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Washington, DC Selects Medical Marijuana Growers

Medical marijuana patients in the nation's capital could be buying their medicines in dispensaries by this summer after the District government selected growers Friday.

Protestors Challenge NYC Mayor on Mass Marijuana Arrests [FEATURE]

NYPD arrested more than 50,000 people, mostly young people of color, for marijuana possession last year. Thursday, protestors went to the mayor's house to tell him to put a stop to it.

DC Cop Kills Teen in "Drug Activity" Shoot-Out

A 19-year-old Washington, DC, man is dead after running from police investigating "drug activity," then pulling a weapon and firing at them.

Book Offer: "The Marijuana Conviction: A History of Marijuana Prohibition in the United States"

We continue 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.

Medical Marijuana Update

More DEA raids in California, more threat letters in Colorado, plus action from the statehouse to the courthouse. Just another week in medical marijuana politics.

New Hampshire Senate Passes Medical Marijuana Bill

The New Hampshire Senate has passed a medical marijuana bill, but not by enough to overcome a threatened veto. The bill still has to pass the House, so there is time to keep working the Senate.

Louisiana Heroin Penalties Not Harsh Enough, Solon Claims

Louisiana state Sen. JP Morrell doesn't like drugs. He's introduced four bills to prove he's serious.

This Week in History

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

West Australia Enacts Mandatory Minimums for Marijuana

Western Australia marijuana growers with children better watch out -- the state government has just implemented harsh new laws complete with mandatory minimum sentences if a child is "endangered" by a pot plant or a grow.

Colorado Drug Sentencing Reform Bill Introduced

A bill that would make possession of controlled substances a misdemeanor instead of a felony has been introduced with bipartisan support in Colorado.

Medical Marijuana Bills Advance in New England

Medical marijuana bills won key committee votes in Connecticut and New Hampshire this week.

Michigan Father Killed in Marijuana Child Removal Incident

A Michigan father is dead after Child Protective Services tried to take his young son away after an unfounded allegation of marijuana use. The deputy who shot him has been cleared, but questions and outrage linger.

Supreme Court to Decide Second Florida Drug Dog Case

Is testifying that a drug dog has been trained and certified enough evidence to establish probable cause for a search? The Florida Supreme Court doesn't think so, and now the US Supreme Court will take on the case.

Schoolgirl Sues Pennsylvania District Over Drug Tests

Yet another Pennsylvania school district is being reminded that it can't make students take random, suspicionless drug tests under the state constitution. An 11-year-old girl and the ACLU are suing.

DEA Agent Kills Man in Cartel Murder-for-Hire Sting

A DEA sting in which agents portrayed themselves as members of the Zetas cartel and commissioned a group of men to raid a ranch, kill the owner, and seize 20 kilos of cocaine stolen by a rival cartel has ended with one man dead and three others in custody.

DPA Grants Program LOIs Due April 26th

An annual drug policy reform grants program is accepting letters of inquiry for the next month.

DPA Grants Program LOIs Due April 26th

The Drug Policy Alliance will allocate roughly $750,000 during the 2012/2013 Promoting Policy Change (PPC) grant cycle. PPC seeks to broaden public support for drug policy reform and will fund

Central American Presidents Hold Drug Legalization Summit [FEATURE]

In a historic meeting in Antigua, Guatemala, Saturday, three Central American heads of state attended a regional summit to discuss alternatives to the current drug prohibition regime, which has left their countries wracked by violence.

Book Offer: "The Marijuana Conviction: A History of Marijuana Prohibition in the United States"

We continue 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.

UN Anti-Drug Body Supports Overdose Prevention Measures

Delegates to the UN's Commission on Narcotic Drugs have voted unanimously to endorse overdose prevention measures, including the use of the overdose reversal drug naloxone.

Fresno Cops Kill Armed Man Fleeing Meth Bust

A Sanger, California, man is dead after being shot by police as he first pulled a weapons, then tried to flee in an undercover drug bust gone bad.

Federal Court Blocks DEA Effort to Close Florida Pharmacies

The DEA went a step too far when it tried to shut down a pair of Florida CVS pharmacies, a federal appeals court has ruled. The ruling is only temporary, though, so stay tuned.

Book Offer: "The Marijuana Conviction: A History of Marijuana Prohibition in the United States"

We continue 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.

This Week in History

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

New Hampshire House Passes Marijuana Decriminalization Bill

A marijuana decriminalization has squeaked to victory in the New Hampshire House, but faces a veto threat from Gov. John Lynch (D).

California Medical Marijuana Measure Dropped in Favor of Legislative Campaign

The coalition behind this year's California medical marijuana initiative is shifting gears. It has dropped the initiative effort, and will instead concentrate its efforts -- and its cash -- on passing a measure in the legislature.

Two More Drug Raids, Two More Deaths

Two men have been killed by police in drug raids in Miami Lakes, Florida, and New Orleans. The one in Miami Lakes was armed; the one in New Orleans apparently was not.

Book Offer: "The Marijuana Conviction: A History of Marijuana Prohibition in the United States"

We continue 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.

Massachusetts Marijuana Legalization Bill Gets Hearing

Marijuana legalization got a hearing in the Massachusetts legislature Tuesday. While even the bill's sponsor doubts it will pass, it helps pave the way for a legalization initiative in the future.

Medical Marijuana Update

Bills are being considered in some states, busts are going on in others, and local governments grapple with medical marijuana from Washington state to New Jersey.

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

Bad cops pay out big in New York, a sheriff cleans house in Florida, a sticky-fingered cop gets in trouble in North Carolina, and a California cop gets caught with his fingers in the dope jar.

Oregon Marijuana Legalization Initiatives Moving [FEATURE]

The clock is ticking on marijuana legalization initiatives in Oregon. There are currently four different initiative campaigns underway, but at this point, four months away from when signatures must be handed in, only two look like they have any chance of success this year, and both of them are still tens of thousands of signatures from getting on the November ballot.

Iran Executed Nearly 500 Drug Offenders Last Year

Iran executed nearly 500 people for drug crimes last year, according to a new report from Iran Human Rights, a Norway-based NGO. Drug executions made up more than 70% of all executions in the Islamic Republic.

In Mexico, Biden Rejects Drug Legalization Talk

US Vice President Joe Biden was quick to fight back against the rising clamor for a debate on drug legalization as he landed in Mexico City Monday on a two-day trip to meet with Mexican and Central American leaders.

Florida House Passes State Worker Drug Test Bill

The Florida legislature is one vote away from approving the mandatory, suspicionless drug testing of state employees. The courts may have something to say about that.

Judge Challenges Nevada Medical Marijuana Restrictions

In a ruling Friday, a Nevada district court judge ruled that the state's laws for the distribution of medical marijuana were unconstitutional because they seemed designed to thwart their ostensible purpose. The ruling came in the case of two dispensary operators who had been charged with drug trafficking for taking money to grow marijuana for patients.

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


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

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




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.

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