The high cost of pharmaceutical drugs has been a growing concern, pushing the calls for health care reform. Some people, including a growing number of elderly Americans, are having to decide between taking the drugs prescribed to them, or skipping doses to save money. Others are looking across the borders, to get lower priced medications in Canada or Mexico. However, some drugs are especially in demand, and even those without a prescription are finding ways to access these expensive meds. Over the past couple of years, there have been a surprising number of thefts from pharmacies across the country.
Massachusetts became the 18th state to legalize the medical use of marijuana. In 2012, more than 60% of voters approved of Question 3, passing the Massachusetts Medical Marijuana Initiative. With 23 states now legalizing marijuana for medical use, and as many as 11 states with pending legislation to decide the issue this year, we may soon see a clear majority of states legalizing medical marijuana. Now marijuana advocates are pushing for legalized recreational use of the drug, but in the meantime medical marijuana proponents are still waiting for Massachusetts to put the more than two year old initiative into effect.
While most people are aware that soliciting a prostitute is a crime, there are many other possible repercussions that could follow a criminal arrest. The state may hand down penalties such as fines and jail time, but it is the negative public impression of prostitution that may result in longer term negative effects. Apart from the family and public shame involved, those caught soliciting prostitutes may even risk losing their jobs.
With ATM machines charging us $3 to take money out of our own bank accounts, it may seem like the machines are stealing from us. Easy and omnipresent access to the cash machines warrants these "convenience charges." Now, an elite group of hackers from across the globe have convinced ATM machines that it was time to give back, to the tune of $1 billion.
The early American prison systems, such as South Boston's Castle Island Penitentiary built during the Revolutionary War, were based on models of early English workhouses. Since that time, the country's penchant for incarceration has grown, continuing up until the present day. The United States has more prisoners per capita, and more prisons than any other country in the world. An estimated 730 out of every 100,000 people in this country are in jail. However, as the prison population grows, does it follow that we are any safer with more people behind bars?
The rise of the "selfie" is due in part to an increased access to better technology. More people now have better cameras, better phones, better data transmission, and an increased use of social networks. However, the human desire to show off, brag, or make others jealous has many social media users taking pictures of every event in their lives, even the ones that should not be publicized. Criminals are not immune to this type of exhibitionism, and unfortunately for them, selfies can lead the police right to their doors.
In 1979, a 6-year-old boy named Etan Patz disappeared while walking to his school bus. In the years since boy's body was never found, and he was declared legally dead in 2001. Patz's disappearance was a catalyst in the search for missing children in the U.S. Until 2012, the police had no breaks in the case. Then, police received a tip that a man had confessed to a church group that he was involved in the child's murder. But does the confession of a mentally ill man cloud its reliability?
While most of us still have a couple of months to file our 2014 tax returns, now is the time when W-2s and 1099s start rolling in, reminding us that tax day has a way of sneaking up on us. However, for the United States and other nations' tax authorities, taxes are a year-round concern. Recent news from HSBC has brought to light fresh details over the extent of tax evasion in Switzerland.
Massachusetts has some of the best colleges and universities in the country. When parents send their kids off to college for the first time, they may be more concerned that their teenagers won't be studying enough, or maybe partying too much. However, crime statistics indicate that students have to worry about crime as well, just as if they were in any other city or town.
The founder of the Silk Road website faces life in prison for running an underground Internet emporium that catered to hackers and drug traffickers. According to Bloomberg News, Ross Ulbricht, 30, who used the moniker "Dread Pirate Roberts," offered people the chance to anonymously buy illegal merchandise and services with bitcoins. On Wednesday, a jury took just three and a half hours to find him guilty on all seven federal charges.
New England fans are celebrating the Patriot's Super Bowl win over the Seattle Seahawks. After Malcolm Butler's last minute interception sealed the Patriots' victory, football fans across Massachusetts will be looking to pick up jerseys, hats, and other memorabilia to show support for their winning team. However, as fake memorabilia continues to flood the market, fans may have to search carefully to make sure they are getting what they paid for.
Earlier we reported on the Boston FBI's rollout of a new anti-corruption program. The FBI cited public cooperation as an asset to discover public officials who are abusing the public's trust. However, for a former Massachusetts prosecutor, it was his drug dealer who led officials to discover the prosecutor's corruption related activities.
Maura Healey has been sworn in as Massachusetts' newest Attorney General. Healey will be the state's 55th AG, following a long line of attorneys taking the office since Paul Dudley's role as Attorney-General of the Province of Massachusetts Bay in 1702. The oath of office was administered by Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Ralph Gants in Faneuil Hall. Following the oath of office, Healey has indicated the direction she wants to take the Attorney General, in protecting the state's young people.
What some delinquents consider minor vandalism, others see as attacks on their beliefs, and their personal identity. At least three Massachusetts places of worship have been vandalized in recent months. In some of these incidents, the initial reaction favors seeking hate crime charges against the assailants. While after the perpetrators are caught, they are charged with only vandalism. The Governor's Task Force on Hate Crimes was given permanent status in 1998, but the treatment of what are considered hate crimes continues to evolve.