For as long as there have been laws, there have been black markets to sell whatever those laws prohibit -- drugs, guns, whatever Han Solo was shipping on behalf of Jabba during his smuggler days. But not every law is as clear-cut as "machine guns and heroin are bad," and not every black market item is as menacing as those. In fact, you'd be utterly baffled to see what's getting traded in the shadows these days, considering it includes things like ...
8.7%: The drop in traffic fatalities in states with medical marijuana laws. Want to make the road safer? Encourage drivers to hit the bong rather than hit the bars. That is a policy prescription that few people would recommend but it is effectively the course that states which have enacted medical marijuana laws have followed, according to an economic study.
On Thursday, Washington became the first state to officially legalize marijuana, soon to be followed by Colorado as their new laws legalizing the drug for recreational use go into effect. A survey out Friday shows what Americans want the federal government to do about the states whose drug laws clash with national laws: Leave them alone. Fifty-one percent of Americans in the new HuffPost/YouGov poll said that in the two states that have legalized marijuana use for adults, the federal government should exempt any adults following state laws from federal drug law enforcement.
People are breaking laws without intent to break those laws, but persecutors no longer need to prove criminal intent. This article proves beyond a reasonable doubt that the old tenet of "Innocent until proven guilty" no longer applies in the so called "land of the free."
The federal agency charged with enforcing the nation's laws against money laundering has issued new guidelines suggesting that several parties in the Bitcoin economy qualify as Money Services Businesses under US law. MSBs must register with the federal government, collect information about their customers, and take steps to combat money laundering by their customers. The new guidelines do not mention Bitcoin by name, but there's little doubt which "de-centralized virtual currency" the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) had in mind when it drafted the new guidelines.