Odds & Ends
Ireland’s Court of Appeal briefly legalized nearly all illicit drugs—but only for 24 hours. A ruling by the court found a section of the country’s current drug legislation unconstitutional. As a result more than 100 substances, including ecstasy and ketamine, suddenly became legal. The country’s parliament convened right away and passed emergency drug control laws. The laws were ratified by the lower house of parliament, but still had to be ratified by the Senate and signed into law by President Michael D. Higgins. The legislative process took nearly 36 hours, leaving a category known as benzodiazepines legal. A memorandum for the new legislation confirmed, “All substances controlled by means of Government Orders made under section 2(2) cease to be controlled with immediate effect, and their possession ceases to be an offense.” Most other drugs, including heroin, cocaine and cannabis, are banned under separate legislation. The ruling came during the prosecution of a man for possession of methylethcathinone, which was among a number of substances added to the controlled drugs list in 2010. In their ruling the Court of Appeal decided that the decision to ban particular drugs should have been considered by parliament before being enacted by the relevant minister.
Archaeologists in the Bavarian city of Regensburg say they have unearthed two pretzels that could be as old as 300 years. Dorothee Ott, a spokesperson for the Bavarian Office of Historical Conservation, said earlier this month that the pretzel pieces will be on display at the Regensburg Historical Museum. According to the archaeologists who found them, the pretzels and other baked goods were badly burned, which is why they were discarded and managed to survive for so long. Carbon dating places the snacks at between 1700 and 1800 AD. Apparently, the doughy treat is nearly identical to the product served in today’s German beer halls. “It’s a normal pretzel,” Ott said. “Maybe a little smaller than today.”
The Ocala Star-Banner reports that thieves made off with a refrigerated tractor-trailer filled with $85,000 worth of shredded mozzarella cheese. The cheese was bound for a Hungry Howies Pizza distribution center in central Florida when it went missing from a truck stop in Summerfield. According to the article, the driver and his girlfriend left the trailer there on Saturday night so a mechanic could look at it. On Sunday morning the woman reported the refrigerated trailer missing to Marion County Sheriff’s Department. The trailer itself is valued at $62,000—$23,000 less than the cheese.
An inmate at a prison in western Pennsylvania admits to sending a threatening letter to President Obama—albeit to the wrong address. Joseph Savage pleaded guilty on March 11 in federal court to threatening the president and his family. Prosecutors say Savage was awaiting trial on child molestation charges in Fayette County Prison in October 2012 when he took time to pen a letter threatening to “torture and murder” the Obamas. Unfortunately, the letter was mailed to 1400 Pennsylvania Ave. in Washington, DC. The White House is located at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Savage’s sentence will be added on to the 12 1/2 to 25 years he’s already been sentenced to for aggravated indecent assault on a child and corruption of minors.
A man came up with a cunning plan to avoid being arrested for public drunkenness by police in Wilkes-Barre. According to the Times Leader, officers came upon 45-year-old Maurice Franklin around 5:50pm on March 9 after he jumped into traffic. Believing him to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, police questioned Franklin. The man claimed he was walking erratically to avoid stepping in dog feces on the sidewalk. Officers didn’t believe the excuse, but when they tried to arrest him, Franklin flopped down on the sidewalk and started rolling in the dog poop. He told officers they couldn’t arrest him if he was “covered in shit.” Turns out they could. Franklin was taken into custody and held until sober.