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Before John Oliver skewered the practice of civil forfeiture last year, many people didn't know it existed. And many still may not. But for the first time, the dollar value of assets seized by law enforcement has surpassed the amount of property lost to burglaries.

So how does civil forfeiture work and how did it become more costly than home robbery? Here's some insight in to the police practice and the most recent numbers.

Seven States Struggling With Medical Marijuana

Cannabis laws have been changing rapidly in states around the country. But there is still a gap between legislation and life, with some states struggling to sort out implementation of their medical marijuana programs.

In theory, these places have programs that allow qualified patients to obtain medical marijuana legally and without threat of prosecution. In reality, dispensaries are highly regulated and patients in these seven states still face major obstacles to obtaining prescription cannabis, according to Rolling Stone.

Being released from prison can be a struggle. Former inmates can find themselves far from support systems and have a difficult time landing a job, which can increase the rate of recidivism. One factor that contributes to recently released people returning to crime is often overlooked: access to health care.

People convicted of felonies often find their rights restricted upon release -- states may limit anything from gun rights to voting rights. But can they restrict access to government-funded health care systems like Obamacare and Medicaid?

Estimates indicate over half a million people in the United States are homeless. And while that figure may be declining, states still struggle to find a solution to homelessness. While some states have extended hate crime protections to the homeless and created mobile "homeless courts" others have enacted anti-panhandling laws to criminalize begging.

So are anti-panhandling statutes legal? And if so, what exactly do they prohibit? Here's a roundup of various anti-panhandling laws:

Child Abuse: Is It a Crime to Fail to Report?

If you know of child abuse and fail to report it, or if you file a false report, it may be a crime. Laws vary from state to state and most do not require the average citizen to call out child abuse, although some do.

The obligation to report abuse mostly applies to people who -- because of their professions -- are in a position of responsibility for children and have the obligation to report imposed on them by statute. There are states that obligate anyone to report, however. Below is a look at who, by law, must report abuse, according to the US Department of Health and Human Services Child Welfare Information Gateway.

Police officers often face dangerous circumstances, not the least of which is when a suspect is fleeing in a car. A high-speed pursuit can endanger officers as well as the general public, so there is a safety interest in avoiding them or ending them as soon as possible.

Does this interest include being able to shoot at fleeing vehicles? It's a legally murky area, and may be more confusing after two seemingly conflicting decisions this week.

Is Plagiarism a Crime?

It's exam season, and many students out there will be tempted to pass off someone else's term paper as their own. And in the Internet age, copying and pasting has made plagiarism even easier. At the same time, Google searches have made catching plagiarists easier as well. So if you get caught plagiarizing someone else's work, are you going to jail?

Well, that depends on the context -- what were you plagiarizing and why? What were you trying to do with the plagiarized work? If you were trying to score an "A" on an exam, maybe not. If you were trying to score a job, maybe so. Let's take a look:

Sex Offender Zoning Laws: Residency Requirements

Sex offenders face strict residency requirements. The reasoning behind these zoning rules is to keep track of people who are considered an official danger to society and to limit predator proximity.

There are national requirements for registered sex offenders and a national database exists to provide the public with information about registered sex offenders regardless of state boundaries. Individual states all also have laws regarding registration and residency requirements, as well as limits on what can be shared in a public registry or what must be disclosed.

This weekend we're all winding our clocks back an hour. (Or our cell phones and smartwatches are doing it for us.) Some of us, author included, consider Daylight Saving Time an antiquated hassle that needs to go the way of the horse and buggy. But some new crime statistics make a pretty good argument to make Daylight Savings Time permanent.

It turns out that having more daylight in the evening (a function of setting our clocks forward for Daylight Saving Time) reduces crime rates. So perhaps we can't just junk this weird time shift that no one understands without creating some safety risks.

New York and Connecticut gun control laws banning semiautomatic assault rifles and large-capacity magazines will stand, according to a federal appeals court. The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York held that the restrictions don't violate the Constitution.

The court did, however, strike down a provision in New York's law barring gun owners from loading more than seven bullets in a clip as well as a Connecticut prohibition on the non-semiautomatic Remington 7615. Similar bans on semiautomatic weapons have been upheld in other states.