Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Drug-Sniffing Drones Take To the Skies In the Netherlands

samzenpus posted more than 5 years ago | from the are-you-sarah-connor's-stash dept.

Robotics 229

Ryan writes "Unmanned, drug-sniffing drones have been introduced in the Netherlands. They fly over houses (video), sniff for weed, and scan for grow lights. Police say they are not breaking the law because the samples can be taken without entering the building."

cancel ×

229 comments

News just in. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27783457)

The Dutch tourist industry goes bankrupt.

Re:News just in. (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27783509)

Who wants this kind of tourists? Flying in on the cheap, spending about €100,- and doing about €100,- damage while helping to repel the sort of visitors who might be nice to have.

Re:News just in. (4, Funny)

repapetilto (1219852) | more than 5 years ago | (#27783559)

sounds like you got a good deal, or youre one of those rare high assholes. I probably spent 300 euros over there over the course of 5 days, I dunno what damage I caused. Some local hoodlums tried to steal our bikes though. And the da vinci museum is terrifying, the chilling park outside it is awesome though.

Re:News just in. (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27784447)

the da vinci museum is terrifying, the chilling park outside it is awesome though.

Yeah, it's awsome.
That was some potent stuff; you're getting Milan and Amsterdam mixed up.

Re:News just in. (3, Funny)

drfool (1535489) | more than 5 years ago | (#27783695)

looks like we got a narc

Re:News just in. (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27783701)

What does "â100,-" mean? Spending less and doing less than â100 damage?

Re:News just in. (1)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 5 years ago | (#27783811)

It means your browser sucks at unicode for EUD.

Re:News just in. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27784543)

Heh this fight has been going on for years.

Weed is still illegal here. We have a "gedoogbeleid"... basically you can have 5 grams of weed and it'll be tolerated. Growing 5 plants for your own consumption is allowed BUT: outdoors, without lamps and so on. How you can harvest 5 plants without having more than 5 grams... I have no idea... you can grow HUGE plants outdoors if you trim them right ;-) The weed is nowhere near indoor quality though. There's some variants that'll grow fine in our climate but the buds just aren't that great.

So... I can smoke, I can buy it in a coffeeshop... but the coffeeshop isn't allowed to buy it from a grower. Heh. That's still illegal trade.

I grew 10 plants on my attic for a while. Went really nice. If you want to do it right it takes a lot of learning and equipment. It's also a chore, you need to give them water at very specific times. I used a 600 watt and a 400 watt lamp. When they turn on the plants get thirsty. I kept 100 grams for myself and sold like 600 to a guy owning a coffeeshop.

So what I did was illegal and would have been prosecuted if they cared to. I usually started out with 18 cuttings, while having space for 10 plants. So I threw out the 8 worst to get more grams for the wattage ;-) It was indoors, using 2 lamps, chains and pulleys to raise them, a fan to move air around, a heater, floor isolation in the winter (the concrete got too cold), an exhaust fan pushing air through the chimney, a GOOD timer (with a relay), a water vaporizer (to grow the cuttings) an air dehumidifier (really hate mold), and very specific nutrients, boosters and enzymes.

I can honestly say it was better weed then the best I've ever bought in a coffeeshop.

If I was caught and punished... first the police would probably contract someone to remove my installation and send me a bill for it. With 2 lamps and 10 plants that's not a huge bill. Then I'd probably get 20-40 hours doing community service. And then... here's the real bitch... they're gonna estimate how much profit you've had, and "take it away from you"... in other words, you'll have a nice debt to the government.

The more plants you have, the higher the probability you get caught (more hassle, more people involved, more smell), and the higher your sentences will be.

The police here isn't really after someone like me. It was a small installation, I did it in a sensible way, on my own, using good equipment, safely installed, absolutely no fire hazard. They're after criminal organizations who get people to turn half their house into a greenery for a small share of the profit. The larger it gets, the easier it goes wrong. One place burnt down completely even though good equipment was used. A big fat cable got stuck under a door, bent, got hot, hotter, and so on. People die in these accidents. Fire deaths are horrible.

These criminal gangs also cause trouble like gun violence. And a lot of trouble with countries surrounding us. Our weed is now a 2 billion export market (nice for a country with like 16 million people)... There have been shortages in our coffeeshop because too much of the grass was exported! Cities like Maastricht (close to Belgium, Germany, France, Luxembourg) really do have a lot of trouble with streams of people just coming there to buy grass. There's a lot of growing going on there too, causing a lot of trouble, wrecked homes, fires, and so on.

The solution is... LEGALIZE AND REGULATE... just like alcohol... so growing weed can become a business like any other and doesn't need to be hidden on attics! So the coffeeshop can buy their weed, now of controlled quality, legally and the government get those taxes too!

But oh, these international treaties... right...

The 911 call (0, Offtopic)

afaik_ianal (918433) | more than 5 years ago | (#27783459)

That 911 call is absolutely hilarious. Is that for real?

Technically,,, (-1, Offtopic)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 5 years ago | (#27783475)

an anal probe does not actually "enter" your body, you pathetic torus.

Re:Technically,,, (1)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 5 years ago | (#27783607)

Ah, someone that speaks from experience.

Um. (4, Interesting)

adolf (21054) | more than 5 years ago | (#27783473)

I thought weed was quasi-legal in at least the city of Amsterdam.

Would the locals care to elaborate on the incongruity of thought that I am currently experiencing?

Re:Um. (4, Informative)

Dripdry (1062282) | more than 5 years ago | (#27783505)

As I understand it the law allows one to possess mary jane, but growing it is illegal.

Re:Um. (5, Informative)

unlametheweak (1102159) | more than 5 years ago | (#27783619)

As I understand it the law allows one to possess mary jane, but growing it is illegal.

Yeah, it's like the prostitution laws in Canada; you can legally sell your body for sex, but it is illegal to advertise that you are willing to sell your body for sex. And so too medical marijuana is legal in Canada and yet people are (at least sometimes) arrested for growing medical marijuana, and after they win their court case the police refuse to compensate the victims.

This is another case of police fanaticism; they don't only want it to be illegal, but they will go out of their way to hunt you down for growing it, no matter how discrete the grower may attempt to be. I don't understand why the police would go out of their way to make portray themselves as evil.

Re:Um. (1)

damburger (981828) | more than 5 years ago | (#27784049)

Honesty?

Re:Um. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27783795)

You may also grow one stem for your own purposes, as far as I know. Friends of mine have been doing so for years. And the laws go for the whole country, not just Amsterdam.

Re:Um. (5, Informative)

Jedi Alec (258881) | more than 5 years ago | (#27784301)

5 plants in a household, to my knowledge.

As to the legality of growing weed, one of the big issues is that people do it in attics, connecting several megawatts worth of electrical equipment in really haphazard ways, often bypassing the electrical meter. This in turn is a massive fire hazard.

In the winter it's pretty easy to spot the growers though. If all the roofs in a street are covered with snow except for one, it might be time to get a warrant(or send this toy for a flyby).

Re:Um. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27784365)

In the winter it's pretty easy to spot the growers though. If all the roofs in a street are covered with snow except for one, it might be time to get a warrant(or send this toy for a flyby).

Except for mine because my roof is isolated very well while my neighbours' isnt... their snow was gone sooner than mine... heheh... ;-)

Re:Um. (3, Insightful)

amRadioHed (463061) | more than 5 years ago | (#27784713)

Isn't that only a problem with it being illegal to grow weed? If we weren't so moronic about the plant people would be growing it in their backyards or greenhouses without any risk of fire.

Re:Um. (1)

pmarini (989354) | more than 5 years ago | (#27784023)

I thought it had been falling from the sky at winter for the last 6000 years, god why are they stopping the supplies?

Re:Um. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27783521)

This just in: governments worldwide have been found to attract berserk, power-mad cretins. Ric Romero has more at 11.

Re:Um. (5, Informative)

D-Cypell (446534) | more than 5 years ago | (#27783531)

I am not from Amsterdam but I have family there, so I am there fairly often, perhaps I can help.

Your question depends on your definition of 'quasi-legal'. Cannabis is *not* legal in Holland. However, they have made a decision not to prosecute small time offenders. This means, a blind eye is turned to possession when the amount is very low (personal use amounts). They also grant licenses to owners of 'coffee-shops' to sell cannabis with some fairly tight regulations. I believe the idea behind this is that, as has been discovered in basically every other country on earth, people want to smoke a joint from time to time, and it is better they get it from a regulated (and more importantly, taxed!) business, rather than some guy on the street who will almost certainly try to push the more addictive stuff on to the customer for higher (tax free!) profits.

However, what is not tolerated, is massive scale, cannabis farming which is then sold on for huge profits (without tax being paid, are you spotting a theme here??).

The Dutch are an eminently sensible race. Probably my favourite bunch of people. They are smart, direct (this comes across as rude at first, but once you get used to it, it's quite charming!), and very business minded. They actually are quite liberal, but they are also completely aware of how much extra gold goes in the coffers from all those tourists who you will see sparked out on a public bench at 10AM.

People will smoke weed, people will pay for sex, it simply cannot be prevented in any society that has the slightest freedom (or isn't batshit crazy religious!). The dutch say.... ok, get on with it, pay your taxes and don't make a nuisance of yourself and you are fine by us! I reiterate... eminently sensible!

Re:Um. (1)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 5 years ago | (#27783601)

There's something incredibly sensible about regulating and taxing things the government has no business dealing with in the first place. OH, other governments do it, therefore, it's right, right?

I guess if the rest of the world had a problem with potatoes you'd fawn over the "sensibility" of regulating and taxing potatoes and only allowing people to own potatoes in small amounts, right?

uh ha (2, Insightful)

unlametheweak (1102159) | more than 5 years ago | (#27783657)

I guess if the rest of the world had a problem with potatoes you'd fawn over the "sensibility" of regulating and taxing potatoes and only allowing people to own potatoes in small amounts, right?

I could presume you are one of the enlightened folk who are against taxation? I'd prefer potatoes to be illegal so that I can buy them on the black market tax free.

Re:uh ha (1)

shaitand (626655) | more than 5 years ago | (#27783943)

'I'd prefer potatoes to be illegal so that I can buy them on the black market tax free.'

Yeah for a 3000x markup. That's the big problem with the cali legalization and taxation plan, it uses the bogus law enforcement valuation numbers as a base. What was it, 100 per plant to grow... grown on large scale in a legalized society the output of a single plant would be than a fifth of that, let alone the tax.

Re:Um. (4, Insightful)

kdemetter (965669) | more than 5 years ago | (#27783729)

There's something incredibly sensible about regulating and taxing things the government has no business dealing with in the first place. OH, other governments do it, therefore, it's right, right?

I guess if the rest of the world had a problem with potatoes you'd fawn over the "sensibility" of regulating and taxing potatoes and only allowing people to own potatoes in small amounts, right?

No , it's not taxing of 'bad' things. Everything you buy is taxed. But offcourse , if goverment doesn't know it , you don't pay taxes.

How it works is that owner of the coffee shops , have to pay a percentage of what they sold , as taxes to the goverment( well , actually the customer pays that part ). Indeed , it also works like this for selling potatoes.

So , if you just have some potatoes in your garden , it's ok as long as you don't sell them in large quantities. Because then , the government needs it's share.

I assume they allow small time tax-free use, because it would cost them more to try to regulate it , then they could possible gain from it.

Re:Um. (4, Insightful)

D-Cypell (446534) | more than 5 years ago | (#27783761)

Aside from the fact that you do pay tax on your potatoes, potatoes and cannabis are quite different types of products.

Where do you draw the line? When *does* the government has 'business' dealing in the production and sale of a product. From your post I understand that you don't think they should get involved in potatoes or cannabis, how about firearms? radioactive material? human organs?

If you believe that there is at least 1 industry that the government should regulate, and at least 1 that it shouldn't it just becomes a fairly subjective matter of where you draw the line.

Re:Um. (4, Insightful)

XDirtypunkX (1290358) | more than 5 years ago | (#27784043)

And I'd assume there are government regulations involving the sale of potatoes in many countries. I'd like my potatoes safe to eat, thanks.

Re:Um. (1)

Kokuyo (549451) | more than 5 years ago | (#27784183)

Government must step in when stuff is advertised falsely and it is not directly visible for the customer.

As an example, even hard drugs are nobody's business, as long as the customer is an adult. We all know what cocaine does, right? So we are able to decide whether we want to put our body through that.

When they sell you rat poison, though, you'll probably not know until you're foaming at the mouth.

I have nothing against taxing drugs (other than the belief that government taxes way too much anyway ;)) but I see no justifiable reason to prohibit them. I've yet to hear a logical reason why it's okay to smoke and drunk but not to use cocaine.

Re:Um. (1)

Aceticon (140883) | more than 5 years ago | (#27784299)

If it is (or has a high risk of being) harmful for people other than the user/consumer you regulate it more tightly.

If it's only harmful for the user/consumer you apply the more general, light regulation (i.e. make sure it's properly labeled and people know what it does and then stand out of the way).

Which is why say, cars, guns and tobacco are more tightly regulated while potatoes, fishing rods and tricycles are not.

Drug laws fall outside this pattern in that the drugs themselves are really only harmful for the consumer and yet drug laws represent some of the tightest regulation there is (in some countries they'll even incarcerate the consumers, which pretty much proves those laws are not there to protect consumers).

Re:Um. (1)

H0p313ss (811249) | more than 5 years ago | (#27783859)

you'd fawn over the "sensibility" of regulating and taxing potatoes and only allowing people to own potatoes in small amounts, right?

Do you know of any western nation that does NOT regulate agro-business and tax its profits?

Re:Um. (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27783713)

The Dutch are an eminently sensible race. Probably my favourite bunch of people.

Yes, they were the last in Europe to abolish slavery, I get your point.

Re:Um. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27783753)

Eminently sensible huh? Personal Freedom eh? Then why don't they regulate/legalize and tax all drug and drug manufacturers/producers thereby this philosophy full cycle? Oh, thats right, its because the Netherlands are still playing little bitch to the prohibition special interest groups in Washington and the EU.

Re:Um. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27783815)

Your logic is a wee bit flawed.

Pot is not "addictive," in terms of its physical effects. So potency is not directly linked to any nefariousness, in fact, it may be inversely related (dirt weed being produced en-masse by hooligan types, and potent weed being grown by good, conscientious folk). It CAN BE habit-forming, but in much the same way that a good food is.

This seems like the wrong direction to go.

Marijuana should be decriminalized, but it may be wise to make it (keep it, elsewhere) illegal to sell, but LEGAL to grow your own, perhaps up to a small number of plants.

The currency transaction is the worst part about the substance, not its use, nor the effects.

This would combat the laziness and motivational issues of young smokers, some who never get off the couch to brush their teeth, let alone get a job. It would encourage the acquisition of a nice abode, the attention to caring for another organism, and the relationship one has with the plant would become that much more rich and thorough; respectful.

Plain decriminalization would hand the market to the tobacco industry. BAD MOVE. THEY are the ones manipulating addictive properties (and perhaps big agri-business and chemical-food manufacturers). The average grower is not looking to increase addictive properties. Potent marijuana is actually healthier, as you smoke less, treat it with more reverence, and mete it out carefully.

Fun fact:

Carl Sagan used marijuana to stimulate his creative, scientific, and analytic thought.

I've known (employed) Aeronautical Engineers that take bong rips while working on multipage math problems.

Also, the Dutch are not a race. They may be eminently sensible, but so are the French!

COGNITIVE LIBERTY NOW!
      (or we are not free)

Re:Um. (4, Informative)

shaitand (626655) | more than 5 years ago | (#27784015)

I don't see why it should be illegal to sell or use marijuana. It is a fairly harmless substance and is safer than most things found in the herbal supplement isle or on the shelves of GNC. It is certainly safer than anything on the over the counter medication shelf.

However, if you are going to make personal growing legal it shouldn't be based on the number of plants. The most sensible way to grow enough marijuana for personal use (about an ounce of bud per month per person) is to keep one mother plant that you take cuttings from and grow many smaller plants rather than a few big ones. Also you would have some plants in the flowering stage which requires 12light/12dark light cycle and another set going at the same time on vegatative light cycle. In a cabinet the size of a wardrobe you might have as many as 20-40 plants that will yield only enough to keep one person in smoke. You will need more if you want to people to be able to eat or vaporize instead of smoking.

'The average grower is not looking to increase addictive properties.'

Marijuana doesn't have addictive properties to increase. You would actually have to add a foreign substance to it in order to make it addictive.

Re:Um. (4, Insightful)

wdef (1050680) | more than 5 years ago | (#27784619)

As I understand it, it is the inconsistency of the drug laws in Holland that is at fault here. While there are these licensed coffee shops for weed, the proprietors are forced to buy from illegal suppliers because there is no legal means of production. This drives an illegal industry where there clearly needs to be legal supply lines.

Prohibition of any social drug like this will fail, and of course, it always does fail. In every country. All Prohibition of alcohol did in the US was create and bankroll organized crime as we now know it, and I'd bet that huge multinational enterprise is still very dependent on anti-drug laws in order to thrive. Organized crime would simply lose its control of the market if drugs were decriminalized and properly regulated. It is not possible to properly regulate an illegal activity. This is also the real rational behind the completely illogical illegality of prostitution.

Which means that most countries are engaging in a Kafkaesque sideshow, dragging people into court, keep the police's wheels spinning on minor drug busts when they should be doing something useful, and waging war on their own citizens - for what? - just to keep the profits flowing into a huge economy owned by organized crime and corruption.

Religious, moral, social impact and health reasons are just the sales pitch that most people feel good about buying into.

If this were not the case, then logically there would be an absolute ban on the sale of alcohol and cigarettes, which cause far more social and health problems than the entire impact of illicit drugs combined.

Now, marijuana is not harmless, it has a higher tar content than tobacco and so has tar-related health effects on the lungs. Also it is psychoactive and should not be used, especially heavily for sustained periods, by people with some propensity for mental illness (quite a lot of the population probably). So it has risks. So do lots of things.

In a rational society, we give people information and choices and regulate and tax substances sensibly. If they still want to bong themselves to death, so be it, they should be allowed to.

I don't see how anyone can argue that the outlawing of marijuana works for the public good. Yes, educate people about moderation and hazards, restrict where it can be smoked, The Dutch have had the right general idea - allow this under controlled circumstances - but they have not followed through to make this consistent.

Re:Um. (1)

wijsneus (1181415) | more than 5 years ago | (#27783883)

Let me add to this that over here in the Netherlands we have decided that drug (ab)use is a matter of public health, not a matter of crime. This is probably why the average age of our population of heroin users goes up by about one year every year.

Re:Um. (4, Insightful)

tpgp (48001) | more than 5 years ago | (#27783937)

This is probably why the average age of our population of heroin users goes up by about one year every year.

Let me add that the sight of a aged-29-looks-48 Rotterdam junkie I chatted to a few years ago was probably the most eye opening anti-heroin education I've ever had.

Re:Um. (5, Interesting)

Xenna (37238) | more than 5 years ago | (#27783969)

No, we're not sensible. We aren't a race either.

Making cannabis semi-legal is a huge mistake. It attracts a lot of drugs tourism, from the US and UK, Germany, Belgium and France.

The result is that 4 billion euros are pumped into a half-legal economy yearly. The stores that sell it (the coffeeshops) are mostly legal, but everything else, from distributors to growers is illegal.

Some city districts have been tranformed into cannabis growing plantations. People grow large scale cannabis in their lofts and in their cellars and they can make quite a lot of money with it (usually to supplement their unemployment benefit). Of course, it's still illegal...

So if you get into trouble. You distributor won't pay you, or you get ripped off by someone who specializes in this, you have nowhere to go but to hire other criminals to protect you and your business. More and more deaths are turning up in and around cannabis plantations.

It's legal to grow up to five plants in Holland, so perfectly ordinary people start out that way. Make some money and then want to make more. To avoid detection they normally tap illegal electricity for the necessary lamps.

So what have we got here? A nice system for turning ordinary citizens into criminals. What a great idea!

It's madness in my opinion. I have nothing against legalizing cannabis, but do it the right way. Legalize everything so that professional growers (or amateurs turning professional) can make legal money with it or don't legalize it at all.

Also do it *at least* Europe-wide. We really don't need all European losers to come here to get high.

The Dutch solution is not sensible at all. It's cowardly and stupid.

BTW: One of your favourite bunch of people just killed five innocent people celebrating the queen's birthday. Perhaps you need a reality check.

X. (yeah Dutch)

Re:Um. (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27784277)

To avoid detection they normally tap illegal electricity for the necessary lamps.

Well, we're about to get a dose of Dutch-style snooping (without going inside the house) here in the San Francisco bay area.

Pacific Gas & Electric is in the process of "upgrading" us with new "smart meters" that wirelessly report your usage of gas and electricity every fifteen minutes. (Great chance to fire some more union scum (in management's eyes) meter readers, too.)

It won't be in effect for an hour before the fucking SFPD and the rest of the local yokels are hammering on the power company's doors demanding a "feed" from the accounting process so they can pore over the stats looking for instances of "potential unauthorized indoor agriculture".

Warrant, my ass. All they have to do is tout it as "a valuable crime-fighting tool" and the courts will roll backwards and spread their legs again. Like the whores they've always been.

Re:Um. (1)

borizz (1023175) | more than 5 years ago | (#27784283)

No, we're not sensible. We aren't a race either.

Making cannabis semi-legal is a huge mistake. It attracts a lot of drugs tourism, from the US and UK, Germany, Belgium and France.

The result is that 4 billion euros are pumped into a half-legal economy yearly. The stores that sell it (the coffeeshops) are mostly legal, but everything else, from distributors to growers is illegal.

Some city districts have been tranformed into cannabis growing plantations. People grow large scale cannabis in their lofts and in their cellars and they can make quite a lot of money with it (usually to supplement their unemployment benefit). Of course, it's still illegal...

So if you get into trouble. You distributor won't pay you, or you get ripped off by someone who specializes in this, you have nowhere to go but to hire other criminals to protect you and your business. More and more deaths are turning up in and around cannabis plantations.

It's legal to grow up to five plants in Holland, so perfectly ordinary people start out that way. Make some money and then want to make more. To avoid detection they normally tap illegal electricity for the necessary lamps.

So what have we got here? A nice system for turning ordinary citizens into criminals. What a great idea!

It's madness in my opinion. I have nothing against legalizing cannabis, but do it the right way. Legalize everything so that professional growers (or amateurs turning professional) can make legal money with it or don't legalize it at all.

Also do it *at least* Europe-wide. We really don't need all European losers to come here to get high.

The Dutch solution is not sensible at all. It's cowardly and stupid.

BTW: One of your favourite bunch of people just killed five innocent people celebrating the queen's birthday. Perhaps you need a reality check.

X. (yeah Dutch)

And a lot of people died in a shooting in India. So what?

Re:Um. (4, Insightful)

D-Cypell (446534) | more than 5 years ago | (#27784445)

At the very least, you validated my point about you guys being direct ;o).

I didn't mean to offend about the 'race' thing, I couldn't find the appropriate word, but hopefully you understand what I mean, generally speaking, I like you guys! I saw the story about the attack on the queens birthday celebration and I was shocked and saddened, clearly you have complete idiots in your country just like every country does.

I also understand your points about problems further up the distribution chain, but understand that all of these kinds of problems exist in other countries too. People in Holland have the same decision as people in all other countries, get involved in the drug trade, with huge rewards but also huge risks... or don't. We (in the UK) have the exact same system for turning citizens into criminals except that in Holland it is possible to be your standard occasional, recreational, cannabis user without crossing that line. It does seem a bit daft to criminalise the distribution chain, but elsewhere we are even more daft by sending those who like the occasional joint through the legal system (and in the USA, possibly to a high security prison for a long stretch).

I happen to be one of those european losers that come to Amsterdam to get high, but I also come for the lovely architecture, the great people, and the best place to eat on the planet.... FEBO!! (Ok, that last one wasn't so serious). I am a quiet/loner sort of chap and like to bar hop with a good pop-sci book (the selfish gene on my last trip, recommended!), but I do appreciate that some of my fellow brits are not nearly as quiet or respectful. All I can say on that point is, they will probably come to visit you anyway... you are much better off with them high than with them drunk. You can ask our other euro neighbors to confirm that point!

Re:Um. (1)

DerPflanz (525793) | more than 5 years ago | (#27784567)

Well, I live in one or the "drug tourist ridden" border towns. And there is a coffee shop just around the corner of my house. I have no problems at all with that. No nuisance.

I think people choose themselves to become criminals. If you have a few plants, that are legal, you know that having more will make you a criminal. You know when you are selling cannabis on a larger scale is illegal (if only because you are not paying taxes).

I do agree with you though on the European, or at least national scale, of really legalising the drug. There was a cannabis-summit not so long ago with all the mayors of the border towns. They all agreed the current system is far from ideal. Too bad we have a conservative-christian government right now that doesn't want to touch the subject.

BTW: do not judge a people based on the actions of a madman.

Re:Um. (1)

mvdwege (243851) | more than 5 years ago | (#27784611)

Utter bullshit hyperbole. Whole city districts cannabis farms? Provide a cite, or I'll call you what you are: a liar.

Mart, also Dutch.

Mart

Re:Um. (1)

wdef (1050680) | more than 5 years ago | (#27784641)

I wouldn't say cowardly. The coffee shops are quite a brave statement in my view in the face of ever increasing conservatism. But it is mind-bogglingly inconsistent. They need to create a legal supply chain for the coffee shops.

Re:Um. (1)

amRadioHed (463061) | more than 5 years ago | (#27784741)

So what have we got here? A nice system for turning ordinary citizens into criminals. What a great idea!

It's madness in my opinion. I have nothing against legalizing cannabis, but do it the right way. Legalize everything so that professional growers (or amateurs turning professional) can make legal money with it or don't legalize it at all.

Yeah it's madness, but you're still lightyears ahead of the US and many other countries.

Re:Um. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27784297)

So what you're saying is, It's legal but it ain't hundred percent legal.

From what I understand it's legal to buy it, it's legal to own it, and if you're the proprietor of a hash bar, it's legal to sell it. It's legal to carry it, but...but that dosen't matter, 'cause, get a load of this; all right, if you get stopped by a cop in Amsterdam, it's illegal for them to search you.

Is this about right?

Re:Um. (1)

Pikoro (844299) | more than 5 years ago | (#27784387)

Yah, but what do they call a quarter pounder with cheese?

Re:Um. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27784469)

Yah, but what do they call a quarter pounder with cheese?

I don't know what they call it, but I call it a dick in need of some personal hygiene.

Re:Um. (1)

rarity (165626) | more than 5 years ago | (#27784549)

However, what is not tolerated, is massive scale, cannabis farming which is then sold on for huge profits (without tax being paid, are you spotting a theme here??).

That's the part that always confused me - if you're not allowed to grow it large-scale, where does all the "product" in the shops come from? Are there legalised farms as well, or something?

Re:Um. (1)

dtml-try MyNick (453562) | more than 5 years ago | (#27783661)

If you follow the letter of the law in Holland possession of, selling and growing weed is illegal.

However exceptions are made for small quantities for personal use and coffeeshops are allowed to have a small stack in their shops for sales.

However it is illegal to grow it.. It's a bit odd to explain to foreigners.. :)

The idea with the drone isn't that new really. The police have been doing searches with normal helicopters equiped with heat detectors for quite a while now.. I guess this is the high-tech version of that.

Re:Um. (1)

shaitand (626655) | more than 5 years ago | (#27784031)

But where exactly is the weed for coffeeshops and personal use supposed to come from?

Re:Um. (1)

dtml-try MyNick (453562) | more than 5 years ago | (#27784257)

Now that is the 1 million dollar question....

And the reason this system is almost impossible to explain to "outsiders".. :)

I think the best way is to use a movie qoute:
"the first rule about selling weed is: you do not talk about growing weed"

Re:Um. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27784579)

But where exactly is the weed for coffeeshops and personal use supposed to come from?

Virgin birth?

Re:Um. (1)

atamido (1020905) | more than 5 years ago | (#27784045)

Helicopters and people in them are extremely expensive to operate and maintain. A small drone that doesn't get tired could be much more efficient.

Re:Um. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27784147)

"The police claim it is legal because they do not enter people's houses". That sounds more like a Nixonism in the sense of "If the police do it, it's not illegal."

My gut feeling says it should be illegal though. We , the people, don't want drones flying through the air spying on us. If democracy is worth anything, these things should be banned by voice of majority.

Re:Um. (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27784181)

Would the locals care to elaborate on the incongruity of thought that I am currently experiencing?

Personally I'm far more interested in a different incongruity:

When new technology is made available to people, laws like CALEA (Communications Assistance to Law Enforcement Act, in the US) require that any new tech must be hobbled with requirements that allow the bastard cops to e.g. have routers required to be made with LE-available backdoors and wiretappingg capability.

Meanwhile, when the sonofabitch government comes up with new intrusion technology, there is no requirement that the people's right to privacy be similarly expanded to thwart the new tech.

All we hear in such cases is shrieks of, "You have no expectation of privacy in a public place", which the cocksucking courts have narrowed down to little more than being in your bathroom in your own home, with the door locked. It's a goddamned wonder they haven't limited you to one flush per hour, in case you're trying to keep them from snooping on a potential illicit conversation in there.

Thank you Larry Fucking Ellison. You came up with your mantra, "There's no such thing as privacy any more -- get used to it" just so you could sell more goddamned Oracle databases to the "data aggregators". Their capability far exceeds Stalin's wettest dreams. To the white-hot pit of hell with you.

Re:Um. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27784607)

I live in the netherlands, the weed-law in short:
1) You can smoke it.
2) You can buy it.
3) You cannot grow it.
4) You cannot transport it.
5) When the weed gets in the coffeeshop, it suddenly is just there, nothing was deliverd, it just 'materialized' inside the coffeeshop and it is now legal to sell and smoke.

Great (1)

Dripdry (1062282) | more than 5 years ago | (#27783499)

This is sure to result in another Norse invasion of Europe just to "get away from that buzzing sound, man!"

It's just what we needed: Thousands of stoned, paranoid Norsemen looking at each going "Did you hear something, man? I thought I heard something! Look out the window, in the sky!"

Norse? (2, Funny)

afaik_ianal (918433) | more than 5 years ago | (#27783511)

I'm guessing you're not from Europe...

Re:Norse? (1)

Dripdry (1062282) | more than 5 years ago | (#27783577)

Maybe I'm just trying... to... yeah. I see what I did there.

Re:Norse? (1)

mellon (7048) | more than 5 years ago | (#27783585)

Superior Dutch technology wins again. Who knew the drones could fly so far? And against stiff ocean breezes, no less!

Re:Norse? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27784033)

Nah... it just got, like, way high, and got blown away a bit.

Re:Norse? (1)

clickclickdrone (964164) | more than 5 years ago | (#27784653)

>I'm guessing you're not from Europe...
Yet.

Bad move... (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 5 years ago | (#27783581)

If anti-drug drones become a standard part of the "war on drugs" - the US military is going to pay the price.

The drug lords make tens of billions of dollars each year. If drones start to significantly hurt their business, they will invest in the development of anti-drone technology. Once invented, it can't be un-invented and it isn't like its going to be stamped top-secret and kept in a scif either - it will spread to anyone who thinks they need to protect themselves from drones.

Re:Bad move... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27783787)

It might be cheaper to hire a clay pigeon shooter to spend all day on a lawn chair and shoot down any hovering drone using a shotgun.

Re:Bad move... (1)

drfool (1535489) | more than 5 years ago | (#27783911)

You do realize, the only reason "drug lords make tens of billions of dollars each year" is because cops/politicians allow them to. This drone will not amount to anything, the only reason things like this get invented and covered in the news is so that the old folk sitting at home watching their television sets can think to themselves "we're making progress".

What would happen if we won the war on drugs? Utopian society? Politicians everywhere will have lost one of their most prized possessions and would be running around in circles trying to find the next boogie man.

Re:Bad move... (1)

atamido (1020905) | more than 5 years ago | (#27784055)

The next boogie man? You mean like Mexican Swine Flu? They aren't worried about losing a boogie man because there is always another one to pick up.

Re:Bad move... (2, Interesting)

shaitand (626655) | more than 5 years ago | (#27784077)

Exactly. This is why I am opposed to the california tax plan. It isn't that marijuana shouldn't be legal and taxed (as in sales tax and income tax the same as any other good, not a separate tax) its that the taxes they want to impose are ridiculous and largely based on current police exaggerations of black market prices.

Marijuana is only as expensive as it is because it is illegal. It's actually a pretty hardy and easy to grow plant under the light of the sun. Inside growers might get 100w per square foot, they need fans and air conditioners for climate control and carbon dioxide to supplement and expensive nutrients. Outside you have a free 2000w per square foot grow light and need a pile of shit and a hose. In cali they wanted to tax the grower for the plant and the buyer. The $100 per plant they wanted is more than the retail price of a plants output if legalized!

Re:Bad move... (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 5 years ago | (#27784295)

Just because the war on some drugs is bought and paid for doesn't mean that laws and policies which escalate the war on some drugs don't get implemented. In fact, that seems to be the way it normally goes, just look at how much more violent the drug trade has become in the last few years, mexico is really getting fucked over by it.

Re:Bad move... (5, Interesting)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 5 years ago | (#27784261)

>>If drones start to significantly hurt their business, they will invest in the development of anti-drone technology.

Huh, I just can't see a bunch of Colombians walking into General Dynamics and investing in anti-drone technologies. I mean, maybe they'll figure out that a 30 ought 6 can take one out, but that doesn't take billions. It also doesn't have the slightest impact on Columbia, since they probably don't need to use grow lights. And if they shut down production in the Netherlands, well, more demand for them to supply, right?

Fortunately, aerial flyovers of houses with thermal sensors scanning for grow lights was ruled unconstitutional in America (unconstitutional search and seizure) without a warrant, IIRC.

And in a related story... (4, Interesting)

msimm (580077) | more than 5 years ago | (#27783587)

Dutch citizens test Dutch lawmakers sewage water and household garbage for signs of drugs or illegal activity. Citizens say they are not breaking the law because the samples can be taken without entering the building.

Re:And in a related story... (1)

repapetilto (1219852) | more than 5 years ago | (#27783645)

yea, well that sort of situation always comes down to who has the bigger bank, or bigger balls, but in the civilized world its the bank one.

Hehe well let me write that piece for you then... (1)

gd23ka (324741) | more than 5 years ago | (#27784109)

Amsterdam (AP). Dutch intelligence services have uncovered a terror cell operating in the Dutch capital of Amsterdam. Kas Buurmeester, spokesperson of the Dutch Ministry of Inner Security announced during a press conference earlier this morning that a number of dutch citizens were apprehended outside the homes of various members of the European Parliament. The suspects displayed a keen interest in the contents of rubbish bins and in one case evidence of an attempt was uncovered to tap into the municipal sewage system, ostensibly to obtain samples of sewage from those residences. "There is not a single modus of operandi you can point to and that's how terrorists operate", so David Rosenthal, security advisor to the United Nations, "Each case is different and it really depends on the terrorist's objectives". With this in mind, tragedy may have been prevented in Amsterdam, but the population of this European metropolis looks into an uncertain and worrisome future.

Re:And in a related story... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27784373)

Dutch citizens test Dutch lawmakers sewage water and household garbage for signs of drugs or illegal activity. Citizens say they are not breaking the law because the samples can be taken without entering the building.

Won't work -- at least in California.

For years, the garbage companies wanted nothing to do with recycling. When it became profitable, you could put newspapers and cardboard out with the garbage can. Guys used to roam the neighborhoods at night in Toyota pickups heavily laden with paper and cardboard.

So the garbage fucks bought a law passed declaring that anything put out immediately became their "property", so they could harass the little guys with threats of arrest for "theft".

Buttfucking sons of bitches.

Drug sniffing robots? (1)

drfool (1535489) | more than 5 years ago | (#27783683)

cops everywhere must be pissed...

New Product Launch (1)

Dodder (1410959) | more than 5 years ago | (#27783715)

Perfect timing! I was just about to launch my newest product line. Chimney sized fabric softener sheets!

Question for you Dutch. (5, Insightful)

Anachragnome (1008495) | more than 5 years ago | (#27783801)

Do you REALLY believe this shit?

The cops can locate grow-ops FAR easier by tracking electrical usage and using infrared detectors(the heat detected is outside the house, so no warrant needed).

I think what you REALLY have is 1984 flying over your houses, and it ain't just looking for pot. It is CCTV flying around the place, nothing less. What ELSE might they be looking at?

Is that REALLY what you want your cops doing with your taxes?

Considering there is no human on board to generate a murder charge, that little fucker wouldn't last a minute over Los Angeles, but then again, we got guns.

Re:Question for you Dutch. (3, Funny)

drfool (1535489) | more than 5 years ago | (#27783843)

You're just another one of them dangerous folk trying to stir trouble, for shame! The government has a genuine interest in our safety, I wish we had drug robots in Glorious America to protect us from the degenerate substance abusers that have so plagued our great society.

Re:Question for you Dutch. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27784121)

Yeah: killing bots to slaughter those degenerated GMO eaters and producers! I like the idea.

Re:Question for you Dutch. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27784353)

What I really need right now is a mod category +0 I can't tell if you're being serious or ironic

Re:Question for you Dutch. (1)

Xenna (37238) | more than 5 years ago | (#27783997)

1984! No, I believe *that* paranoid shit. ;)

I don't really believe this will work that well, though. They're just trying. Obviously current detection methods aren't working very well. Electricity is tapped by bypassing the meters making detection harder.

Lately growers have resorted to using natural gas powered generators to generate the electricity. Also they're growing cannabis outside between regular crops. That's where this toy might perhaps come in handy.

It's perfectly legal for the police to fly manned helicopters to keep track of things, so I don't know what's particularly 1984ish about this. I don't expect to ever see one of these things. My guess is that it's an experiment that'll soon fail.

X.

Re:Question for you Dutch. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27784069)

I don't really understand the problem.
The government there just wants people to practice their aim on a flying target.

Re:Question for you Dutch. (1)

VON-MAN (621853) | more than 5 years ago | (#27784073)

Do you REALLY believe this shit? The cops can locate grow-ops FAR easier by tracking electrical usage and using infrared detectors(the heat detected is outside the house, so no warrant needed).

What about hothouses? There's a whole region of the Netherlands called "the glass city", lots of hot windows and roofs there. Guess you'd need a sniffer there.

Considering there is no human on board to generate a murder charge, that little fucker wouldn't last a minute over Los Angeles, but then again, we got guns.

Yes, I know, however we've got brains.

Re:Question for you Dutch. (1)

luigi517 (1169353) | more than 5 years ago | (#27784311)

yes but our guns are bigger

Re:Question for you Dutch. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27784703)

How's that possible, we bought all our guns from US. ehm, you!

Re:Question for you Dutch. (1)

shaitand (626655) | more than 5 years ago | (#27784087)

Yeah but at least here in the US electrical usage and infrared detectors aren't actually proof of anything or even enough to get a warrant to search and look for proof. They just let the law enforcement know who to look at more closely.

Re:Question for you Dutch. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27784091)

Just so to say, watch the video: it says the drones detect the heat from the lighting... which I guess is done through IR sensors.

Well, quick fix: use low-consumptions grow-lights. Seems you can get the equivalent of 500-600W classic ones with 100-150W low-consumptions. Plus it will also lower you electricity charges, so not to drag cops with your billings.

Of course, do not grow your pot under the roof. Roof's purpose is to serve as an isolation to lower stairs, and is rarely very well isolated in itself (plus rockwhool above something you'd smoke is kinda retarded). Rather grow it in small cabinets that you will be able to hide inside a classic room. Here it is: heat problem solved.

As for the smell (guess the drones have particles sensors), well, easy: use fast growing seeds (such as those that grow and make flowers in less than two monthes), and make those grow like bonsais. Faster growing cycle, smaller plants: lesser need to ventilate, hence, making it easy not to have to cope with an overwhelming smell in your habitat. Better: drones could not be able to detect smaller quantities of THC particles, or whatever they sniff.

And voila: fuck you, flying-nazi-bots :p

Re:Question for you Dutch. (2, Insightful)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 5 years ago | (#27784331)

"Considering there is no human on board to generate a murder charge, that little fucker wouldn't last a minute over Los Angeles, but then again, we got guns."

1. Shoot at drone that is filming you.
2. Watch as drone drops from the sky over a densely populated area.
3. Continue watering plants.
What could possibly go wrong?

Re:Question for you Dutch. (2, Insightful)

Jedi Alec (258881) | more than 5 years ago | (#27784369)

The cops can locate grow-ops FAR easier by tracking electrical usage and using infrared detectors(the heat detected is outside the house, so no warrant needed).

Ehmm, how do you suggest we find them based on tracking electrical usage since:

- the electrical meter is located inside the residence most of the time, and even it isn't the authorities can't obtain its readings without a warrant
- most of the time the electrical meter is (illegally) bypassed anyway

Re:Question for you Dutch. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27784649)

Yes, i'm REALLY dutch and have no clue what a 1984 is.

Billy Mays here... (1)

heyitsjon (1544855) | more than 5 years ago | (#27783825)

Now the pot has met the bot!

Re:Billy Mays here... (1)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 5 years ago | (#27783899)

More like the bot has met the shotgun pellets.

Unconstitutional in the USA (1)

WizKidr (1058654) | more than 5 years ago | (#27783841)

This wouldn't fly in the USA thanks to Kyllo v. USA.

I realize that this was tongue-in-cheek, but... (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 5 years ago | (#27783923)

I can't vouch for the "sniffers", but in the United States similar infrared instruments have already been ruled to be illegal surveillance without a warrant.

Range? (1)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 5 years ago | (#27783957)

I wonder what the range is on this thing, and in related thoughts i wonder what frequencies it uses to communicate with HQ?

1) block frequencies
2) wait for it to crash into wall
3) steal scraps
4) ???
5) profit

Re:Range? (3, Funny)

julesh (229690) | more than 5 years ago | (#27784189)

1) block frequencies
2) wait for it to crash into wall
3) steal scraps
4)
get beaten up by cops who are pissed off you wrecked their toy, while you are filming covertly
5) profit

There. Finished that for you.

What a waste of time and money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27784125)

Why is the world wasting so much time and energy fighting the losing battle of keeping marijuana illegal. A very large part of the population smokes it and its becoming more common everyday. The reasons its illegal are generally very silly, like what happened in the US.

Hell, I work in an office of over 75 people and I would take a guess that at least 40 of them smoke pot at least once a week. 15 or so every day. We do our jobs, we do them very well and have fun hanging out after work with each other. We are not a bunch of college kids, everyone ranges from ages 30 to 50.

Its just ridiculous that the governments are investing so many resources into bothering people who want to relax after a long day at the office. Let me live my fucking life, and you go deal with yours. Stop invading my life with your personal morals.

Lets get to the core. A FORMAL CHALLANGE. (1)

Froody42 (1545053) | more than 5 years ago | (#27784497)

I doubt this technology is going to be restricted to "kingpens" and that its use is going to be limited to the Netherlands. I FORMALLY CHALLANGE slashdot contributers to come up with the a diy device that can block RF transmitters for a suitable range Without becoming a beacon for enforcement. i issue this challenge not because i do not possess the technical knowledge to do this (irrelevant), but out of love. is it out of protocol to issue a formal challenge on a first post?
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...