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Police charged GeoHot as if his THC chocolates were solid marijuana

Renowned hardware hacker and iDevice-jailbreaker extraordinaire George "GeoHot" Hotz, 22, has been arrested and booked for possessing marijuana.  

These days GeoHot is working at Facebook and is an active member of Facebook-sponsored "Chronic Dev Team", which works to "free your iPad and iPhone".   Travelling from home in Cali, GeoHot was cruising into Texas in the western-border town and census site of Sierra Blanca on his way to speak at the renowned entertainment and digital lifestyle festival South by Southwest, which is held every year in Austin, a city in central-Texas.

While the hot question on everyone's mind may be whether the famed hacker was "hot boxing", we may never know.

What is known is that the town's police, expecting the rush of festival participants driving in from California were screening all cars with drug sniffing dogs.  The dogs apparently became extra excited at GeoHot's car, and sure enough he had some of "the chronic" in his car -- enough to reportedly earn him a felony possession charge.

Taken downtown, he was booked at the station (likely he did not get the opportunity to test his IRL jailbreaking skills), and then released on $1,500 USD bond.

But GeoHot might be in good shape -- apparently the officer goofed.  He had approximately 1/4 oz. of marijuana and chocolate edibles equivalent to less than 1/8 oz.  However, the officers weighed the chocolate as if it was pure marijuana, hence how he received the felony possession.  This led the officers to then estimate the value of GeoHot's "special" chunky chocolate truffle at $800 USD, rather than the $15 USD he reportedly paid for it.

As a reader pointed out, nonsensical as it may be, this is actually how the Texas penal code works -- anything with a drug in it, is counted as a drug when waying for determination of a felony.  GeoHot is only fortunate he didn't have a couple more chocolates or he might be looking at a 3rd degree felony and some serious prison time. (The threshold for a 3rd degree felony is 1 oz.)

The whole incident casts in a whole new light GeoHot's surprisingly funny and solid "rap retort" to Sony Corp.'s (TYO:6758lawsuit against him for jailbreaking the PlayStation 3:

America is a rather funny nation where both of its last two presidents openly admitted to smoking marijuana, yet it remains an imprisonable felony in many regions to possess the potent plant.  While peer-reviewed studies published in medicine's most prestigious journals found marijuana to be less harmful than alcohol and tobacco, it remains illegal in America.  In fact marijuana has been found to have mild beneficial effects.

Source: Above the Law

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By corduroygt on 3/15/2012 12:07:31 PM , Rating: 2
I have been pulled over before driving on that highway by police and told it is a known drug corridor and told "so you don't mind if we search your vehicle do you?" at which point I promptly state no, they may not and ask them if we are done here and if I am free to go. They will try to keep you until a drug dog gets there.. but they cannot legally keep you any longer then is necessary for the original traffic stop. never consent to a search regardless of wether you are not doing anything wrong.

Confused about this, isn't it better to just let them do their 5 minute search instead of waiting 2 hours for a dog? Are you saying they can't keep you that long? Whatever the law is, you can't just leave unless the officer lets you go.

By carigis on 3/15/2012 12:36:49 PM , Rating: 2
no its not.. because you are giving up your constitutional rights and encouraging abuse.

They only have the legal right to detain you for the amount of time to write the ticket. Once they hand you the ticket. the job is done there.

You can ask to leave.. If they say no you must stay.. then they are indirectly placing you under arrest by restricting your ability to leave as the original transaction has been completed.

They know this and know they do not have any probably cause for arrest or search (or they would not have bothered to ask you), as refusal to allow them to search is not probable cause. If they detain you after you ask to leave, They are committing an unlawful arrest and the whole thing will get thrown out court anyway.

And any evidence they gather will be inadmissable under fruits of the poisoness tree (any evidence gathered from an illegal action by police is in itself illegal and inadmissable in court)

the cops know this.. so they will say something like "you don't mind waiting for a few minutes do you?" or some vague statement that sounds like and order because its from a cop but but he is really asking you in his phrasing.

So you simply state. Actually i have things to do officer, so if Im free to leave, Id like to go now. and there is nowhere left for them to go.

The cops will usually just respond with "have a nice day sir". because that is all they can do at that point. most people don't know that or are afraid of the police, so it pays off for them a large amount of the time. They'll take the free search when they can.

By drlumen on 3/15/2012 7:50:08 PM , Rating: 2
Apparently you don't know that they don't have to issue a ticket. They can arrest you on the spot and take you to jail for speeding. A ticket is just a release on your own recognizances with the promise to appear in court.

Then not only do you spend time in jail waiting for a judge to arraign you but they still have the dogs check your car.

By carigis on 3/15/2012 11:33:24 PM , Rating: 2
speeding is an infraction (punishable by a fine).. not a misdemeanor or a felony.. unless you are cruising at 20+ mph over the limit..then its excessive speed, careless operation of a motor vehicle or reckless driving. an infraction is not an arrestable offense. If they could arrest you they wouldn't ask your permission.. they would order you out of the car. you cannot arrest someone because they decide to not let you search. once your handed a ticket.. they cannot detain you any further.

more morons get screwed because they think if they are just cool with the cop he will be leniant.. he is not your friend, his sole purpose is to gather evidence.. and who knows what falls out of your buddies pockets..

"If they're going to pirate somebody, we want it to be us rather than somebody else." -- Microsoft Business Group President Jeff Raikes

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