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Drug-Sniffing Drones Take To the Skies In the Netherlands 229

Posted by samzenpus
from the are-you-sarah-connor's-stash dept.
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."

*

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Drug-Sniffing Drones Take To the Skies In the Netherlands

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 01, 2009 @01:05AM (#27783457)
    The Dutch tourist industry goes bankrupt.
    • Re:News just in. (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 01, 2009 @04:59AM (#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 US is closer to legalizing than the EU is. Some states allow it and the Feds aren't making it a priority to enforce the national laws. After one more generation of voting old fogies kicks off...

  • Um. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by adolf (21054) <flodadolf@gmail.com> on Friday May 01, 2009 @01:10AM (#27783473) Journal

    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. (Score:5, Informative)

      by Dripdry (1062282) on Friday May 01, 2009 @01:15AM (#27783505) Journal
      As I understand it the law allows one to possess mary jane, but growing it is illegal.
      • Re:Um. (Score:5, Informative)

        by unlametheweak (1102159) on Friday May 01, 2009 @01:43AM (#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: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        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. (Score:5, Informative)

          by Jedi Alec (258881) on Friday May 01, 2009 @04:00AM (#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. (Score:4, Insightful)

            by amRadioHed (463061) on Friday May 01, 2009 @05:40AM (#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. (Score:5, Insightful)

              by aurispector (530273) on Friday May 01, 2009 @08:36AM (#27785533)

              We could end the war on drugs, undermine the narcotics cartels, fund interdiction of truly bad drugs like meth and heroin as well as fund rehab for anyone who wants it with one simple action: tax weed. The government could control production and distribution and police could stop wasting everyone's time on the victimless pseudo-crime of pot possession. Prohibition showed us that outlawing alcohol merely forced it underground, fueled organized crime and turned virtually everyone into a criminal. The current situation with pot is essentially no different.

              I don't like drug use; I've seen too many people destroy themselves and waste their lives getting high, but making it illegal does nothing to stop them. We need to recognize the practical realities regarding drug use in order to get a handle on it.

              • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

                by plague3106 (71849)

                I've seen too many people destroy themselves and waste their lives getting high

                Honestly, why do you even care what other people are doing to their lives? Do you feel the same way when you see an obese person?

                • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

                  by glennpratt (1230636)

                  Answering for the GP...

                  I don't try to project paternalism on people walking down the street. However, when you know someone, especially someone close to you, I think it's appropriate to be concerned when they abuse anything (food, weed, alcohol). How you handle that concern is a different issue.

    • Re:Um. (Score:5, Informative)

      by D-Cypell (446534) on Friday May 01, 2009 @01:23AM (#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!

      • 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 (Score:2, Insightful)

          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.

          • by shaitand (626655)

            '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. (Score:5, Insightful)

          by kdemetter (965669) on Friday May 01, 2009 @02:05AM (#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.

          • 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.

            So does Tony Soprano. Your point being...?

        • Re:Um. (Score:5, Insightful)

          by D-Cypell (446534) on Friday May 01, 2009 @02:11AM (#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. (Score:4, Insightful)

            by XDirtypunkX (1290358) on Friday May 01, 2009 @03:08AM (#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.

          • by Kokuyo (549451)

            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

          • by Aceticon (140883)

            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 fo

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by Alpha830RulZ (939527)

              And it's debatable how harmful the majority of recreational drugs really are, if used in safe, known doses of unadulterated quality. Yes, even cocaine, crack, and meth. Most people will not overuse these substances, which can be shown through the vast differences in rates for lifetime use of the drug, vs. past month use. These figures can be had here [samhsa.gov].

              These figures show quite clearly that the vast majority of meth, cocaine, and heroin users try it, maybe use it for a while, and quit. That's a bit of a dif

        • by H0p313ss (811249)

          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. (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Xenna (37238) on Friday May 01, 2009 @02:55AM (#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. (Score:4, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 01, 2009 @03:56AM (#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.

        • by borizz (1023175)

          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. (Score:5, Insightful)

          by D-Cypell (446534) on Friday May 01, 2009 @04:33AM (#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. (Score:5, Insightful)

            by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Friday May 01, 2009 @10:04AM (#27786477)

            gotta echo that previous poster's point.

            worry about the drunks and NOT the stoners.

            anyone who has had any real (actual, not watching about it on tv or being preached about it at church) experience with booze and pot KNOWS which one is the dangerous one.

            this is the biggest lie of them all. and its known to be a lie by those who have experience. yet GETTING experience so you can know first-hand is limited to getting boozed over; in most countries you are not even allowed to sample MJ so you can't even know, on your own, how harmless it really is.

            interesting how the information, itself, is essentially regulated to keep people dumbed down and fed only propaganda.

        • 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.

        • Although you're mostly right, the current situation is still much, much better than criminalizing cannabis. Also, I don't think we should try to harmonize all drugs legislation in the EU, because it wouldn't work, sadly some of the most influential countries of the EU will never, ever, change their point of view that prohibition of any substance classified as 'drugs' is the only way to go. Hence, trying to attack drug-related problems as a pan-European problem is idealistic, naive and suboptimal. I'd say j

        • by gatkinso (15975)

          Considering the face that the poster spelled the word "favorite" f-a-v-o-u-r-i-t-e, it is likely he isn't American.

          This makes me happy, but then again I think about the state of the schools that my American "race" goes to and think that conclusions based on spelling are suspect.

           

          • by Xenna (37238)

            Believe it or not. Even as a Dutchman I'd drawn that conclusion. He obviously admitted to being a Brit in a later post ;)

            X.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        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?

      • Some may think Dutch frankness seems rude, but there is an easy solution. On your trip to Europe, visit France first. After that, everyone you meet in other countries will seem downright sweet.

    • 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 ve

      • by shaitand (626655)

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

        • 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"

      • by atamido (1020905)

        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: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      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 governm

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      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.

  • 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!"
  • 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... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by ShakaUVM (157947) on Friday May 01, 2009 @03:54AM (#27784261) Homepage Journal

      >>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.

  • by msimm (580077) on Friday May 01, 2009 @01:37AM (#27783587) Homepage
    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.
    • 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.

  • by Anachragnome (1008495) on Friday May 01, 2009 @02:19AM (#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: (Score:3, Funny)

      by drfool (1535489)
      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.
    • by Xenna (37238)

      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

    • by VON-MAN (621853)

      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.

      Ye

    • by shaitand (626655)

      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: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by TapeCutter (624760) *
      "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: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Jedi Alec (258881)

      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

    • by Candid88 (1292486)

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

      Um, you didn't actually mention what it is you think they are REALLY doing, all you did was make a vague reference to CCTV and a 60 year old novel.

      We would have to know what your particular conspiracy theory actually is before we could say whether we agree or disagree with it.

      Btw, due to the way most current suburban electrical grids work, heat dissipation is wildly acknowledged as the best way of detecting cannabis cultivation.

    • by Candid88 (1292486)

      Have you actually read 1984?

      Major themes include suppression of sexuality, nationalism and strict following of political doctrine. For someone from the USA (one of the most conservative societies in the western world) to be criticizing one of the most tolerant and liberal societies in the western world that they are entering a 1984 style era, is pretty ironic to say the least!

  • 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.
  • 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? (Score:4, Funny)

      by julesh (229690) on Friday May 01, 2009 @03:37AM (#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.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by neumayr (819083)
      Technology is past that - UAVs are capable of some degree of autonomy, most likely enough to avoid flying into walls.
      Check out what those quadcopter people [motodrone.de] are playing around with, they've got some advanced stuff, and it's safe to assume government developed UAVs are further advanced than that.
  • Some background (Score:5, Informative)

    by DogPhilosopher (1149275) on Friday May 01, 2009 @05:57AM (#27784773)
    I live in the Netherlands, the background to this story:

    Using cannabis is considered a victimless crime and thus low priority for law enforcement. This is true for most countries in Europe, but the Netherlands is known for this because it's in the open. So, yes, it's tolerated, but this is far from unique and has little to do with government income from taxes, as someone on this thread suggested.

    The national laws regarding drugs are somewhat hazy (the same with squatting). This is intentional, it gives city councils room to adapt their policies to the local situation. Some cities on the borders get thousands of drug tourists a day, which creates all kinds of problems. Maastricht has banned its coffeeshops to a `drug boulevard' outside the city, other places work with a pass system so that only locals can visit coffeeshops. Most other places don't experience such problems, so do not need such measures.

    However, things have changed in the last decade. Modern designer plants literally drip with THC, the content of some weed is actually so high that it is considered hallucinogenic and thus a hard drug. Also, the growers are not old ladies or hippies anymore. It's now big business run by criminal gangs that grow for export, not just local use.

    These are reasons for the police to crack down on the growers. It's also part of a political trend, the current coalition includes two christian parties. They are the parties responsible for the Netherlands joining Bush's wars. The former minister for science belongs to one of them, she kept telling universities they should look into ID, so they're quite extreme. Both parties spout rethoric about moral reconstruction of the country, they're also pushing for stiff jail sentences for squatters. City councils are against this, they tolerate squatters to make life difficult for real-estate speculators.

    Concerning the drone, the police says they'll only use it if they suspect the presence of a cannabis farm. Maybe they get tipped of by electricity companies (growers rig their meters). What worries me far more than this silly drone, which seems to be mainly a deterrent, is a proposed law concerning smart meters. The ID woman is now minister of economy, and she's trying to make smart meters obligatory. Refusing to have them installed would be an economic crime, which implies high fines and even jail.

    These meters send data about your minute-to-minute electricity use over the interwebtubes to your energy company, they in turn provide records to government upon request. So it just comes down to government spying, and since the meters have been hacked already, it means criminals can spy on you as well. They can then burgle your house while you're on holiday, so as not to inconvenience you too much. So it's a win-win situation. The motivation for this bill is that it will help consumers to be more energy efficient.

    Most. Transparent. Excuse. Ever.
  • - There are hundreds, thousands of "coffeeshops" all over Holland, where everyone over 18 is allowed to buy as much as 5 grammes hash or weed;
    - As a result, selling weed is legal for coffeeshops;
    - The same coffeeshops are not allowed to sell alcohol;
    - Smoking tobacco is not allowed in coffeeshops, however, smoking pure hash/weed is okay. No one cares.
    - The coffeeshops are *not* allowed to buy weed/hash from growers (so technically, they have to commit crimes on a daily basis to be able to stay in business)
    -

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by santax (1541065)
      Neh, you're just doing it wrong. All that really starts making sense after a couple of smokes.
  • ...or the collective shudder of Digg users everywhere?

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