ON THE SPEAKEASY BLOG

DC Marijuana Initiative Qualifies for Ballot

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

5 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. 10 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. 4 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. 7 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. 6 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. 17 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. 12 comments

There Were Several Drug Policy Amendments to the CJS Bill

Reformers have mostly been talking about the 16 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. 12 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. 6 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. 14 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. 6 comments

Big News from the Administration About Commutations

The Obama administration may issue hundreds or even thousands of sentence commutations in drug cases, 7 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. 5 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. 11 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. 3 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. 8 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. 13 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. 10 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. 25 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. 25 comments

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

The recklessness of drug raids... 9 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. 9 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. 9 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. 10 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. 7 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. 8 comments

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

Two victories in one on the drug war front this week. 4 comments

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FROM THE CHRONICLE

Chronicle AM: WPost Just Says No, WV Pain Clinics Using Narcs, Vietnamese Drug Users Break Out of "Rehab," More... (9/15/14)

The Washington Post just says no to the DC marijuana initiative, the Oregon initiative sees a lively debate, the Madison, WI, police chief says legalize it, another drug war death, West Virginia pain patients are getting screened by narcs--and paying for the privilege!--and more. 1 comment

Oklahoma Woman Killed Fleeing Police in Drug Bust

A 19-year-old Oklahoma City woman was shot and killed by police as she fled in her car from a drug bust, and her boyfriend, who was apparently doing the drug deal, now faces murder charges in her death. comments

Chronicle AM: Roger Christie Out of Prison, Bogota Smoke-In, LA First Pot Bust Centenary Demo, More... (9/12/14)

With Congress back in session, bills are getting some attention, Roger Christie walks out of prison, the PA Senate will take up medical marijuana next week, smoke-in in Bogota, and more. comments

Chronicle AM: Mexican Coca, Saudis Behead Another Trafficker, Feds Raid LA Fashion District, More (9/11/14)

A federal CBD medical marijuana bill picks up more sponsors, so does a federal asset forfeiture reform bill, Georgia advocates whole whole plant medical marijuana, Mexico's first coca patch is busted, Saudi Arabia beheads another drug offender, and more. comments

Medical Marijuana Update

The Florida initiative is in a close fight, hearings are coming in Hawaii, draft regulations are coming in Maryland, Illinois begins taking medical marijuana business applications, and more. 4 comments

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

A storied Chicago narc finally goes to prison, a Michigan reserve cop admits trying to trade speed pills for sex, and a whole raft of jail and prison guards get themselves in trouble. 1 comment

Chronicle AM: House Won't Block DC Decrim, Forfeiture and SWAT on Trial, More (9/10/2014)

The House backs off on DC decrim, Maryland awaits medical marijuana draft rules, asset forfeiture is in the news, so is SWAT, Russia says "nyet" to drug legalization, and more. 1 comment

Chronicle AM: Philly Decriminalizing, Global Commission Report, Police Militarization Hearing, More (9/9/14)

Philly will decriminalize, the Global Commission on Drugs issues a ground-breaking new report, LEAP's Norm Stamper testifies on police militarization, Jodie Emery runs for parliament, there's medical marijuana news from Europe and South America, and more. comments

World Leaders Call for Regulatory Alternatives to Drug Prohibition [FEATURE]

An impressive panel of global political leaders is breaking new ground with a report calling for drug decriminalization and the legal regulation of drug markets. The Global Commission on Drugs strikes again! 8 comments

Alaska, Oregon, and DC: A Marijuana Legalization Trifecta in 2014? [FEATURE]

It's now less than two months to election day. There are three state-level marijuana legalization initiatives on the ballot. Let's take a look at them and their prospects. 6 comments

Chronicle AM: Illinois Taking Medical Marijuana Applications, WaPo Forfeiture Series, NYT on SWAT, More (9/8/14)

Two majors newspapers have special reports on law enforcement related to the drug war, a staunch Kansas Republican says marijuana should be decided by the states -- not the feds -- Illinois is now taking medical marijuana business applications, Britain's Lib Dems are ready to consider drug decrim and marijuana legalization, and more. 1 comment

Chronicle AM: OR Init Foes May Be Using Federal Funds, Infamous Anniversary, More (9/5/14)

Are federal funds helping to oppose the Oregon initiative? Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) wants to know. Plus, Hawaii dispensary hearings loom, Charles Bowden dies, and today marks an infamous anniversary. 2 comments

Chronicle AM: Massive Marijuana Poll, Saudis Behead Four for Drugs, CA Defelonization Init, More (9/4/2014)

Massive marijuana poll has good news, Cornhuskers ponder legalization "problems," another Florida medical marijuana poll is out, a California defelonization initiative quietly advances, another drug war death, Saudis behead four for drug trafficking, and more. 1 comment

Ohio Man Kills Self During Marijuana Farm Raid Standoff

An Ohio man has shot and killed himself as he was confronted by police at his rural marijuana grow operation. 5 comments

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

It's been a slow week on the corrupt cops front this week, but we do have one bad apple caught stealing pills from a dead man. 5 comments

Medical Marijuana Update

Interest in medical marijuana is spreading in the South, New Hampshire inches toward dispensaries, and in California, one farmers' market gets shut down in LA even as one opens up north in grower country. 1 comment

Chronicle AM: ME Marijuana Moves, Global Commission Report, CO MJ Growing Conflict, More (9/3/2014)

Maine local legalization initiative efforts move forward, Massachusetts moves to ban N-Bomb, conflict over Colorado marijuana growing rules, and more. 1 comment

DC Legalization Campaign Needs Registration Drive $$$ NOW

DC's voter registration mail-in deadline is one month from now. Funds are urgently needed this week -- for the DC Cannabis Campaign's registration drive to go full blast between now and then. Please help us legalize marijuana in Washington, DC, by making the most generous donation you can! 3 comments

Chronicle AM: WA I-502 Upheld, Albuquerque Decrim Blocked, Mexico Cartel News, More (9/2/14)

No decrim for Albuquerque, Washington's I-502 upheld, Florida medical marijuana initiative polls well, Virginia governor talks nice about medical marijuana, international libertarian student campaign against prohibition, and more. 1 comment

Chronicle AM: Santa Fe Decriminalizes, New Drug Czar Nominated, NYC Heroin Deaths Rise, More (8/29/14)

Santa Fe decriminalizes, no medical marijuana for Alzheimer's in New Mexico, NYC heroin deaths at 10-year high, new drug czar nominated, another drug war death, and more. 8 comments

Orlando SWAT Team Kills Armed Man in Drug Raid

An Orlando SWAT team shot and killed an armed man during a drug raid. He becomes the year's 31st drug war victim. 3 comments

Chronicle AM: NIDA Seeks Marijuana Grower, NC OD Awareness Events, LSD Lifer Seeks Freedom, More (8/28/14)

NIDA seeks a marijuana grower, South Dakota state fair medical marijuana protest planned, an LSD lifer seeks his freedom, Gambia to reduce marijuana penalties, and more. 4 comments

Did You Know Nearly Six Million Americans Are Denied Voting Rights Because of Felonies?, on 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 felonvoting.procon.org -- and we encourage you to check it out. 2 comments

Job Opportunities in the Movement

There are paid and volunteer opportunities in the movement at a range of organizations. 1 comment

Drug War Chronicle Needs Your Support!

Now more than ever, StoptheDrugWar.org needs your financial support to continue to provide this crucial informational tool -- the Drug War Chronicle newsletter -- that builds and empowers the movement. 2 comments

Medical Marijuana Update

A study finds medical marijuana may reduce opiate overdose rates, a California appeals court decision is good news for dispensary operators, Connecticut gets its first dispensary, and more. 2 comments

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

Sixteen dirty Puerto Rico cops take plea deals, a cocaine-dealing New Jersey prison guard goes to prison, a Houston cop gets busted in a cocaine deal, and a Massachusetts cop gets caught trying to fill a Ritalin prescription using a false identity. 2 comments

REDEEM Act Aims to Fix Criminal Justice System [FEATURE]

A pair of strange political bedfellows have introduced a bill to reduce incarceration and help young offenders get past their youthful mistakes. Sens. Cory Booker and Rand Paul are sponsoring the REDEEM Act. comments

Chronicle AM: Marijuana Initiatives, CT SWAT Lawsuit, ISIS Burns Syria Pot Fields, More (8/27/14)

Local marijuana initiatives move forward, the Oregon initiative is set to get a high-profile endorsement, a lot of people want to start medical marijuana businesses in Nevada, ISIS is burning pot fields in Syria, there's a harm reduction pre-event ahead of NYC's Electronic Zoo festival this weekend, and more. 1 comment

Canada's Marc Emery is a Man on a Mission [FEATURE]

Canada's "Prince of Pot" is finally out of prison in the US, back in Canada, and raring to go. The Chronicle interviewed him Monday. 7 comments

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