borden

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Now They're Trying to Ban... Kratom? [FEATURE]

Kratom is a fairly innocuous organic substance that is useful in treating a number of conditions, but that doesn't mean people in power don't want to reflexively ban it. The fight is on in Pinellas County, Florida.

North Dakota Medical Marijuana Petitions Handed In

North Dakota could be voting on medical marijuana this fall. Initiative campaigners have handed in 150% of the signatures they need to qualify. Now, they have to wait and see if they have enough valid signatures.

New Hemp Bill Introduced in US Senate

In a bipartisan effort, four US senators are cosponsoring a bill that would differentiate hemp from marijuana under the Controlled Substance Act.

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

It never stops, does it? Here's another seven bad apples.

Medical Marijuana Update

The end of dispensaries in LA looms, more threat letters in Colorado, and a medical marijuana initiative in North Dakota!? That's just some of the news.

Olympic Athlete's Expulsion for Marijuana Raises Questions

The expulsion of American Olympic judo competitor Nick Delpopolo from the Games after he tested positive for marijuana is raising questions about why pot is on the list of substances banned for athletes in the first place.

Arizona SWAT Team Kills Man in Drug Raid Shootout

A kick-the-door-down SWAT team drug raid was met with gunfire at a Phoenix house early Thursday. One man was killed, making him the 39th to die in US domestic drug law enforcement operations so far this year.

Springfield (Missouri) Marijuana Decriminalization Initiative Certified

Springfield, Missouri, voters will have a chance to vote for marijuana decriminalization in November -- if the city council doesn't approve it first -- after an initiative there qualified Thursday.

Police Kill Miami Man in Marijuana Grow House Shootout

A Miami man is dead after police said he opened fire on them as they investigated a possible marijuana grow house. Still no word if it actually was a marijuana grow house, though.

Bipartisan Bill to Fight Overdoses Filed in Congress

A couple of dozen House members have introduced a bill aimed at reducing the steadily climbing toll from drug overdoses, most of them from prescription opioid pain relievers, by providing federal support for state and local prevention and education programs, including expanded use of naloxone.

Vermont Farmer Crushes 7 Police Cars with Tractor over Pot Arrest

A man rolled his 15 ton tractor over seven police vehicles -- five marked police cruisers, an unmarked car and a transport van -- in retaliation for a marijuana possession and resisting arrest bust.

Medical Marijuana Update

What!? No DEA raids? Not this week, but the federal crackdown on dispensaries continues, and cities and localities in medical marijuana states continue to grapple with the issues around it.

Handcuffed Marijuana Offender Shot, Killed in Police Car

Police say a young Mississippi man shot himself while cuffed with his hands behind his back in the back sear of a police car with a gun they missed while searching him after arresting him for marijuana. His mother isn't buying it.

Lebanon Hash Eradication Hits New Obstacle

Lebanon's annual effort to wipe out hashish production is having a particularly rocky time this year. On Tuesday, eradicators were stuck without bulldozers after locals refused to rent to them. At least no one was shooting at them this week.

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

A crank-dealing sheriff cops a plea, an LA narc gets a case of sticky fingers, an Arkansas narc develops a fondness for dope, and a North Carolina parole officer gets caught forcing his parolees to supply him with dope.

DOJ to Sentencing Commission: Fewer Prisoners, Please

The Justice Department is signaling it wants a smaller federal prison population because we can't afford our mass incarceration binge anymore, but it doesn't want to talk about the drug war.

Woman Walks After Prosecutorial Perfidy in Tucson [FEATURE]

Aurora Lopez-Avila is back home in Mexico. A mother of three, she struggles daily to rebuild a shattered life that once hung in the balance -- after sitting for more than two years in a Tucson, Arizona, federal jail facing charges that she attempted to transport 10 kilos of cocaine across the Arizona-Mexico border on December 8, 2009.

Medical Marijuana Rescheduling Lawsuit Moving

Ten years after the Coalition for Rescheduling Cannabis filed a petition to remove marijuana from Schedule I and one year after the DEA rejected that petition, a federal appeals court is set to hear the evidence.

"You Can't Stop AIDS Without Ending the Drug War" [FEATURE]

The International AIDS Conference in Washington this week saw foreign drug users and sex workers excluded even amidst a rising clamor for ending the drug war to help stop the spread of disease.

Colombia Coca Cultivation Ticks Upward

Coca production in Colombia ticked upward last year after four straight years of declines, the UNODC said in a new report. It's still way down from its peak, though.

Medical Marijuana Update

Harborside fights for its life, LA bans dispensaries, and Oregon transplant hospitals are lightening up on medical marijuana patients. Those are the big stories this week, but there's plenty more, too.

Two More US Drug War Killings

One man is dead after swallowing drugs and being hit with a stun gun in Indianapolis as he tried to flee an arrest. Another is dead in Massachusetts after he was shot trying to flee an arrest in his car.

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

Bad cop, no donut for a Miami sergeant, two more TSA screeners cop pleas in LA, and a Phoenix cop couldn't keep his paws off the evidence room goodies.

Washington Marijuana Initiative Has Good Week

Washington state's I-502 marijuana legalization initiative did well in polling this week and even better in fundraising. This thing could win, and it has the money to help make that happen.

Lebanon Hash Farmers Attack Eradicators

It's almost time for the hash harvest in Lebanon, and farmers are taking up arms to protect their cash crop from eradicators.

Marijuana Authors Talk at Oaksterdam [FEATURE]

There was some interesting and well-informed discussion at Oaksterdam University Saturday night as the authors of four recent books on marijuana sat down to talk and think out loud.

Oakland to President Obama: Change Your Ways! [FEATURE]

In one of the largest medical marijuana demonstrations in years, as many as a thousand people came out in Oakland Monday to let President Obama know he needs to end the federal crackdown on dispensaries.

Live Video from Oakland Demo

Live video feed from the Oakland "Save Harborside" medical marijuana protest.

Belize Ponders Marijuana Decriminalization

The English speaking Central American nation of Belize has undertaken a review of whether to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana.

Montana Marijuana Initiative Comes Up Short

A proposed constitutional amendment to legalize marijuana in Montana has failed to gather enough signatures to qualify for the ballot, but voters in Big Sky County will still have the chance to vote on medical marijuana.

Did You Know? "Stops" by New York City Police in 2011, on DrugWarFacts.org

DrugWarFacts.org, a publication of Common Sense for Drug Policy, is an in-depth compilation of key facts, stats and quotes on the full range of drug policy issues, excerpted from expert publications on the subjects. The Chronicle is running a series of info items from DrugWarFacts.org -- check them out!

Book Review: "Marijuana Legalization: What Everyone Needs to Know"

Four academic specialists on drug policy have come together to pen "Marijuana Legalization: What Everyone Needs to Know." It's a pretty handy primer.

Pelosi Suggests Movement Post-Election on Medical Marijuana

Nancy Pelosi said Wednesday she may be open to making changes in federal law surrounding medical marijuana. That's her strongest statement yet on the issue.

Feds Target California's Highest Profile Dispensary

Federal prosecutors have targeted Harborside Health Center, California's iconic largest dispensary, with an asset forfeiture action. But Harborside isn't just going to roll over and play dead.

Chronicle Book Review Essay: Summer Marijuana Reads

We review three books on various aspects of marijuana culture. There's some pretty good stuff there, too.

Medical Marijuana Update

Last week's middle of the week holiday made things fairly quiet on the medical marijuana front, but it looks like Massachusetts voters will have a chance to join the ranks of the medical marijuana states in November, and other efforts are underway in some surprising places.

Narc Scandal Front and Center in Florida Sheriff Race [FEATURE]

Scandal in the Pinellas County, Florida, Sheriff's Office over its efforts to bust indoor marijuana growers is providing plenty of fodder for the sheriff's challengers this campaign season.

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

A former Missouri sheriff heads to federal prison, a former Kansas City cop is headed there, too, and a former South Carolina deputy is looking at drug charges.

Obama Signs Synthetic Drug Ban Bill

"Bath salts" and "fake weed" are now banned on federal law after President Obama signed into law the FDA safety bill to which the bans were attached.

Did You Know? Facts About Switzerland's Heroin Maintenance Programs, on DrugWarFacts.org

DrugWarFacts.org, a publication of Common Sense for Drug Policy, is an in-depth compilation of key facts, stats and quotes on the full range of drug policy issues, excerpted from expert publications on the subjects. The Chronicle is running a series of info items from DrugWarFacts.org -- check them out!

Did You Know? Facts About Switzerland's Heroin Maintenance Programs, on DrugWarFacts.org

DrugWarFacts.org, a publication of Common Sense for Drug Policy, is an in-depth compilation of key facts, stats and quotes on the full range of drug policy issues, excerpted from expert publications on the subjects. The Chronicle is running a series of info items from DrugWarFacts.org -- check them out!

Massachusetts Medical Marijuana Initiative Makes Ballot

It looks like Massachusetts has a good shot at becoming the 18th medical marijuana state. An initiative there has qualified for the ballot.

Arkansas Medical Marijuana Signatures Handed In

Arkansas proponents for a medical marijuana initiative met a critical deadline last week, but still have thousands of signatures to gather if they're going to make the November ballot.

Singapore to Relax Death Penalty for Some Drug Traffickers

Hard-line Singapore has announced it is modifying its mandatory death sentence for drug traffickers. It's just a small change, but it may save a few lives, and serve as a signal for other drug death penalty states.

Drug War Snapshot: Ocean City, Maryland

The police in Ocean City, Maryland, are on a mission to maximize marijuana arrests, and they're doing quite well at it. Factor that in to your vacation plans.

Drug War Snapshot: Nueces County, Texas

In Corpus Christi, police have been arresting a thousand people a year on drug charges. That's the single largest reason people make it to felony court in Nueces County.

Drug War Snapshot: Volusia County, Florida

The criminal justice system in Volusia County, Florida, is running largely on the drug war if last Friday's jail bookings are any indication.

Oregon Marijuana Initiative Hands in Final Signatures

Oregon's OCTA marijuana legalization initiative has handed in a final 57,000 signatures. It needs 32,000 of them to be valid to make the November ballot. But election officials invalidated almost half of earlier signatures, so it's still nail-biting time for proponents.

Georgia Puts Welfare Drug Testing on Hold

Georgia's governor was quick to sign a welfare drug testing bill into law, but now he wants to wait for a legal challenge to a similar law in Florida before implementing that law that was supposed to go into effect July 1.

Mexico President-Elect Wants Drug Legalization Talks

Mexico's next president has joined the ever growing chorus of Latin American leaders calling for a serious discussion of drug legalization, even as he announced he would continue to fight the drug war in Mexico.

Mexico's Drug War Version 2.0 [FEATURE]

Mexico's president-elect is going to rejigger the way the country prosecutes its war on the drug cartels, but no radical changes are apparent.

Puerto Rico Narcotics Officer Killed in Ambush

A Puerto Rican narcotics officer becomes the year's 29th drug war fatality after being ambushed in his vehicle Tuesday night.

Did You Know? Federal Expenditures on the Drug War, from DrugWarFacts.org

DrugWarFacts.org, a publication of Common Sense for Drug Policy, is an in-depth compilation of key facts, stats and quotes on the full range of drug policy issues, excerpted from expert publications on the subjects. The Chronicle is running a series of info items from DrugWarFacts.org -- check them out!

Did You Know? Federal Expenditures on the Drug War, from DrugWarFacts.org

DrugWarFacts.org, a publication of Common Sense for Drug Policy, is an in-depth compilation of key facts, stats and quotes on the full range of drug policy issues, excerpted from expert publications on the subjects. The Chronicle is running a series of info items from DrugWarFacts.org -- check them out!

Did You Know? Portugal's Decriminalization Record, on DrugWarFacts.org

DrugWarFacts.org, a publication of Common Sense for Drug Policy, is an in-depth compilation of key facts, stats and quotes on the full range of drug policy issues, excerpted from expert publications on the subjects. The Chronicle is running a series of info items from DrugWarFacts.org, and we encourage you to check it out.

Did You Know? Portugal's Decriminalization Record, on DrugWarFacts.org

DrugWarFacts.org, a publication of Common Sense for Drug Policy, is an in-depth compilation of key facts, stats and quotes on the full range of drug policy issues, excerpted from expert publications on the subjects. The Chronicle is running a series of info items from DrugWarFacts.org, and we encourage you to check it out.

Medical Marijuana Update

The feds continue to play hardball in California and local elected officials across the state are grappling with the issues. Meanwhile, Vermont moves ahead on dispensaries while New Hampshire's medical marijuana bill can't overcome a gubernatorial veto, and that's not all.

Chicago Decriminalizes Marijuana Possession

Following the lead of some of its suburbs, Chicago has decriminalized the possession of less than 15 grams of marijuana for adults.

New Hampshire Medical Marijuana Veto Stands

An effort to override Gov. John Lynch's veto of a medical marijuana bill succeeded in the House but fell short in the Senate.

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

A scandal that keeps on giving in Florida, a pair of bad apple deputies in LA get their just rewards, a crooked NYPD cop gets his, too, and much, much more.

New Jersey Assembly Passes Marijuana Decriminalization Bill

A decriminalization bill has passed the New Jersey Assembly, but faces an uphill battle to overcome a veto threat from Gov. Christie.

NYPD Sued Over Stop and Frisk Marijuana Arrests

NYPD refuses to stop charging people with misdemeanor marijuana possession after stopping and frisking them and forcing them to empty their pockets so they can be charged with "public possession," so now the Legal Aid Society is suing to make them knock it off.

Danish Parliament Okays Drug Consumption Rooms

Supervised injection sites are coming to Denmark, and so are broader "drug consumption rooms" where heroin and cocaine can be smoked or snorted. A new law takes effect July 1.

Making Sure Drugs Kill: Commission Blames Drug War for Spreading AIDS [FEATURE]

When it comes to slowing the spread of HIV/AIDS, the imperatives of the drug war are a hindrance, not a help, a new report from the Global Commission on Drugs finds. There is a better way, the group says.

Decriminalization Advances in Chicago

Marijuana decriminalization is one city council vote away from being approved in Chicago.

Uruguayan Government May Sell Marijuana in Proposed Legalization System

The left-leaning Uruguayan government says it will introduce a bill that would give it a monopoly on legal marijuana sales.

New Hampshire Governor Vetoes Medical Marijuana Bill

New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch has vetoed a medical marijuana bill--again. Now, it's up to the legislature to see if it can muster the votes to override the veto.

Supreme Court Grant Lesser Sentences in "Pipeline" Crack Cocaine Cases

The Supreme Court has held that people "in the pipeline" -- convicted but not yet sentenced when Fair Sentencing Act reforms took effect -- on federal crack cocaine charges are entitled to be sentenced under the lesser penalties created by the act. Thousands could get sentence cuts.

It's Nail-Biting Time for the Oregon Marijuana Initiatives [FEATURE]

Two Oregon marijuana legalization initiatives are in a mad scramble to make the ballot after being hit with unprecedented high invalidation rates for signatures already handed in. And they only have two weeks to go.

Medical Marijuana Update

It's mainly news from California this week, with DEA and LAPD raids leading the way, but also some snippets from Colorado and Montana.

This Week in History

Events and quotes of note from this week's drug policy events of years past.

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

Just another run of the mill week of drug war law enforcement corruption, except having a state trooper involved in a major pot grow is fairly unusual.

Washington Marijuana Legalization Initiative Ahead in New Poll

A new poll has the Washington state pot legalization initiative leading with 50% support, but that doesn't leave a lot of room for a margin of comfort.

NY GOP Kills Marijuana Decriminalization Reform

A bill that would have ended the NYPD's abuse of New York's marijuana decriminalization law has been stymied by Senate Republicans.

Needle Exchange Funding Returns in Senate Appropriations Bill

The Senate has included federal funding for needle exchanges in its Health & Human Services FY 2013 appropriations bill. The House is expected to approve a bill without it, setting up a fight in conference committee down the road.

Japan to Ban New Synthetic Drugs

Japan is moving to designate some synthetic cannabinoids and synthetic stimulants as "narcotics," effectively banning them.

Did You Know? Impairment Potential for Different Kinds of Drugs, on DrugWarFacts.org

DrugWarFacts.org, a publication of Common Sense for Drug Policy, is an in-depth compilation of key facts, stats and quotes on the full range of drug policy issues, excerpted from expert publications on the subjects. The Chronicle is running a series of info items from DrugWarFacts.org over the next several weeks, and we encourage you to check it out.

Did You Know? Impairment Potential for Different Kinds of Drugs, on DrugWarFacts.org

DrugWarFacts.org, a publication of Common Sense for Drug Policy, is an in-depth compilation of key facts, stats and quotes on the full range of drug policy issues, excerpted from expert publications on the subjects. The Chronicle is running a series of info items from DrugWarFacts.org over the next several weeks, and we encourage you to check it out.

US/Mexico Drug War "Caravan of Peace" Gearing Up [FEATURE]

A Caravan of Peace calling for an end to failed prohibitionist drug policies in the US and Mexico will leave San Diego in August and arrive in Washington, DC, in September. It's hoping to educate some people along the way and have a lasting impact.

Rhode Island Decriminalizes Marijuana Possession

Gov. Lincoln Chafee (I) signed marijuana decriminalization into law Tuesday. It goes into effect April 1, 2013.

Chicago Mayor Says Decriminalize Marijuana

Chicago looks set to pass a marijuana decriminalization ordinance later this month after Mayor Rahm Emanuel endorsed the effort.

Second Medical Marijuana Patient Denied Transplant at LA Hospital

For the second time in a year, Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles has denied a life-saving organ transplant to a patient solely because of his or her medical marijuana use.

Medical Marijuana Update

After a brief hiatus, the DEA wrecking ball was back at work in California this week. Also, an important court victory in Colorado, a couple of court losses in Oregon, and Vermont is accepting dispensary applications. And there's a whole bunch more, too.

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

Bad deputy! We have three cases of misbehaving sheriff's deputies this week, plus the mandatory crooked prison guard.

A Festival of Lies: Perjury in a Michigan Cocaine Case [FEATURE]

A trial over a big cocaine bust in Michigan ended up taking out a judge, a prosecutor, and a pair of cops as they constructed a conspiracy of lies to help win their case.

NYPD Police Officer Indicted in Ramarley Graham Killing

There may be justice yet for Ramarley Graham, the Bronx teenager killed by police in his own bathroom as he tried to flush a baggie of weed. The cops said they thought he had a gun. He didn't, and now one narc has been indicted for manslaughter.

Did You Know? Drug Offender Numbers in Prison, Jail, Probation and Parole

DrugWarFacts.org, a publication of Common Sense for Drug Policy, is an in-depth compilation of key facts, stats and quotes on the full range of drug policy issues, excerpted from expert publications on the subjects. The Chronicle is running a series of info items from DrugWarFacts.org over the next several weeks, and we encourage you to check it out.

Did You Know? Drug Offender Numbers in Prison, Jail, Probation and Parole, on DrugWarFacts.org

DrugWarFacts.org, a publication of Common Sense for Drug Policy, is an in-depth compilation of key facts, stats and quotes on the full range of drug policy issues, excerpted from expert publications on the subjects. The Chronicle is running a series of info items from DrugWarFacts.org over the next several weeks, and we encourage you to check it out.

Marijuana Legalization Polling High in Colorado

A new Rasmussen poll shows the Colorado initiative to legalize and regulate marijuana like alcohol is well-positioned to win in November.

Kenya to Distribute Needles to Injection Drug Users

In an effort to reduce the spread of HIV, Hepatitis C, and other blood-borne disease, authorities in Kenya will start distributing needles to injection drug users next month.

Federal Appeals Court Rejects Job Corps Worker Drug Tests

A federal appeals court has thrown out a Job Corps worker drug testing program, saying the government had not provided any reason to grant an exception to the Fourth Amendment's ban on warrantless searches and seizures.

Interview: David Bronner and the White House Hemp Civil Disobedience

Drug War Chronicle interviewed David Bronner, president of Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps, on Sunday prior to his Monday morning hemp civil disobedience at the White House.

Dr. Bronner's Head Arrested in White House Hemp Civil Disobedience Action

David Bronner, president of Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps, which imports more than 20 tons of hemp oil each year from Canadian farmers, was arrested by members of the DC Metropolitan Police Department after committing an act of civil disobedience within sight of the White House early Monday morning.

Hemp Civil Disobedience at the White House NOW

David Bronner, president of the widely-known Dr.


Marijuana Discord on the French Left

France's Socialists don't want to legalize marijuana, but their likely coalition junior partners, the Greens, do. It's a start.

AG Holder Accused of Lying on Medical Marijuana Crackdown [FEATURE]

Attorney General Holder told the House Judiciary Committee Thursday that Justice is only targeting dispensaries not in compliance with state laws. Medical marijuana advocates called him a liar.

Pro-Legalization Cops Seek Assistant Media Relations Director

Law Enforcement Against Prohibition is hiring an Assistant Media Relations Director, probably but not necessarily working in San Francisco or Washington, DC. Apply by next week.

NY Pols Call for Marijuana Decriminalization Fix

New York decriminalized pot possession 35 years ago, but NYPD keeps arresting and jailing people for "possession in public view" after forcing them to empty their pockets. Now, the governor and NYC mayor are behind a change in the law to prevent that practice.

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