Enjoy our roundup of stories that piqued our interest this week.
This week we tackle the following:
- Vaping in jail? New trend created by Kentucky jailer - Tobacco products are banned in Kentucky jails,
- 5 Investigates: Suspect gets around enhanced RMV computer security- A multimillion-dollar upgrade to the Registry of Motor Vehicles system was supposed to increase security and help stop ID fraud.
- Days away from marijuana legalization, WMU police prepare for change - Marijuana will remain a "banned substance" on Western Michigan's campus
- New findings conclude 34 percent of tobacco retailers surveyed in Colton sold to underage youth - Are the penalties too lenient?
Laurel County Jailer Jamie Mosley came up with an innovative solution. He invented the Crossbar - an e-cigarette designed to be safe for inmates. HBO's VICE News interviewed Mosley about his creation.
"I was just trying to solve a problem within my own facility," said Mosley.
In the interview, Mosley said the ban on tobacco is hard for jailers because some inmates are coming off drugs and cigarettes at the same time, which can cause problems for jail officials and inmates alike.
Kathy Curran, of 5 Investigates, has previously found case after case of drug dealers who were able to obtain Massachusetts drivers licenses and IDs under someone else's identity. In response, the Registry has touted their new $62 million security upgrade that was supposed to help stop impostors, but Pena was able to get his ID in April, after the Registry began issuing more secure licenses.
The alleged drug dealer apparently opted out of the most secure drivers license that complies with the federal REAL ID act, but nothing stopped him from walking out of the RMV with a Massachusetts drivers license under someone else's name.
Under the measure approved by Michigan voters in November, marijuana becomes legal on Thursday, Dec 6, though use and possession of the drug will still be restricted by the terms of the ballot proposal. Legal sales of the drug are expected to take much longer. The state government has a year to work out logistics and framework of licensing facilities to produce and sell marijuana products.
Questions remain on how the legalization will impact the university community, but marijuana will remain a "banned substance" on Western's campus, Merlo said. But the law changes how police can handle those who are underage or are in possession of more than the legal amount.
A recent decoy operation conducted by the Colton Community Coalition for CHANGE in partnership with the California Health Collaborative found that there was a willingness among retailers to sell tobacco products to youth under the legal purchasing age of 21. In 2016, California passed SB X2-7 (Ed Hernandez) raising the minimum tobacco purchasing age from 18 to 21. During the survey, products purchased included cigarettes and flavored Swisher Sweets. Over 90 percent of the tobacco products obtained by the youth were flavored products.