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Archive for October 21st, 2016

Parker: Heavy Marijuana Users Have Thinner Bones and More Fracture

medical marijuana

Ross Parker was chief of the criminal division in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Detroit for 8 years and worked as an AUSA for 28 in that office.

By Ross Parker
ticklethewire.com

Adding to the developing body of medical knowledge about the dangers of marijuana use, the University of Edinburgh announced this past week that frequent use results in reduced bone mineral density and a higher incidence of fractures. The study also concluded that these heavy users have a reduced body mass index (BMI) which further contributed to a thinning of the bones and could result in a greater risk of osteoporosis.

This part of the study raises questions about the popular theory that smoking increases appetite, colloquially known as having the “munchies.” For frequent smokers the use actually had the opposite effect of suppressing appetite, thus resulting in a lower BMI and weaker bones. Frequent smokers were defined as those who had smoked marijuana at least 5,000 times in their lifetimes.

The study also found that moderate use, about 1,000 total occasions of smoking, showed no difference in bone mineral density from that of non-users.

The study was sponsored by Arthritis Research UK and is published in the American Journal of Medicine. 

Attorneys Sue FBI, Homeland Security for Surveillance Records of Black Lives Matter

Photo by Steve Neavling.

Photo by Steve Neavling.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI and Homeland Security have been sued for documents on the agencies’ surveillance of Black Lives Matter protesters.

The suit was filed by the Center for Constitutional Rights and the Milton A.Cramer Center at Case Wester Reserve University School of Law, Salon reports. 

The human rights lawyers said the agencies have failed to release the documents of surveillance.

Federal surveillance of the movement began after Ferguson police killed Michael Brown. In July 2015, an Intercept report revealed that Homeland Security was collecting information on peaceful protests.

The new lawsuit allege police also used a “cell site simulator,” or a “Stingray,” to monitor the protests and individual activists.

Kansas Militia Member Tipped Off FBI of Anti-Muslim Group’s Talks of Violence

Three men accused of plotting to blow up an apartment building where Muslims lived.

Three men accused of plotting to blow up an apartment building where Muslims lived.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The anti-Muslim militia group in Kansas that is accused of conspiring to bomb an apartment where 120 Somali immigrants lived was exposed when one of its members contacted the FBI.

The member of the group, “The Crusaders,” was alarmed by talks of violence and agreed to become a confidential source for the FBI, CBS News reports. 

Three militia members were charged with conspiring to detonate truck bomb at the apartment complex in Garden City.

Patrick Stein, 47; Gavin Wright, 51; and Curtis Allen, 49, have been charged with conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction.

Thanks to the informant, the FBI was able to monitor the group for months as the plot became more specific. The informant introduced an undercover FBI agent to the group.

First Outsider to Head Border Patrol Is Facing Complex Challenges

New Border Patrol chief, Mark Morgan

New Border Patrol chief, Mark Morgan

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

As the first outsider to head the Border Patrol in its 92 years, Mark Morgan is facing a broad array of issues, from corruption in the ranks to the increase in children and families pouring across the border.

Morgan, who is a former U.S. Marine, LAPD officer and FBI agent, also has been criticized for shedding his dark business suit to wear the Border Patrol uniform, the Los Angels Times reports. 

The appointment of Morgan, 51, has been opposed by Border Patrol’s most powerful union because he didn’t climb up through the ranks and never experienced the arduous task of being an agent.

“The really tricky part is to make sure he has buy-in from the rank and file and the boots on the ground who will be following his leadership,” said Michelle Brané, an immigrant rights advocate at the New York-based Women’s Refugee Commission, who met with Morgan last month.

Ex-NSA Contractor Accused of Stealing ‘Breathtaking’ Amount of Secret Information

The NSA headquarters in Maryland.

The NSA headquarters in Maryland.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A former NSA contractor stole so much top secret government information that it could fill roughly 200 laptop computers.

In a court filing Thursday, federal prosecutors said the thefts were “breathtaking in its longevity and scale,” Tribune News Services reports. 

Harold T. Martin, III, faces additional charges under the Espionage Act, which could mean harsh penalties if convicted.

Prosecutors said the evidence is “overwhelming” and that Martin admitted he was illegally storing classified materials.

“Given the nature of his offenses and knowledge of national secrets, he presents tremendous value to any foreign power that may wish to shelter him within or outside of the United States,” prosecutors said.

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