuana-top-court-ruling/

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Underworld

How Russia and the United States nearly started a nuclear war in 1995

The Norwegian meteorological rocket incident remains the only time in history that the Russian president has activated his nuclear briefcase.

On January 25, 1995, Doomsday could have come in the world: the Russian Federation was preparing to launch a nuclear strike on the United States. How did it come about that the states that left the confrontation of the Cold War in the past and had just normalized relations with each other found themselves on the verge of mutual destruction?

The beginning of the war?

The cause of the crisis was an ordinary Norwegian meteorological rocket. Its launch from the small island of Anneia at 7 am local time (10 am Moscow time) towards Spitsbergen caused a stir in Russia. 

Black Brant XII.

Black Brant XII. Legion Media / ZUMA Press

Equipped with scientific equipment to study the aurora borealis, the Black Brant XII was similar in size to the nuclear-powered American Trident D-5 ballistic missile, intended for launch from submarines. In addition, it flew along a trajectory along which, as the Russian Defense Ministry believed, American missiles would fly in the event of a nuclear war. 

In December 1994, Norway informed 28 states, including Russia, about the planned launch, but did not give a specific date, limiting itself to specifying the period: from January 15 to February 10 of the next year. Due to bureaucratic delays, this information did not reach the Russian Missile Warning System, which sounded the alarm.

Decisive minutes

An emergency meeting with the country’s top political and military leadership was convened in the Kremlin. Defense Minister Pavel Grachev, Chief of the General Staff Mikhail Kolesnikov and President of the Russian Federation (as Supreme Commander-in-Chief) Boris Yeltsin had three strategic missile forces control terminals activated – the so-called nuclear suitcases.

Vladimir Sayapin / TASS

The military believed the lone missile could have been fired to create an electromagnetic pulse that knocked out Russian radars and communications systems. Following it, a massive blow could be expected.

For several tense minutes, as leaders watched it flight, it was decided whether Russia would launch a nuclear strike against the United States. 

“Little is known today about what Yeltsin said at the time, given that it could have been some of the most dangerous moments in the entire history of the nuclear era,” The Washington Post journalist, David Hoffman wrote three years after the incident : “They make it clear that the Cold War nuclear readiness system continues to operate, and how catastrophic its consequences could be, despite the fact that the feud between the great powers is already over.”   

The situation was discharged only when it became clear that the rocket had gone towards Spitsbergen (not far from which it fell into the ocean). The nuclear cases have been deactivated. Russian President Boris Yeltsin (center) and Russian Defense Minister Pavel Grachev (right).

Russian President Boris Yeltsin (center) and Russian Defense Minister Pavel Grachev (right). Igor Mikhalev / Sputnik

The incident with bringing Russia’s Strategic Nuclear Forces to combat readiness, soon became the property of the world community. When, four years later, the Norwegians were about to repeat their launch of Black Brant XII and reported this to the Russian Foreign Ministry, the US additionally warned all key Russian military departments about it through their channels. As a result, this time there were no unpleasant surprises. 

Source: rbth.com

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Underworld

Germany conducted exercises in case of nuclear war

Bundeswehr / Birthe Brechters

The Bundeswehr with partners in the North Atlantic Alliance ( NATO) trained in operations in a nuclear war.

The German army, together with Italian, Belgian and Dutch colleagues, conducted exercises in the event of a conflict with the use of nuclear weapons.

The location of the exercise “Steadfest Noon” was chosen airbase “Nörfenich”, where the tactical squadron of the Luftwaffe 31 “Boelcke” is located. Together with the Luftwaffe of the Bundeswehr, the air forces of other NATO countries, in particular, Italy, the Netherlands and Belgium, took part in the exercises.

According to a report by Bild, the exercise scenario involved training procedures for safely removing nuclear weapons from storage, delivering ammunition and installing them on aircraft. The training flights took place without nuclear weapons, and in parallel with the aviation exercises at the Büchel airbase, where the tactical squadron of the Luftwaffe 51 Immelman is located, the Resilient Guard air defense systems were trained to protect the airfield from air attacks.

The training sites for the Luftwaffe of the Bundeswehr were not chosen by chance, since the Nörfenich airbase is a reserve storage site for the B61, a hydrogen bomb that forms the basis of nuclear weapons of the US strategic nuclear forces. 

Some of this ammunition is stationed at NATO bases in Europe. The exact number of hydrogen bombs that are stored at European sites and which ones are not reported. In Europe, the B61 is carried by Panavia Tornado fighter-bombers (pictured) and General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon fighters.

Recall that the B61 thermonuclear bomb is the main weapon of the US strategic nuclear forces, although it entered service in 1968. Since 2012, a new guided version of the B61-12 has been under development, which will replace all B61 and B83 bombs that have been in service since 1983. It can be used both on strategic bombers and tactical aircraft. About two billion dollars were spent on the development of the 12th modification of the aerial bomb.

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Underworld

The Pentagon wants to use 5G for military purposes

© Al Drago; George Frey/Reuters

The US military has partnered with more than a dozen companies for “large-scale experiments” with 5G technology, including efforts to increase the “lethality” of certain systems, as part of a $ 600 million project. 

Duplicating 5G technology as the “Founding Tool for Modernizing All US Defense,” the Pentagon announced a massive research initiative on Thursday that will donate hundreds of millions of dollars to 15 private contractors to conduct tests at five US military sites.

 “The Department of Defense today announced a $ 600 million award for 5G experiments and testing at five US military training grounds, representing the world’s largest full-scale 5G trials for dual-use applications,” the Pentagon said in a statement that it will bring together experts from multiple industries and disciplines. 

Projects will include piloting 5G-enabled augmented / virtual reality for mission planning and training, testing 5G-enabled smart warehouses, and evaluating 5G technologies to improve distributed management and control.

Selected for the project include telecommunications companies AT&T, Nokia and Ericsson, exploration and information technology contractor Booz-Allen Hamilton, research arm of General Electric, GE Research and a subsidiary of aerospace giant General Dynamics.

One initiative, led by AT&T at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, will apply 5G to its “Distributed Command and Control” system to “Assist in lethality in the air, space and cyberspace”, improving communications for mobile command posts in combat scenarios. At the Lewis-McCord joint base in Washington State, AT&T will also work with Booz-Allen and two other firms to develop 5G-enabled virtual reality technology for training, mission planning, and even Operational Use. 

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