ON THE SPEAKEASY BLOG

Philippine Democracy and Human Rights Face a Critical Test This Week

Our ally Senator Trillanes is facing possible jailing, maybe as soon as tomorrow, for opposing Duterte's drug war killing campaign. 8 comments

Trillanes Gets Reprieve, for Now

One of the few outspoken leaders opposing Rodrigo Duterte's mass murder campaign in the Philippine drug war, Senator Antonio Trillanes, is likely be jailed tomorrow. He will be the second opposition senator and Duterte critic suffering this fate. 1 comment

EVENT: Human Rights Challenge: Judicial and Extrajudicial Drug War Killings, in a Time of Authoritarianism

The rise of authoritarian or authoritarian political figures has been accompanied by calls for both sanctioned and extra-legal government violence in their crime and drug policies. This event, held in association with the UN High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development in New York, will focus primarily but not exclusively on the situation in the Philippines. We will also examine the ramifications of President Trump's call to administer the death penalty for drug trafficking. 6 comments

Statement of ICC Prosecutor on Opening Preliminary Investigations in the Philippines and in Venezuela

The ICC is a long and uncertain road. But this is an important first step for stopping the drug war killings, restoring rule of law, and seeking justice. 12 comments

Save Marijuana Legalization

Jeff Sessions is trying to turn back marijuana legalization and medical marijuana. Don't let him do it. 3 comments

Action Alerts, #GivingTuesday, Issue 1000, Remembering Rep. Hinchey

As issue #1000 of the Drug War Chronicle newsletter approaches, we ask you to take advocacy actions, we ask for your financial support, and we stop to remember one of reform's best allies. 1 comment

ALERT: Medical Marijuana Is Under Threat -- Tell Congress to Act!

For the first time since becoming law in 2014, the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment (formerly known as the Hinchey-Rohrabacher amendment) is in danger of not being renewed. 0 comments

CONGRESS: Pass S. 1055 for Philippines Human Rights Accountability

This bill responds to the Philippines drug war killings, in which well over 10,000 people have been killed extrajudicially without trial by police and vigilantes. The legislation would place human rights conditions on law enforcement assistance to the Philippines. It would also fund positive public health programs for substance use issues, as well as the work of Philippine human rights defenders. 1 comment

Against Jeff Sessions for Attorney General

The president-elect's nominee for Attorney General is a big-time drug warrior who could derail both sentencing reform and marijuana legalization. Please write your Senators in opposition to this nomination. 24 comments

AP: California Legalizes Marijuana!

The Associated Press has called it early. 0 comments

North Dakota Okays Medical Marijuana

With most of the votes counted, Measure 5 is cruising toward victory. 1 comment

Partial Initiative Results: Arkansas, Maine, Massachusetts, North Dakota

Florida has already won. Now returns are coming in from four more initiative states. 0 comments

Florida Passes Medical Marijuana!

First southern state, and a big one. 4 comments

Myths, Moralism, and Hypocrisy Drive the International Drug Control System

Our international drug policies reflect a bias towards the global north, with damaging consequences for the south. 4 comments

Will UNGASS 2016 Be the Beginning of the End for the War on Drugs?

Held this April, will the United Nations General Assembly Special Session be the turning point for the international drug control system? 0 comments

David Borden -- Remarks at the United Nations, February 10, 2016

Last week the UN held an NGO meeting in New York, as part of a series events leading up to this April's major drug session. 3 comments

BREAKING: Another Senate Pro-Medical Marijuana Vote

The Senate Appropriations Committee just voted to extend the ban on DOJ spending funds to interfere with state medical marijuana laws. 8 comments

New York Medical Marijuana Program Brings in $3 Million from Application Process

New York has closed it application process for those wishing to get one of the state's 5 permits to open a medical cannabis dispensary. Each permit would entitle the holder to open four dipsnsaries. In total, 20 dispensaries would be opened in a state with a population of over 19 million people. 0 comments

URGENT: Congressional Vote on Permitting State Marijuana Laws!

Last year's legislation protecting state medical marijuana laws from federal interference is expiring soon. A vote coming as soon as tonight could extend it, while expanding it to include state legalization laws too. 5 comments

CT Lawmakers Push to Add Children and Hospital Patients to Medical Marijuana Program

Both houses of the Conneticut legislature are preparing their final votes on a bill that would add children and hospital patients to the state's medical marijuana program. The bill would restrict children from smoking or vaping their medical marijuana. 4 comments

Three Marijuana Reform Bills Filed in Louisiana

Three seperate marijuana reform bills have been filed in the Louisiana State Capitol. They include a restrictive medical marijuana bill supported by law enforcement, and two seperate efforts to reform the state's harsh sentencing laws. 5 comments

Write and Call Congress TODAY for Vets' Access to Medical Marijuana!

An important amendment is coming up for a vote in the House of Representatives late this afternoon or early evening. Our two web forms will help you to both email and call your member of Congress to support it. 7 comments

What Does Congress's Medical Marijuana Legislation Actually Mean?

The controversial "CRomnibus" bill passed by the House and Senate includes language barring the Dept. of Justice from using taxpayer funds to interfere with state medical marijuana laws. 4 comments

Washington Sheriff Tells Oregon Voters: Legalization Is Already Working

King County Sheriff John Urquhart has recorded a message letting Oregon voters know that legalization in Washington State has seen wasteful arrests decrease, DUIs decrease, taxes going to schools and police, and drug prevention programs getting funding. 8 comments

DC Marijuana Initiative Qualifies for Ballot

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

1 comment

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. 1 comment

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. 1 comment

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FROM THE CHRONICLE

Chronicle AM: Bill Barr's Drug Warrior Past, Iran Warns Sanction Could Bring "Deluge of Drugs," More... (12/10/18)

Trump's sanctions could come back to bite us, Iran warns; Trump's new attorney general pick has some solid drug warrior credentials, the WHO postpones a recommendation on marijuana scheduling, and more. comments

Oregon Initiative Would Decriminalize Psilocybin [FEATURE]

Signature-gathering for 2020 is about to get underway. comments

Study: Crackdowns on Heroin, Pain Pills Gave Rise to Fentanyl Overdose Epidemic [FEATURE]

The black market always has an answer. Too bad this one is so deadly. comments

Chronicle AM: Prospects Dim for First Step Act, UT MedMJ Advocates File Suit, More.... (12/7/18)

Marijuana Policy Missouri Legalization Bill Filed. Rep. Brandon Ellington (D) has pre-filed House Bill 157, which would allow adults to possess up to two ounces of marijuana and grow up to six plants, with three plants flowering at one time. The bill does not created a system of taxed and regulated marijuana commerce. Medical Marijuana Utah Advocacy Groups Sue to Block Compromise Agreement on Medical Marijuana. A pair of patient advocacy groups filed suit Thursday to block a legislative agreement that supersedes the voter-approved medical marijuana initiative passed in November. The groups accuse the Mormon Church of unconstitutional interference in a process that led to the gutting of the measure approved by voters. The lawsuit seeks an injunction to set aside the revised medical marijuana law approved by the legislature and to keep the original version in the initiative. Drug Testing Wisconsin Lame Duck GOP Legislature Pushes Through Food Stamp Drug Testing. As part of the GOP-dominated legislature's effort to weaken the incoming Democratic governor and other state officials, the legislature passed a sweeping measure imposing restrictions on welfare recipients, including a requirement for drug screening and testing of people apply for food stamps. If outgoing Gov. Scott Walker (R) signs the bill, Wisconsin will be the first and only state that requires drug testing for many non-felon food stamp applicants. Law Enforcement Surgeon General Says Federal Drug Classification Scheme Needs Changes. The country's drug classification needs an overhaul, but that doesn't mean drugs should simply be decriminalized, US Surgeon General Jerome Adams said Thursday. "Our scheduling system is functioning, but not as ideally as it could," he said of the federal schedule for controlled substances maintained by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Food and Drug Administration. "Things aren't static. We have to continue to evolve. Just as we need to look at our criminal justice laws, we need to look at our health laws and regulations, and that includes the scheduling system," Adams said. Sentencing Reform The Door is Closing on the Federal Prison and Sentencing Reform Bill. Prospects for passage of the First Step Act (S. 3649) grow dimmer as the clock ticks down on the end of the congressional session later this month. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell hasn't made it official, but he has told Republicans there is almost no time left to take up the bill, and Senate Republicans left town Thursday afternoon without taking up the topic at two party lunches this week. "Each passing day they get less," said Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) of the bill’s chances. "We’re still lobbying Sen. McConnell. He has all the power to allow it or not allow it." comments

Chronicle AM: Feds Warn on Denver Safe Injection Site, It's J-Day in Michigan, More... (12/6/18)

Michigan became the first legal marijuana state in the Midwest today, the feds send a shot across the bow of an effort to get a safe injection site up and running in Denver, cartel violence challenges Mexico's new president, and more. comments

Medical Marijuana Update

Dispensaries come to Iowa, Utah's voter-approved medical marijuana law gets modified in the legislature, and more. comments

Chronicle AM: Denver to Expunge Pot Convictions, Columnist Calls for Prescription Heroin, More... (12/5/18)

A Washington Post columnist calls for prescription heroin, the federal hemp bill will apparently ban the participation of people with drug felonies, Denver joins the movement to expunge old pot convictions, and more. 1 comment

Chronicle AM: Trump's Chinese Fentanyl Flub, UT MedMJ Law Amended, More... (12/4/18)

There's a bunch of medical marijuana news today, and President Trump misstates a Chinese position on fentanyl. 2 comments

Chronicle AM: Dark Web Dealers Banning Fentanyl, Luxembourg Moves to Legalize Weed, More... (12/3/18)

China agrees to make fentanyl a controlled substance, Dark Web dealers begin banning fentanyl sales, Luxembourg could become the first European country to legalize marijuana, and more. comments

Chronicle AM: Harborside Loses Pot Tax Case, Hemp in Final Version of Farm Bill, More... (11/30/18)

Marijuana Policy California Dispensary Loses in US Tax Court. In a decision Thursday, the US Tax Court rejected a bid from Harborside Health Center to be able to declare normal business expenses on its taxes. The court held that Harborside was "engaged in only one trade or business, which was trafficking in a controlled substance" and since Section 280E of the internal revenue code bars criminal enterprises from taking the expense deduction, "Section 280E prevents [Harborside] from deducting ordinary and necessary business expenses." Michigan Republican Lawmaker Files Bill to Ban Home Growing. Republican Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof (R-West Olive) on Thursday filed a measure, SB 1243, which would ban the home grows included in the marijuana legalization initiative approved by voters earlier this month. Under the initiative, adults can grow up to 12 plants for personal use in their homes, but that's got Meekhof worried: "People don’t get to make alcohol and serve it in unregulated bars to anyone they want to. Homegrown marijuana is basically unregulated," he said. "It should be in some regulated form, so we have consistency and safety. It’s a mind-altering substance like alcohol. It should be somehow controlled." Meekhof seems to have forgotten that Michigan allows the unregulated home production of up to 200 gallons of beer a year. Industrial Hemp Hemp Legalization Included in Final Farm Bill. A provision to legalize industrial hemp will be included in the 2018 farm bill, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and top figures in the House Agriculture Committee confirmed Thursday. Legislators in the House and Senate agricultural committees said they had reached an agreement on principle on the bill and are now finalizing the language. Law Enforcement Houston Drug Sting Leaves Two Dead, Seven Arrested. A drug sting operation involving a multi-jurisdictional task force including the DEA, Houston Police, and a SWAT team left two men dead and seven under arrest. Task force agents met with several known drug dealers, one of whom allegedly fired on SWAT officers moving in to make arrests. He was shot and killed by a SWAT officer. A second man fled the scene, but was found by a police dog and brought back to the scene, where he complained of problems breathing and then died despite efforts by tactical medics to revive him. The seven men arrested face federal drug charges. International Mexico Disputes US Heroin Production Estimates. The Mexican government and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime said Thursday that opium poppy production in the country last year encompassed some 75,000 acres, far less than the 110,000 acres estimated by the US earlier this month. The Mexicans also said they had eradicated more than 90% of the crop, which would leave only enough for about 900 kilograms of heroin. The US estimated that Mexico produces 111 tons of heroin last year. comments

Chronicle AM: Supreme Court Hears IN Seizure Case, Filipino Cops Jailed for Drug War Crimes, More... (11/29/18)

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments in an Indiana asset forfeiture case, outgoing marijuana reform roadblock Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX) has done it again, a North Carolina "decrim" bill gets filed, and more. comments

Watch: Undercover Detroit Narc Squads Brawl As They Try to Arrest Each Other

It's laughable, but somebody could have gotten killed. 3 comments

Medical Marijuana Update

Michigan's unlicensed dispensaries get a break, New Jersey is set to expand its medical marijuana program, and more. comments

Chronicle AM: First Step Act Fight Continues, MI Gets Legal Marijuana December 6, More... (11/28/18)

Senate Republicans are trying to find a way to keep the First Step Act alive, marijuana use and possession becomes legal in Michigan next week, and more. 1 comment

Georgia Nightmare: Jailed Four Months for Possession of Cotton Candy [FEATURE]

Cops said their roadside drug test said it was meth. It's far from the only time the cops or the test has been wrong. 1 comment

Chronicle AM: NJ Legalization Bill Advances, NYC Times Square Ads Target Governor Over Overdoses, More... (11/27/18)

New Jersey's marijuana legalization bill is finally moving, activists in New York City target the governor over safe injection sites, South Korea becomes the first East Asian nation to approve medical marijuana, and more. comments

Chronicle AM: Trump Pressures McConnell on Sentencing Reform, NJ Marijuana Bill Gets Hearing, More... (11/26/18)

The president wants to see criminal justice reform move in the Senate, New Jersey lawmakers take up marijuana legalization today, and more. 14 comments

Chronicle AM: NJ Legalization Bill Unveiled, UT MedMJ Fight Continues, More... (11/23/18)

New Jersey embraces industrial hemp and moves toward passing a marijuana legalization bill, New York's governor says a legalization bill will likely pass there next year, and more. 1 comment

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

Two California cops go down for faking drug buys that never happened, a former Memphis cop heads to prison for offering to escort a load of drugs, and more. comments

Medical Marijuana Update

A Pennsylvania patient challenges the federal gun ban, an Ohio court has thrown out the state's law requiring racial justice in licensing, and more. comments

Chronicle AM: MA First Day MJ Sales Draws Crowds, Afghan Opium Crop Down, More... (11/21/18)

People lined up to buy legal marijuana in Massachusetts Tuesday, Connecticut's governor says legalization is a priority for him, Afghan opium production is down, but still at high levels, and more. comments

Chronicle AM: NJ Legalization Bill Hearings, Anti-Marijuana Rep Sees the Light, More... (11/20/18)

New Jersey will finally start moving on a marijuana legalization bill, a leading congressional foe of legalization changes his tune, and more. comments

Chronicle AM: Judiciary Committee Change, Massachusetts Marijuana Sales, More... (11/19/18)

There's a changing of the guard at the top of the Senate Judiciary Committee, a Pennsylvania medical marijuana patient sues over gun access, a new report finds fake and counterfeit drugs killing tens of thousands each year in Africa, and more. 4 comments

McConnell Puts Kibosh on Sentencing Reform [FEATURE]

The president had endorsed a reform bill, but that didn't matter to Mitch. 3 comments

Chronicle AM: NJ Gov Still Ready to Legalize It, Court Rejects OH MedMJ Racial Justice Provision, More... (11/16/18)

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) is still committed to marijuana legalization, the Albany DA announces an end to low-level pot prosecutions, an Ohio court throws out a racial justice requirement in the state's medical marijuana licensing plan, and more. comments

Mexico's Supreme Court Effectively Legalizes Marijuana Possession, Cultivation, and Use [FEATURE]

The US is about to become the only one of North America's three largest countries not to have legalized marijuana. 4 comments

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

A Los Angeles sheriff's deputy gets caught in a brazen ripoff, a Maryland prison guard is the last of 16 to head to prison for their roles in a massive racketeering scheme, and more. comments

Medical Marijuana Update

There's a push in Congress to provide protections for veterans who want to use medical marijuana, and more. comments

Chronicle AM: "Dozens" of Underground Safe Injection Sites in Seattle, NJ Pot Votes Coming, More... (11/15/18)

A local activist reveals that "dozens" of unpermitted safe injection sites are operating in the Seattle area, New Jersey legislative leaders say marijuana legalization will see votes this month, and more. comments

Chronicle AM: Trump Endorses Prison Reform Bill, Cities Call for MJ Rescheduling, More... (11/14/18)

President Trump has given his endorsement to a limited bipartisan prison reform bill, the National League of Cities calls for marijuana rescheduling, and more. 1 comment

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