Was Philadelphia’s Soda Tax the Result of a Union-Versus-Union Political Fight?

Officially, Philadelphia’s much loathed soda tax—the highest such tax in the country—was approved as a way to generate revenue for the city’s new pre-K program. Unofficially, like all vice taxes, it was intended to reduce Philadelphians’ consumption of sugary beverages—though it has mostly just changed where people buy soda and hasn’t improved public health at all.

Source: Was Philadelphia’s Soda Tax the Result of a Union-Versus-Union Political Fight?

Police lobbyist: cops will not be motivated to stop crime unless they are allowed to steal people’s stuff

South Carolina cops love the state’s civil asset forfeiture laws, which allow the police to seize any property they believe represents the proceeds of a crime and keep it, unless the property’s former owner hires a lawyer to prove the innocence of their goods: more than $17m was seized last year, and in a fifth of these cases, no one was convicted of a crime (71% of the people whose stuff gets stolen by South Carolina cops are Black).

Source: Police lobbyist: cops will not be motivated to stop crime unless they are allowed to steal people’s stuff

Rape Victim Who Smuggled DNA Evidence Out of Rikers Wins Settlement

The first time she filed a sexual abuse complaint against a Rikers guard, Jane Doe told investigators from the Inspector General’s office that the man was handing out cigarettes to female inmates in exchange for oral sex. But she never heard back from them, and she figured that they hadn’t taken her seriously because she had no evidence.

Source: Rape Victim Who Smuggled DNA Evidence Out of Rikers Wins Settlement

NYPD Orders Google to Trash Checkpoint Warnings

The New York City Police Department (NYPD) wants Google to trash a feature on one of its apps that lets users report drunk-driving checkpoints. Not so fast, responds Google. The application in question is Waze, a community-based navigation app that allows users to report car accidents, traffic jams, and police activity.

Source: NYPD Orders Google to Trash Checkpoint Warnings

How Legalizing Marijuana Is Securing the Border: The Border Wall, Drug Smuggling, and Lessons for Immigration Policy

Introduction Cross-border drug smuggling is a primary justification for President Trump’s calls to hire 5,000 additional Border Patrol agents and build a massive border wall. However, the evidence indicates that legalization of marijuana has more effectively controlled the illegal trafficking of marijuana than interdiction and enforcement alone.

Source: How Legalizing Marijuana Is Securing the Border: The Border Wall, Drug Smuggling, and Lessons for Immigration Policy