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online drugs

9/23/14 5:30pm

Evolution Replaces Silk Road as New Online Drug Market

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While the Silk Road was successfully dismantled last year, a new black market drug bazaar has sprung up in its place and it has been taking the dark web by storm.

Evolution, which has grown markedly since its launch earlier this year, is sleeker, more secure, and more amoral than Silk Road. The dark web service also boasts more than 15,000 mostly illegal products, including firearms and a broad range of drugs. 

Silk Road creator Ross Ulbricht, who is currently incarcerated in New York, had no qualms selling illicit drugs to anyone willing to buy them, but refused to “allow the sale of anything that’s main purpose is to harm innocent people.” Evolution, on the other hand, has fewer restrictions, banning "child pornography, 'services related to murder/assassination/terrorism,' prostitution, ponzi schemes, and lotteries" but it does not prohibit sales of stolen credit cards or weapons.

Compared to other dark web operations, Evolution is allegedly more secure and is online a larger percentage of the time. Evolution’s Tor servers also afford lightning fast page-load times, a difficult feat given their web traffic is encrypted and bounced around the world.

TheFix.com recently reported on the commonplace nature of online drug purchases, noting that seizures of marijuana delivered via the postal service have risen 300% in the last ten years and that black market vendors are becoming increasingly bold.

Currently, Evolution offers weed, cocaine, heroin, and other drugs, and because law enforcement struggles to arrest these online offenders, black market sites don’t appear to be going anywhere soon.

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By Brent McCluskey

justice served

9/23/14 3:30pm

Seattle Prosecutor Drops All Weed Tickets Thanks to One Cop

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Randy Jokela. Photo via

On Monday, Seattle's top elected attorney issued a blanket dismissal of approximately 100 tickets issued by the city's police department between Jan.1 and July 31 of this year.

City Attorney Pete Holmes stated that the reason for his actions stems from a report that one police officer, Randy Jokela, had issued roughly 80% of the citations due to his disagreement over Washington's new marijuana laws, which allows for the legal possession of up to one ounce of weed.

Jokela made no attempt to hide his ill feelings toward the law and more often than not wrote them in the tickets that he issued. In one case, Jokela discovered two people smoking pot and forced them to flip a coin in order to decide who would receive a ticket.

"(Suspect) lost the coin flip so he got the ticket while the other person walked. (Suspect) was allowed to keep his pipe," Jokela wrote on the ticket.

Jokela also made note in another ticket that the state's new marijuana laws were "silly" and often condescendingly addressed citations to the attention of city attorney "Petey Holmes."

According to KOMO News, Jokela was temporarily reassigned, but is now back on his regular patrol. "Chief O’Toole and (Office of Professional Accountability) Director Pierce Murphy conferred and believed that nothing in the ongoing investigation precluded him from returning to his patrol duties," said SPD spokesman Drew Fowler.

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By Shawn Dwyer

death on campus

9/23/14 1:00pm

Death of ‘Distressed’ Rutgers Student May Be Alcohol-Related

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Wiki Commons

A police investigation into Sunday’s death of a Rutgers University sophomore revealed that alcohol may have been a factor.

Caitlyn P. Kovacs, 19, was hanging out with a small group at the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity house when around 3 a.m. she became “distressed.” Kovacs’ friends rushed her to the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, where she was later pronounced dead. A preliminary investigation revealed her death may have been alcohol-related.

Although the investigation will not be complete until an autopsy is performed, a spokesman with the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office said it’s most likely that no charges will be filed.

Kovacs was a sophomore at the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, and was majoring in animal sciences. Melissa Mielko, one of Kovacs’ friends, remembers her as being “upbeat” and “bubbly.”

“She was always laughing and making others laugh and smile as well,” Mielko said. “She was a good kid with a good head on her shoulders.”

Delta Kappa Epsilon President Ian McGeown didn’t directly comment on Kovacs’ passing, but released a statement expressing his condolences.

“On behalf of the International Fraternity of Delta Kappa Epsilon and the Brothers of our chapter at Rutgers University, we would like to extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Caitlyn Kovacs. We also wish to extend our sympathies to the students of Rutgers University as they endure this time of grief and misfortune,” McGeown said. “As the investigation of the incident is ongoing, Delta Kappa Epsilon is fully cooperating with local and county authorities.”

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By Brent McCluskey

celebrity addicts

9/23/14 10:30am

Stephen Fry Opens Up About 15-Year Cocaine Habit

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Writer and presenter Stephen Fry is speaking extensively in his new autobiography about his former cocaine addiction that lasted 15 years.

In his third autobiography that will be released this week, More Fool Me, Fry admitted to “spending an enormous amount of money and time on cocaine powder.” Having suffered from manic depression and bipolar disorder, he used the drug as a way to help him calm down. Fry acknowledged in the autobiography “how stupid that is, but I also know better people than me who have found themselves on the same path.”

But rather than paint the town red while using the drug, Fry said he would isolate and enjoy quiet nights at home. "I tended to take it alone at home and play word games, mind spinning. I'd do very difficult crosswords, I would spend hours on these,” he said in 2011. "I found it extremely easy to stop, but it took me a very long time to get to a position where I was ready to."

Fry has been open about his battle with mental illness and admitted that his bipolar disorder can get him “too hyper or too depressed to the point of suicide.” He is currently the president of mental health charity Mind and has worked to help change perceptions of mental illness.

“If un-medicated, there are times when I am so exuberant, so hyper, that I can go three or four nights without sleeping and I'm writing and I'm doing stuff and I'm so grandiose and so full of self-belief that it's almost impossible to deal with me,” he said. “I can’t stop speaking. I go on shopping sprees.”

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By McCarton Ackerman

dumb politicians

9/23/14 8:30am

GOP Candidate Walks Back Proposal to Drug Test Officials

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Good luck, Neel. Wiki Commons

A Republican gubernatorial candidate in California has backtracked on his suggestion that elected officials be required to undergo drug testing after being slammed by numerous politicians. Speaking last week on the Mark Larson radio show, Neel Kashkari attempted to link his proposal to four state senators who are currently facing criminal charges.

“I think we should drug-test the legislators. Why don’t we…just have an annual mandatory drug test?” he said. “Given how many are getting in more and more trouble, mostly Democrats, more and more trouble every week, it seems, I can’t imagine how many would sign up for a voluntary drug test.” Kashkari later tweeted that the “sound you hear is heads exploding in Sacramento.”

While one of the four state senators that Kashkari tried to link his argument to was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving, drug use has not been alleged in any of the cases. Lawmakers throughout the state blasted his proposal as little more than a publicity stunt.

“If the architect of George W. Bush’s Wall Street bailouts thinks he has any credibility on this or any other legislative issue, then he must be the one smoking something,” said Senate President Pro Tem–elect Kevin de Leon (D-Los Angeles). Rhys William, a spokesman for Senate leader Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento), said that “the only thing tripping is Mr. Kashkari’s desperate campaign.”

Three days later, Kashkari backed down on his proposal and claimed that it was made in jest, telling reporters at the state Republican convention near LAX that “we’ve got better things to worry about.” His opponent in the general election, Democrat Jerry Brown, is an overwhelming favorite to win re-election.

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By McCarton Ackerman

headlines

9/23/14 7:00am

Morning Roundup: Sept. 23, 2014

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Thanks for your service. Shutterstock

By Shawn Dwyer

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