ON THE SPEAKEASY BLOG

DC Marijuana Initiative Qualifies for Ballot

More info later today, see @DCMJ2014 in the meanwhile...

2 comments

Summer Reading Assignment for Congress

Dean Becker of the Drug Truth Network is in Washington today to give copies of his book, "To End the War on Drugs," to every member of the House and Senate. 5 comments

House Votes to Let Banks Take Deposits from Marijuana Businesses

In a historic vote this afternoon, the US House has approved an amendment to the Treasury Department appropriations bill barring the agency from spending any money to punish financial institutions that provide services to marijuana businesses where it is legal. 2 comments

One of the Worst Ideas to Come Out of the War on Drugs: Sentencing Enhancement Zones

A video from the Prison Policy Initiative on what is indeed one of the worst ideas to come out of the war on drugs. 4 comments

House Committee Votes to Block DC Decrim

The GOP-dominated House Appropriations Committee stuck a thumb in the eye of democratic governance in the nations capital this morning. The committee voted to prevent the District of Columbia from implementing marijuana decriminalization approved by the District government. 4 comments

Senate Could Vote to Cut DEA Funds as Soon as Tonight

In a historic vote late last month, the House moved to cut funding for the DEA to go after medical marijuana in states where it is legal. Now, the Senate is preparing to vote on a similar measure. 16 comments

DEA Leaning On Massachusetts Docs with Dispensaries Ties

The Boston Globe is reporting today that the DEA has been visiting Massachusetts doctors involved with yet-to-open medical marijuana dispensaries and giving them an ultimatum: Cut your ties with the dispensary or lose your DEA-issued license to prescribe drugs. And it's working. 10 comments

There Were Several Drug Policy Amendments to the CJS Bill

Reformers have mostly been talking about the 14 comments

House Passes Historic Medical Marijuana Amendment

Late Thursday night, the House of Representatives told the DEA to butt out of medical marijuana states by approving a budget amendment barring the use of taxpayer funds to do so. 11 comments

Kentucky Gets its Hemp Seed as DEA Backs Off

It's a done deal. A UPS truck delivered more than 250 pounds of hemp seed to the Kentucky Department of Agriculture this afternoon. It took a lawsuit and a lot of political pressure on DEA head Michele Leonhart, but the agency has backed away from its initial refusal to allow the seeds to be imported. 4 comments

The Largest Marijuana March Ever? 150,000 Protest in Buenos Aires!

Good Golly, Miss Mary Jane! I've been watching marijuana legalization marches for a long time and I've never seen a crowd like this. 13 comments

Uruguay's Mujica is the Grumpy Old Man of Global Marijuana Legalization

Uruguay formally rolls out its marijuana legalization rules next week, but President Mujica shows he's no Captain Cannabis. 5 comments

Big News from the Administration About Commutations

The Obama administration may issue hundreds or even thousands of sentence commutations in drug cases, 5 comments

It's 4/20 in Denver!

Denver is pot city this weekend, with the High Times Cannabis Cup, the 4/20 rally downtown, and dozens of related musical and cultural events. 3 comments

I'm Denver Bound, So No Chronicle AM for Friday

I'm driving from eastern South Dakota to Denver Friday in preparation for the 4/20 weekend there. 7 comments

Maryland Becomes 18th Decrim State, 21st Medical Marijuana State

With Gov. Martin O'Malley's signature today on two bills passed by the legislature, Maryland decriminalized marijuana possession and becomes a full-fledged medical marijuana state. 2 comments

Medical Marijuana Expansion, Decriminalization Pass in Maryland

It was a banner day in Annapolis Monday, where legislators, working against an end-of-session deadline, managed to pass both marijuan decriminalization and medical marijuana expansion bills. 5 comments

Obama Needs to Slap Down His Rogue DEA Chief

DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart told a congressional committee today her agency is "fighting back" against Justice Department policies tolerating marijuana in states where it is legal. The president needs to remind her who is the boss. 12 comments

Maryland Senate Okays Marijuana Decriminalization

The Maryland Senate today overwhelmingly approved a marijuana decriminalization bill with bipartisan support. It now heads to the House of Delegates. 8 comments

Say What? UNODC Panel Says Criminalizing Drug Use "Not Beneficial"

Yep, you read that right. The global anti-drug bureaucracy doesn't think it's a good idea to criminalize drug use. 20 comments

A Thousand March for "El Chapo" in Culiacan

More than a thousand people marched through the streets of Culiacan, the capital of Sinaloa state, Wednesday in support of arrested Sinaloa Cartel leader Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman. 11 comments

Mexico's El Chapo Guzman Reportedly Captured

Reports are coming out the Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, the elusive head of the Sinaloa Cartel has been captured in a joint operation by US and Mexican forces. 23 comments

Police Shoot, Kill 80-Year Old Man In His Own Bed

The recklessness of drug raids... 8 comments

No Marijuana Legalization for Hawaii This Year

A bill that would have legalized marijuana in the Aloha State died in a state Senate committee Thursday, but a decriminalization bill still lives. 8 comments

Some Drug Sanity from Italy!

Italy's constitutional court today struck down a 2006 law that removed the distinction between "soft" and "hard" drugs, treating pot possession like heroin possesion. Thousands of prisoners will go free. 7 comments

Hemp Amendment Becomes Law as Prez Signs Farm Bill

President Obama this afternoon signed into law the omnibus farm bill, which includes an amendment allowing for research into hemp production in states that have authorized it. 8 comments

Smart Needle Exchange Reform Bill Moving in Maryland

The Maryland Senate today moved to undo a restriction in existing state law that prevents injection drug users from picking up more clean needles at the Baltimore needle exchange than they turn in. That's a smart move. 6 comments

It's on in Alaska! Marijuana Legalization Vote Coming in August

Alaaska election officials have certified that a marijuana legalization initiative there has qualified for the ballot. Alaskans will go to the polls in August. 6 comments

Farm Bill Passes Second Chamber, With Hemp, Without Drug Testing

Two victories in one on the drug war front this week. 3 comments

DC Council Passes Marijuana Decriminalization Bill

The District of Columbia city council today approved a marijuana decriminalization bill, but a second vote is needed for final approval. 14 comments

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FROM THE CHRONICLE

Medical Marijuana Update

There will be no medical marijuana initiative in Oklahoma this year, Jeb Bush comes out against Florida's medical marijuana initiative, San Diego patients are trying a novel tack in their battle with the city, and more. comments

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

Florida deputies get suspended in an excessive force investigation, a Miami sergeant gets popped for perverted play with a teen boy, and a couple of jail guards get caught doing what they always get caught doing. comments

Scary Alaska Marijuana Poll, Stoner Arrested on Pot Charges, Maryland SWAT Raids, West Africa Drug Meeting (Chronicle AM--8/20/14)

An unsettling poll in Alaska, Minnesota medical marijuana mom gets busted, there's money to be made in drug testing, Maryland SWAT teams have been busy, a West African meeting on drugs is underway, and more. comments

Alaska Marijuana Initiative Trails in Poll

Alarm bells should be ringing in Anchorage as a new poll shows the marijuana legalization initiative narrowly losing. The numbers could be skewed, but... 5 comments

Oregon Initiative Buying Ads, Portland Maine to Vote, Saudi Arabia Killing People (Chronicle AM, 8/19/14)

Big money for TV ads in Oregon, another Maine city will vote on marijuana legalization, a good bill goes bad in California, and Saudi Arabia executes four hash smugglers. comments

SWAT Teams in the News, Santa Fe Decrim Init, Barcelona Cannabis Clubs (Chronicle AM 8/18/14)

SWAT teams are in the news, the RAVE Act gets critiqued as counterproductive, there will be no medical marijuana initiative in Oklahoma, but it looks like there will be a decriminalization initiative in Santa Fe, and more. comments

Chronicle AM -- August 15, 2014

The California legislature acts on harm reduction, but kills medical marijuana regulation, Jeb Bush takes a stand on medical marijuana, New Hampshire bans a kind of synthetic cannabinoid, and more. 1 comment

California Medical Marijuana Regulation Bill Dies

There will be no statewide regulation of medical marijuana in California this year. An effort to pass a regulation bill died yesterday in the Assembly. comments

Harm Reduction Measures Pass in California

Two harm reduction bills, one allowing pharmacists to dispense unlimited numbers of syringes without a prescription and the other allowing them to dispense the overdose drug naloxone, have passed the California legislature. They now go to the desk of Gov. Jerry Brown. comments

Did You Know Why Some Performance Enhancing Drugs Are Legal While Others Are Banned?, from ProCon.org

ProCon.org is a series of in-depth web sites presenting information and views from on current issues, several with relevance to drug policy. The Chronicle is currently running a series of info items from ProCon.org -- this one from sportsanddrugs.procon.org -- and we encourage you to check it out. comments

Chronicle AM -- August 14, 2014

A bill to end the crack/powder cocaine sentencing disparity is close to becoming law in California, the US Sentencing Commission still has work to do on mandatory minimums, the 50th anniversary of America's first pot protest will be commemorated this weekend, and more. comments

California Fair Sentencing Act Passes Assembly

A bill that would eliminate the crack and powder cocaine sentencing disparity in California has passed the state Assembly. It is now only a Senate concurrence vote away from heading to the governor's desk. comments

Medical Marijuana Update

California's controversial medical marijuana regulation bill is going down to the wire, Delaware will soon see its first dispensary, Guam will vote on a medical marijuana initiative in November, and more. 2 comments

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

More problems for the scandal-tainted dope squads in Detroit and Philadelphia, a new Jersey college cop admits to peddling pills, and a Texas parole officer gone bad goes to prison. comments

Chronicle AM -- August 13, 2014

A key California sentencing reform bill gets a final Assembly vote tomorrow, the Oregon legalization initiative gets some organized oppositions, Delaware gets a step closer to its first dispensary, Marc Emery gets to go home, and more. 4 comments

Chronicle AM -- August 12, 2014

Everybody must be at the beach, because it's pretty quiet on the drug reform front. But Philly faces a class action lawsuit over asset forfeiture, the DEA gets caught wasting taxpayer money, and there's marijuana policy action down South America way. comments

Comedian Randy Credico's Deadly Serious Quest to Run New York [FEATURE]

Randy Credico is a veteran New York activist, gadfly, and comedian, but there's nothing funny about the issues he's campaigning on in his quest to be governor of New York. 1 comment

Chronicle AM -- August 11, 2014

Germans march for marijuana, Washington state takes in a million in taxes from the first month of pot sales, New Mexico local decriminalization initiatives struggle to make the ballot, Central Florida cops make a bunch of small-time drug busts, a new poll has some old results on the success of the drug war, and more. comments

Will Supreme Court Cell Phone Search Ruling Apply Retroactively? [FEATURE]

In a historic ruling in June, the US Supreme Court held that police must obtain a warrant before searching cell phones and smart phones. But what about the people already convicted on the basis of those searches? 1 comment

Chronicle AM -- August 8, 2014

Things get slow in the dog days of summer, but there's still news from the legal marijuana states, California continues to grapple with regulating medical marijuana, and a couple of items from Britain suggest change could be in the air there. 4 comments

Chronicle AM -- August 7, 2014

The legalization debate packed 'em in in Anchorage, California's medical marijuana regulation bill is going down to the wire, Massachusetts has a new substance abuse law, China executes two for drugs, and more. 2 comments

Drug War Chronicle Needs Your Support

Drug War Chronicle needs your support to continue our mission! Please make the most generous donation you can today. We continue to offer a range of membership gift items as well. 1 comment

Medical Marijuana Update

Medical marijuana bills pick up some support in Congress, Maryland and Minnesota issue draft rules, California continues to be a battleground, and more. 2 comments

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

A Chicago cop helps his daughter-in-law grow medical marijuana for her cancer-stricken child, then rats her out; a Miami narc gets nailed for helping pot growers, a Baltimore cop's pill habit gets the best of him, a Colorado probation officer gets caught with coke and crack, and a Seattle-are deputy goes to jail for pimping his wife. Just another week of drug-related law enforcement corruption. 1 comment

Chronicle AM -- August 6, 2014

DC will vote on legalizing marijuana possession and cultivation, two more Michigan towns vote to decriminalize, Maine's governor unveils a plan to force people with drug felonies to undergo drug tests before getting welfare benefits, an Austrian marijuana legalization initiative gets underway, and more. comments

DC Marijuana Initiative Makes November Ballot

And then there were three. The District of Columbia will join Alaska and Oregon in voting on marijuana legalization this fall. Because of DC laws, the DC measure would legalize possession and cultivation only; taxation and regulated sales would be left to elected officials. 5 comments

End the Drug War "For the Kids" Coalition Forms [FEATURE]

Inspired by the border child immigration crisis, but rooted in a broader understanding of the drug war's impact on children on both sides of the border, a coalition has formed to demnand it's end -- for the kids. 2 comments

Chronicle AM -- August 5, 2014

It's the slow season in Congress and at state houses, but it's the beginning of eradication season in the fields. Plus, the Oregon legalization initiative has raised a million bucks, the drug war racks up two more domestic deaths, and more. comments

Did You Know? Ranking 20 Drugs and Alcohol By Overall Harm, from ProCon.org

ProCon.org is a series of in-depth web sites presenting information and views from on current issues, several with relevance to drug policy. The Chronicle is currently running a series of info items from ProCon.org -- this one from medicalmarijuana.procon.org -- and we encourage you to check it out. 1 comment

Two Killed As Driver Flees Drug Traffic Stop

A fleeing drug suspect and the driver of a vehicle with which he collided were killed last Friday night in Durham, North Carolina. They become the 28th and 29th persons to die in US domestic drug law enforcement operations this year. comments

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