The Virginia Senate may pass changed to the state’s distracted driving laws, making it illegal to use a hand-held cell phone for any use while driving. Drivers would be required to have their smartphones in a dash mounted holder, or only use via a wired or wireless Bluetooth access for calls and other interactions.
Limits on Police Use of License Plate Scanners?
The Virginia Supreme Court will hear a petition from the ACLU to determine whether or not a license plate tag is considered “personal information”.
We’ve been talking about the use of automatic license plate scanners for quite a few years. They are a disturbing and open-ended civil liberties violation when there are no protections or limitations on access, which is typical. The ability to data-mine your car’s locations from years ago, when you were never accused of any crime, without any warrant or judicial oversight, is a real problem. [Read more…]
Lawmakers Ask Gov. for Heroin Task Force
Both nationally and in Virginia, we’ve seen recent headlines sparking fear over what’s being called a new “heroin epidemic”. Here, legislators recently wrote a letter to Gov. Terry McAuliffe asking him to establish a task force to fight the growing problem. But not everyone is in agreement on how serious the spread of heroin is, or if the term “epidemic” is even appropriate.
“This is the latest and greatest in terms of fad,” said U.S. Rep. Morgan Griffith, discussing the heroin problem. “This is one where we know that it is a growing problem. We’ve had a hard time as a country getting our hands around it.”
The consensus, particularly from lawmakers, seems to be that heroin use is climbing at an astronomical rate and something must be done immediately to stop it. [Read more…]
Virginia Voters Support Medical Marijuana, Split on Recreational Weed Legalization
A new poll indicates the overwhelming majority of Virginia voters support a medical marijuana program that would make pot available to the people who need it for medical treatment. But when it comes to legalizing recreational pot, voters are split almost evenly.
According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, about 83 percent support medical marijuana and 13 percent oppose it, in a new poll from Quinnipiac University. That same poll found 46 percent support recreational pot with 48 percent opposed. [Read more…]
New Reckless Driving Laws Are Not The Solution
When a tragic accident happens, we search for answers. It is normal to want someone to blame, and to want to do something in response. But sometimes an accident is just an accident. And harsh punishments will neither bring that person back, nor prevent a similar accident from happening again. [Read more…]
New App Allows Citizens Report Others to Police For Drugs, Theft, and More
Moving with the tech times, the Virginia State Police recently announced the launching of a new smart phone app—one that will allow citizens to report crime tips directly from their phone. Called “See Something. Send Something,” the police are hoping the app will turn neighbor against neighbor and leave them looking like the good guys. [Read more…]
Majority of Virginians Support Medical Marijuana
When it comes to marijuana laws, Virginia is lagging behind and really doesn’t seem to be making any effort to catch up. But a recent poll from the Princeton Survey Research Associates International (PSRAI) suggests residents are ready for some change—signaling that the majority of Virginians support medical marijuana. [Read more…]
Virginia Man Pleads to Drug Distribution Charges, But Not Customer’s Overdose Death
When you make your living by selling drugs, should you accept some level of responsibility for the safety of your customers? It sounds crazy to apply that level of accountability to an illegal profession, but it’s true. If you sell drugs to someone who then dies from those drugs, you can be held responsible for their death. Such was the case recently when a Leesburg man faced life in prison for selling a 20-year old the oxycodone that led to his death. [Read more…]
Activist’s Home Raided by SWAT in Herndon, VA
When you are a vocal critic of the system, you’re bound to ruffle feathers. And when your critiques involve veiled threats or weapons, you could become a target. One Virginia-area activist, who has most recently taken on gun rights, found out again that the government doesn’t take too kindly to direct challenges when his home was raided by a federal SWAT team recently.
But Kokesh is not going quietly, and is rallying his activist network to a protest march in October. [Read more…]
Gov. McDonnell Softens Felon Disenfranchisement
Felon disenfranchisement is the issue that makes millions of people unable to vote. These are people who have “done their time”, so to speak, served their sentences, and should now be treated as any other citizen of the U.S. But the laws, which were enacted in the late 19th and early 20th century, began and will end as a racist practice. [Read more…]