The Speakeasy Blog

Chronicle Video Review: Lynching Charlie Lynch

Award-winning film maker Rick Ray turns his camera and his sharp eye on the ongoing medical marijuana wars with his 2012 documentary Lynching Charlie Lynch. It's quite good. Chronicle video review here.

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

A Virginia prison guard smuggles heroin, a Pennsylvania cop steals and uses it, and a New Jersey cop pays off a prostitute with it, and that's just some of the crooked cop action this week. Chronicle story here.

California Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Bill Signed Into Law

California will become the 10th state to enact a Good Samaritan law designed to reduce fatal drug overdoses by providing some protections from criminal prosecution for people seeking emergency help for overdose victims. Chronicle story here.

Oregon Marijuana Initiative Trailing Slightly in Poll

The Oregon marijuana legalization initiative is trailing narrowly in a new poll, with a large number of undecideds. Chronicle story here.

Colorado Marijuana Legalization Measure Polls 51%

There is more good polling news from Colorado, but we'd still like to see those numbers for marijuana legalization go higher. Chronicle story here.

Bolivia, Venezuela Reject US Drug Criticism

Bolivia and Venezuela told the US to take a hike after President Obama last week certified them as not cooperating in US drug policy objectives. They suggested the US take a good look in the mirror. Chronicle story here.

Massachusetts Crime Lab Scandal Endangers 34,000 Drug Cases

A Massachusetts crime lab analyst whose zeal to help prosecutors win drug cases has endangered the prosecution of more than 30,000 drug cases after her misconduct in the lab was uncovered. Chronicle story here.

Drug Sentences Driving Federal Prison Population Growth, Government Report Finds

Doh! The GAO has found that the drug war is driving federal prison overcrowding and that that can have negative consequences. That's a shocker. Chronicle story here.

Drugs (Mainly Marijuana) and the 2012 Presidential Election [FEATURE]

What role will marijuana play in the presidential election campaign? Look to Colorado. Chronicle feature story here.

Medical Marijuana Update

No DEA raids or federal threat letters to report this week, but the battles over medical marijuana continue on many fronts. Chronicle story here.

Washington Marijuana Legalization Measure Polling Strong

Six weeks out from election day, the Washington marijuana legalization initiative is showing the best polling numbers yet. Chronicle story here.

ACLU Fights Decision in Cell Phone Tracking Case [FEATURE]

A US 6th Circuit Court of Appeals decision saying police do not need a warrant to track people through their cell phones has broad implications. The ACLU is on the case. Chronicle feature story here.

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

A Louisiana cop gets strung out in a hurry, a Florida cop is has car problems, a Kentucky state trooper has perv problems, and one member of a rogue New Jersey drug squad heads to prison. Chronicle story here.

Former DEA Heads Urge Holder to Oppose Marijuana Legalization Measures

Now, here's a shocker: All the former heads of the DEA want Attorney General Holder to speak out against the marijuana legalization initiatives. Chronicle story here.

Alabama Man Kills Himself in Drug Raid

An Alabama man faced with deputies coming to take him in on drug charges shot himself instead last Sunday night. That's the 47th drug war death of the year. Chronicle story here.

10 Years to Life for Medical Marijuana


ReasonTV released this video a few weeks ago about the federal medical marijuana crackdown and the case of Aaron Sandusky, who is facing federal charges for operating a dispensary:

The Democratic Platform on Drugs

Drug reformers won't find the Democratic platform's positions on drug policy very inspiring -- Chronicle story here.

Colorado Marijuana Legalization Initiative Maintains Nine-Point Lead

The Colorado marijuana legalization initiatives continues to hold a nine-point lead in polls, but hasn't yet broken 50%. Chronicle story here.

Colombia, FARC Rebels Set Peace Talks

Is the world's longest-running insurgency coming to an end? The Colombian government and the leftist guerrillas of the FARC have announced their first peace talks in a decade, but that's just the first step. Chronicle story here.

Obama's Embarrassing Silence on Marijuana

Scott Morgan was featured on the front page of the Huffington Post this week, as part of the HuffPost Live "online Shadow Convention":

Obama's Embarrassing Silence on Marijuana

Drug Policy in the 2012 Elections I: The Initiatives [FEATURE]

Here is our overview of initiatives headed to the ballot this November. Look for in-depth coverage of the candidates and parties, as well as action in individual states, during the coming weeks. Chronicle feature story here.

Drug War Chronicle Book Review: The Lebanese Connection

With The Lebanese Connection, global drug trade scholar Jonathan Marshall has made an important contribution to the literature -- not only of the drug trade, but also of the Middle East, terrorism, covert operations, and failed states. Chronicle book review here.

Medical Marijuana Update

Los Angeles dispensaries got a reprieve last week -- or did they? The busts there continue, despite the ban on the ban. And there's more news from around the state and the country as well. Chronicle story here.

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

The Murray County, Georgia, scandal keeps unraveling, another prison guard goes down, and a pair of South Texas deputies are going away for awhile. Chronicle story here.

California Cops Kill Man, Seize Ecstasy Tablets

A young man sitting in a car with a pellet gun and 50 Ecstasy tablets in the wee hours of the night Sunday is dead after an encounter with police. Chronicle story here.

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