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Costa Rica Joins Call for Drug Legalization Debate

Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla has added her voice to the rising clamor for discussions on drug legalization as an alternative to the current state of affairs, in which Central American nations see themselves as increasingly threatened by the illicit drug trade. The discussion should go on even if the US opposes it, Chinchilla said.

Canadian Senate Passes Harsh Crime Bill

Canada appears set to march boldly backward as the Senate has passed a Conservative crime bill that includes mandatory minimums for growing as few as six marijuana plants.

DEA Extends Ban on Fake Marijuana Chemicals

The DEA has extended for another six months its emergency ban on five synthetic cannabinoids used to manufacture "fake weed" products. The chemicals are sprayed on herbal mixtures and the resulting product is sold under names including Spice and K2.

South Carolina Man Killed in Drug Traffic Stop

A South Carolina man was shot dead and a Kershaw County sheriff's deputy injured during a narcotics investigation traffic stop that turned violent Tuesday night. Melvin Lawhorn, 26, becomes the 13th person to die in US domestic drug law enforcement operations so far this year.

New Offer for Donating Members: "The Marijuana Conviction"

We are pleased to introduce our newest offer for donating members, the drug policy classic reprint: "The Marijuana Conviction: A History of Marijuana Prohibition in the United States." This is one is available for donations of just $22 or more.

Anti-Meth Prescription Pseudoephedrine Bills Defeated

Lawmakers trying to stop meth labs by forcing people get to a prescription for popular pseudoephedrine-based cold medications like Sudafed are running into strong opposition.

LEAP Urges Canada to Reject Harsh Crime Bill

LEAP has intervened in the Canadian debate over the Tories' harsh crime bill. So far at least they're not listening, to LEAP or others, but the pressure mounts.

Seattle Mayor Says It's Time to Legalize Marijuana

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn (D) used his state of the city address Tuesday night to make a heartfelt plea for marijuana legalization. The mayor's remarks came as a new poll showed that an initiative that would legalize marijuana is favored by voters.

Medical Marijuana Update

From Alabama to Washington, medical marijuana continues to be a burning issue.

This Week in History

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

US Law Enforcement Officials Call on Canadian Prime Minister to Legalize Marijuana

WASHINGTON, DC -- A high-profile group of current and former law enforcement officials from the United States is calling on the Canadian government to reconsider the mandatory minimum sentences for


California Marijuana Initiatives Starving for Cash [FEATURE]

A severe lack of funding could prevent any of the California marijuana reform initiatives from making the ballot. "Anyone got a spare $2 million?" the campaigns asked plaintively at a Mill Valley public meeting Tuesday night.

National Geographic "American Weed" Series Premiering Tonight

The new National Geographic series "American Weed," exploring the Colorado's booming medical marijuana industry and the pushback, premieres tonight at 10:00pm ET/PT. Watch, then come back here to the Speakeasy and let us know what you think.

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

More asset forfeiture problems in Texas, plus a typical weekly rogues' gallery of dirty cops.

Vermont Marijuana Decriminalization Bill Stalled

Although it has the support of the governor and the public, a Vermont bill to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana is stalled, held hostage by a hostile House speaker, the Barre-Montpelier Times-Argus reported Saturday.

Rand Paul Blocks Federal Synthetic Drug Bans

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) is blocking three Senate bills that seek to prohibit new synthetic drugs. Rand spokesperson Moira Bagley confirmed to the Lexington Herald-Leader that he has had a "hold" on the bills for the last three months and that he has no intention of lifting it.

Texas Officer in Drug Investigation Kills Armed Man

A Texas man is dead after allegedly running away from, then pulling a gun on, members of Texas combined task force doing a drug investigation.

Congress Okays Drug Tests for Unemployment Benefits

Faced with GOP demands to drug test people seeking unemployment benefits, the Democrats first fought them off, then accepted some testing as a compromise to get the payroll tax extension passed.

Colorado Marijuana Initiative Turns in Final Signatures

The proponents of a Colorado initiative to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol turned in 12,000 additional voter signatures Friday in a last bid to qualify for the November ballot. The initiative needs only 2,400 valid signatures to qualify, meaning a whopping four out of five signatures handed in would have to be invalidated to keep the measure off the ballot.

Florida Detective, Meth Suspect Killed in Shootout

A Clay County, Florida, sheriff's narcotics detective and a man he was investigating as a methamphetamine suspect were shot and killed in an exchange of fire Thursday evening. Narcotics Detective David White and the as-yet-unnamed suspect become the 10th and 11th persons to die in US domestic drug law enforcement operations so far this year.

Soros Gives Big Bucks for California Three Strikes Reform Measure

An initiative that seeks to reform California's three-strikes sentencing law appears to have the financial wherewithal to qualify for the November ballot after philanthropist and drug reform supporter George Soros kicked in $500,000 donation last Friday. The Three Strikes Reform Act of 2012 has now accumulated more than $1.2 million in contributions.

Meet Obama's Proposed 2013 Federal Drug Budget [FEATURE]

The White House has released its proposed 2013 federal drug budget, and it looks pretty much like all the other federal drug budgets, only bigger.

Medical Marijuana Update

Medical marijuana patients are taking to the streets Thursday, Feb. 16, to protest the Obama administration's clampdown on medical marijuana across the country. And then, there's the action at the state and local level.

Medical Marijuana at the Statehouse 2012 [FEATURE]

Since California voters made it the first medical marijuana state in 1996, other states have come on board at a rate a little better than one a year. Now, 15 years later, 16 states and the District of Columbia have effective medical marijuana laws, and by year's end, we could have 17, 18 or even more.

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

A state trooper transporting marijuana, a pair of cops ripping off drug cash, a constable smuggling across the Mexican border, and a cop with a bad pain pill habit make this week's hall of shame.

Guatemalan President Will Propose Drug Legalization

Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina is again speaking out on drug legalization. He said in a Saturday radio interview that he would propose legalizing drugs in a forthcoming meeting with regional leaders, and he specified that that included decriminalizing the transport of drugs through the Central American isthmus.

Delaware Suspends Medical Marijuana Program

Delaware Gov. Jack Markell (D) Friday suspended the regulation-writing and licensing process for the state's medical marijuana dispensaries, essentially killing medical marijuana in a state whose law does not allow patients or caregivers to grow their own.

Detroit Marijuana Legalization Measure to Get Vote

A marijuana legalization initiative in Detroit was improperly barred from the ballot in 2010, the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled Friday. The appeals court decision overturned the ruling of a Wayne County judge, who had sided with the Detroit Elections Commission's decision to keep the measure off the ballot because they thought it conflicted with state and federal law.

Washington Voters to Decide Marijuana Legalization

An initiative that would legalize the limited possession of marijuana in the state of Washington and tax and regulate its commerce is headed for the November ballot to be decided by the voters after the state legislature Thursday punted on the matter.

Welfare Drug Test Bills Fail in South Dakota, Virginia

The push to mandate drug testing for recipients of public benefits is sweeping statehouses across the country this year, but in two states, those efforts hit a roadblock this week. In South Dakota and Virginia, bills were either defeated or deferred.

Mexican Army Seizes 15 Tons of Methamphetamine

Mexican army troops seized an astounding 15 tons of pure methamphetamine in the western state of Jalisco, the Mexican military announced Wednesday night. That's an amount equal to half of all the meth seized worldwide in 2009 and would have supplied some 13 million individual doses worth over $4 billion on the street in the US.

Medical Marijuana Update

Busy, busy, busy, at every level from federal rescheduling through bills in the states to local decision-making. The medical marijuana world continues to be very active.

Marijuana Law Reform at the Statehouse 2012 [FEATURE]

This year is shaping up to be a busy one for marijuana legalization and decriminalization bills at state houses around the country. Here's the rundown on what's going on so far.

New Mexico to Study Supervised Injection Sites [FEATURE]

The New Mexico legislature has commissioned a study of emerging and evidence-based harm reduction practices, including supervised injection sites. That could lead the way to a pilot program there. There is also agitation for SIJs in San Francisco and New York City.

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

Two of our four bad apples this week come from the Big Apple, one for planting drugs and one for transporting them. Of the other two, one picked the wrong friends and the other picked the wrong wife.

Missouri, Tennessee Ponder Legislator Drug Tests

Bills that would require state legislators to undergo drug tests have been filed in Missouri and Tennessee. They're an unsurprising extension of the drug testing mania that has gripped statehouses, but likely unconstitutional.

YouTube Ignores Cop's First Place Marijuana Legalization Video Question for Obama

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:January 30, 2012


Marijuana Legalization Question Takes First Place Again in Obama YouTube Forum

This video question about marijuana legalization from Stephen Downing, former Deputy Police Chief in Los Angeles and member of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, finished first place today in vot


Medical Marijuana Patient Surrenders Today -- Pardon Sought from Gov. Christie

MEDIA ADVISORY
January 27, 2012

Medical Marijuana Patient Surrenders Today; Pardon Sought from Gov Christie


Missouri Drive to End Marijuana Prohibition Gets Going [FEATURE]

A Missouri campaign to place an initiative to end marijuana prohibition on the November ballot has entered the signature-gathering phase, and petition-toting volunteers across the Show Me state are hunting for registered voters as the campaign looks for funds to help it get over the top.

NJ Supreme Court: 5 Years in Prison for MS Patient Growing Marijuana

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 


Mexico Drug War Update

Although is was a relatively quiet week in Mexico's drug wars, it's probably now safe to say that 50,000 people have been killed in prohibition-related violence there since President Calderon sent in the army in December 2006.

Medical Marijuana Update

Here's our weekly look at medical marijuana news from around the country. There's plenty going on.

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

Jailers smuggling drugs in burritos, cops planting drugs, cops doing security for drug deals, and evidence walking out of the evidence room. It's just another week of police misconduct in the drug war.

Drug Testing for Public Assistance Bills Proliferate in New Year [FEATURE]

We are only a few weeks into the new year, but statehouse politicians across the country are already racing to see who can be next to introduce a bill that would require drug testing of people receiving public benefits. Within the last month, measures that would impose drug testing requirements have been introduced or are being contemplated in at least eleven states.

Mexico Drug War Update

The murders, raids, and arrests continue, without making any apparent difference in anything.

Medical Marijuana Update

Here's the latest medical marijuana news from around the country. There's a whole lot going on.

Peru Fires Reformist Drug Czar

Peru's drug czar has been fired for being insufficiently enthusiastic about eradicating coca crops.

Dutch to Ban Khat

The Dutch government will ban khat, a plant favored by Somali and Yemeni immigrants for its mild stimulative properties.

Time to Rethink Drug Raids, Police Trainers Say

An increase in police deaths by gunfire last year and the bloody Ogden, Utah, drug raid that left one officer dead last week are causing some police to think again about the utility of aggressive drug raids.

Michigan Repeal Marijuana Prohibition Initiative Gearing Up [FEATURE]

Michigan medical marijuana patients are tired of getting pushed around by state officials, so they've come up with a novel solution: Just repeal the marijuana laws once and for all. An initiative that would do that is getting underway now.

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

Cops continue to have problems keeping their hands off the drugs they come across. And they're developing problems with prescription pills, too.

Florida Medical Marijuana Bills Filed

For the second year in a row, medical marijuana legislation has been filed in Florida, and for the first time ever, bills have been filed in both the House and the Senate. The bills, House Joint Resolution 353 and Senate Joint Resolution 1028, ask the legislature to approve a referendum on medical marijuana for the November ballot.

Supreme Court Will Hear Florida Drug Dog Case

The US Supreme Court said Friday it would decide whether having a drug dog sniff at the door of a private residence violates the Fourth Amendment's proscription against warrantless searches. The court agreed to hear an appeal from the state of Florida in a case where the Florida Supreme Court ruled that such searches were indeed unconstitutional.

Tallahassee to Pay in Death of Informant Rachel Hoffman

The city of Tallahassee has agreed to a $2.6 million settlement in the killing of Rachel Hoffman, a collegiate drug scenester whom police sent to snitch on hardened criminals after a small-time drug bust. A similar case has just popped up in Detroit, too.

Poll Finds Washington State Voters Split on Marijuana Legalization

A poll released Wednesday found more support for than opposition to marijuana legalization in Washington state, but with support under 50%. An earlier poll that incorporated the details of Washington's I-502 initiative found more support.

Five Utah Police Wounded, One Killed in Drug Raid

An Ogden, Utah, police officer was shot and killed and five others wounded, two in critical condition, in a drug raid on an Ogden home Wednesday night. The resident was also wounded and is in custody facing as yet unspecified charges. Although police aren't saying, it appears the target was a personal marijuana grow.

Arizona Governor's Medical Marijuana Lawsuit Dismissed

A federal judge Wednesday threw out a lawsuit filed on behalf of Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) that had blocked the implementation of the state's voter-approved medical marijuana dispensary program. Brewer and state health officials had sued to ask the court for clarification about whether the state's medical marijuana law was preempted by federal drug laws, saying they feared going forward would put state employees at risk of federal prosecution.

Medical Marijuana Update

The latest on the medical marijuana front.

This Week in History

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

Supreme Court Asked to Take Drug Dog Case

The US Supreme Court has upheld drug dog sniffs of vehicles, luggage at airports, and packages in transit. Now, the state of Florida wants it to uphold a drug dog sniff at your front door.

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

The Chronicle may have taken a week off, but drug prohibition-related police corruption didn't. And so we have two weeks worth of corrupt cops.

Statewide Colorado Marijuana Initiative Turns in Signatures

Proponents of a Colorado marijuana legalization initiative turned in more than 159,000 signatures to the secretary of state's office Wednesday, nearly twice as many as the 86,500 required for the measure to be approved for the November ballot. The state has 30 days to verify the signatures and approve the measure for the ballot.

The Top Ten Domestic US Drug Policy Stories of 2011 [FEATURE]

We can put 2011 to bed now, but not before looking back one last time at the good, the bad, and the ugly. It was a year of rising hopes and crushing defeats, of gaining incremental victories and fending off old, failed policies. And it was a year in which the collapse of the prohibitionist consensus grew ever more pronounced.

Washington Marijuana Legalization Initiative Hands in Signatures

Washington state marijuana legalization initiative supporters turned in enough signatures last week to almost guarantee that the measure will be on the ballot in November. Now, we wait for the state to make it official.

At Year's End, Five More US Drug War Deaths

Five people, including a Florida police officer, have died in recent days in incidents related to domestic drug law enforcement. They become the 49th through 54th persons to die in US domestic drug law enforcement operations so far this year. Of those 54, three were law enforcement officers.

The Top Ten International Drug Policy Stories of 2011

The new year is almost upon us and 2011 will soon be a year for the history books. But we can't let it go without recognizing the biggest global drug policy stories of the year. From the horrors of the Mexican drug wars to the growing clamor over the failures of prohibition, from the poppy fields of Afghanistan and the Golden Triangle to the coca fields of the Andes, from European parliaments to Iranian gallows, drug prohibition and its consequences were big news this year.

Mexico Drug War Update

There has been no holiday break in Mexico's prohibition-related mayhem, but it's now looking like this year's death toll is going to be down slightly from last year.

This Week in History

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

Marc Emery Christmas Prison Blog

Marc Emery is approaching the halfway mark of his prison term.

Pain Patients Lose a Leading Advocate, Siobhan Reynolds, 1961-2011

Siobhan Reynolds, founder of the Pain Relief Network and opponents of the "war on drugs," died in a plane crash in Ohio Christmas Eve.

Tax-Deductible Donations Support Reform in 2012

Support the work of StoptheDrugWar.org with a donation of $50 or more and you can receive a complimentary copy of the PBS documentary "Prohibition" on DVD or Blu-ray -- 90 minutes of bonus footage not seen on TV!

Mexico Drug War Update

2011 is wrapping up as slightly less bloody than 2010 in Mexico's plague of prohibition-related violence, but the death toll this year is still well above 10,000.

Medical Marijuana Update

More restrictions on medical marijuana, more California dispensaries close, more Montana dispensary operators head for federal prison, and California activists file an initiative to regulate and tax the industry at the state level.

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

There's big problems in the Nassau County, Florida, sheriff's office, and more drug prohibition-related police misconduct as well.

Gary Johnson to Seek Libertarian Presidential Nomination

Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson is set to give up on the Republicans and seek the Libertarian Party presidential nomination, Politico.com is reporting.

Montreal Agency Calls for Four Safe Injection Sites

Montreal wants four safe injection sites for hard drug users. The city's public health agency and mayor have given the okay, but now they need provincial funding and federal approval.

North Carolina Opium Law Snares Prescription Pain Pill People

North Carolina's drug laws, which severely punish people who traffic in opiates, are yielding harsh prison sentences for people possessing or trafficking small quantities of prescription pain pills. That is leading to renewed debate in the Tarheel State about whether the laws are too harsh.

US Prison Population in First Decline Since 1972

The number of people in prison in the US has dropped for the first time since 1972, and the number of people under correctional supervision has declined for the second year in a row. Is a sea change at hand?

Congress Votes to Restore Needle Exchange Funding Ban

Two years ago this week, after years of advocacy by public health and harm reduction advocates, the long-standing ban on federal funding for needle exchanges was repealed. On Saturday, it was restored as the Senate took the final votes to approve the 2012 federal omnibus spending bill.

Amnesty International Condemns Iran Drug Executions

Amnesty International has called on Iran to stop executing people for drug offenses, saying the Islamic Republic has embarked on "a killing spree of staggering proportions."

Email from Rep. Jose Serrano on Reinstatement of Federal Syringe Exchange Funding Ban

(The following statement from Rep. José Serrano (D-NY), sponsor of 2009 legislation that repealed the ban on federal funding of sy


Breaking: Congress Votes to Kill People

Congressional drug warriors knowingly pushed through legislation this week that won't save taxpayers any money, but which scientifically cannot fail to kill large numbers of people in cruel ways.

Medical Marijuana Update

Busy, busy, busy. Here's this week's medical marijuana news digest.

US House Votes to Ban New Synthetic Drugs

As expected, the House of Representatives has passed a bill banning synthetic stimulants and cannabinoids. On the positive side, 98 members voted against responding to the drugs with a new prohibition.

Teens Rejecting Alcohol, Tobacco, Selecting Marijuana [FEATURE]

The annual Monitoring the Future survey of high school students find cigarette and alcohol use down, but marijuana use up.

New Offer for Donating Members: PBS "Prohibition" on DVD and Blu-ray

We are pleased to announce our newest offer for donating members, the recent Prohibition documentary by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick made for PBS. These three disk sets include 90 minutes of bonus footage not available on the web site or shown on TV.

ALERT: Don't Let Congress Backslide on Needle Exchange

Republicans in Congress are pushing to reinstate a ban on use of federal AIDS funds for needle exchange programs. If they succeed, if won't reduce federal spending, but it will kill people. Please call today to tell Congress and the President to say no.

New Offer for Donating Members: PBS "Prohibition" on DVD and Blu-ray

Beginning next week, StoptheDrugWar.org will offer DVD and Blu-ray copies of the PBS documentary "Prohibition" to donating members.

US House Set to Pass Bad Drug Bills [FEATURE]

Going in the face of an ever-increasing clamor to reform decades of failed drug policies, the US House of Representatives is poised to pass two bills that promise more of the same.

New Canadian Drug Reform Coalition Emerges [FEATURE]

Even as the Canadian federal government presses ahead with its draconian crime and drugs bill, a new coalition for Canadian drug reform has emerged.

This Week in History

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

Mexico Drug War Update

Some congressional Republicans want to know why the DEA is laundering money for drug cartels. Meanwhile, the killings continue.

Dallas Narc Kills Man in Amtrak Train Shootout

An undercover Dallas narcotics officer shot and killed a man who opened fire on him as he and other officers swept an idling Amtrak train for drugs. The as yet unidentified man becomes the 47th person to die in US domestic drug law enforcement operations so far this year.

Drug War Issues

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