ON THE SPEAKEASY BLOG

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. 3 comments

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. 7 comments

One of the Worst Ideas to Come Out of the War on Drugs: Sentencing Enhancement Zones

A video from the Prison Policy Initiative on what is indeed one of the worst ideas to come out of the war on drugs. 18 comments

House Committee Votes to Block DC Decrim

The GOP-dominated House Appropriations Committee stuck a thumb in the eye of democratic governance in the nations capital this morning. The committee voted to prevent the District of Columbia from implementing marijuana decriminalization approved by the District government. 6 comments

Senate Could Vote to Cut DEA Funds as Soon as Tonight

In a historic vote late last month, the House moved to cut funding for the DEA to go after medical marijuana in states where it is legal. Now, the Senate is preparing to vote on a similar measure. 16 comments

DEA Leaning On Massachusetts Docs with Dispensaries Ties

The Boston Globe is reporting today that the DEA has been visiting Massachusetts doctors involved with yet-to-open medical marijuana dispensaries and giving them an ultimatum: Cut your ties with the dispensary or lose your DEA-issued license to prescribe drugs. And it's working. 10 comments

There Were Several Drug Policy Amendments to the CJS Bill

Reformers have mostly been talking about the 14 comments

House Passes Historic Medical Marijuana Amendment

Late Thursday night, the House of Representatives told the DEA to butt out of medical marijuana states by approving a budget amendment barring the use of taxpayer funds to do so. 11 comments

Kentucky Gets its Hemp Seed as DEA Backs Off

It's a done deal. A UPS truck delivered more than 250 pounds of hemp seed to the Kentucky Department of Agriculture this afternoon. It took a lawsuit and a lot of political pressure on DEA head Michele Leonhart, but the agency has backed away from its initial refusal to allow the seeds to be imported. 4 comments

The Largest Marijuana March Ever? 150,000 Protest in Buenos Aires!

Good Golly, Miss Mary Jane! I've been watching marijuana legalization marches for a long time and I've never seen a crowd like this. 11 comments

Uruguay's Mujica is the Grumpy Old Man of Global Marijuana Legalization

Uruguay formally rolls out its marijuana legalization rules next week, but President Mujica shows he's no Captain Cannabis. 5 comments

Big News from the Administration About Commutations

The Obama administration may issue hundreds or even thousands of sentence commutations in drug cases, 5 comments

It's 4/20 in Denver!

Denver is pot city this weekend, with the High Times Cannabis Cup, the 4/20 rally downtown, and dozens of related musical and cultural events. 3 comments

I'm Denver Bound, So No Chronicle AM for Friday

I'm driving from eastern South Dakota to Denver Friday in preparation for the 4/20 weekend there. 7 comments

Maryland Becomes 18th Decrim State, 21st Medical Marijuana State

With Gov. Martin O'Malley's signature today on two bills passed by the legislature, Maryland decriminalized marijuana possession and becomes a full-fledged medical marijuana state. 2 comments

Medical Marijuana Expansion, Decriminalization Pass in Maryland

It was a banner day in Annapolis Monday, where legislators, working against an end-of-session deadline, managed to pass both marijuan decriminalization and medical marijuana expansion bills. 4 comments

Obama Needs to Slap Down His Rogue DEA Chief

DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart told a congressional committee today her agency is "fighting back" against Justice Department policies tolerating marijuana in states where it is legal. The president needs to remind her who is the boss. 10 comments

Maryland Senate Okays Marijuana Decriminalization

The Maryland Senate today overwhelmingly approved a marijuana decriminalization bill with bipartisan support. It now heads to the House of Delegates. 8 comments

Say What? UNODC Panel Says Criminalizing Drug Use "Not Beneficial"

Yep, you read that right. The global anti-drug bureaucracy doesn't think it's a good idea to criminalize drug use. 17 comments

A Thousand March for "El Chapo" in Culiacan

More than a thousand people marched through the streets of Culiacan, the capital of Sinaloa state, Wednesday in support of arrested Sinaloa Cartel leader Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman. 11 comments

Mexico's El Chapo Guzman Reportedly Captured

Reports are coming out the Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, the elusive head of the Sinaloa Cartel has been captured in a joint operation by US and Mexican forces. 23 comments

Police Shoot, Kill 80-Year Old Man In His Own Bed

The recklessness of drug raids... 8 comments

No Marijuana Legalization for Hawaii This Year

A bill that would have legalized marijuana in the Aloha State died in a state Senate committee Thursday, but a decriminalization bill still lives. 7 comments

Some Drug Sanity from Italy!

Italy's constitutional court today struck down a 2006 law that removed the distinction between "soft" and "hard" drugs, treating pot possession like heroin possesion. Thousands of prisoners will go free. 7 comments

Hemp Amendment Becomes Law as Prez Signs Farm Bill

President Obama this afternoon signed into law the omnibus farm bill, which includes an amendment allowing for research into hemp production in states that have authorized it. 8 comments

Smart Needle Exchange Reform Bill Moving in Maryland

The Maryland Senate today moved to undo a restriction in existing state law that prevents injection drug users from picking up more clean needles at the Baltimore needle exchange than they turn in. That's a smart move. 6 comments

It's on in Alaska! Marijuana Legalization Vote Coming in August

Alaaska election officials have certified that a marijuana legalization initiative there has qualified for the ballot. Alaskans will go to the polls in August. 6 comments

Farm Bill Passes Second Chamber, With Hemp, Without Drug Testing

Two victories in one on the drug war front this week. 3 comments

DC Council Passes Marijuana Decriminalization Bill

The District of Columbia city council today approved a marijuana decriminalization bill, but a second vote is needed for final approval. 12 comments

Oglala Sioux and French Consider Marijuana Legalization

The Oglala Sioux Tribal Council's business development committee has approved a proposal take marijuana legalization to a tribal vote. A bill's been introduced in France, too. 3 comments

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FROM THE CHRONICLE

Marijuana Industry Steps Up on Edibles, Retailing

The marijuana is taking steps to ensure that edibles manufacturers and marijuana retailers know how to be responsible businesses. 0 comments

Medical Marijuana Update

A pair of federal bills get filed, California's medical marijuana wars continue, Florida looks set to pass medical marijuana this fall, pressure is rising for New York to get its program up and running, and more. 0 comments

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

A six-pack of dirty narcs gets nailed in Philly, a trio of crooked jail guards gets popped in New York City, an upstate New York cop gets busted for providing heads-ups to suspects, and a former West Virginia cop heads to prison for ripping off pain pills. 0 comments

Chronicle AM -- July 30, 2014

Marijuana arrests are up in a third of the states, the drug czar's office responds to the New York Times, Dr. Carl Hart wins a literary award, Philly narcs get busted, and more. 1 comment

Chronicle AM -- July 29, 2014

Another day, another slew of marijuana stories, but also, the UNODC issues a call for harm reduction funding proposals, an upstart New York governor candidate calls out Cuomo on clemency, we see the year's 27th drug war death, and more. 0 comments

Membership: "High Price" Signed (reduced price), "After Legalization" (e-book)

For the first time ever we are offering an "E-Book" as our latest membership premium, as well as a popular author-signed book for a reduced price. 0 comments

Did You Know? 23 States' and DC's Medical Marijuana Laws, from ProCon.org

ProCon.org is a series of in-depth web sites presenting information and views from on current issues, several with relevance to drug policy. The Chronicle is running a series of info items from ProCon.org over the next several weeks -- this first one from medicalmarijuana.procon.org -- and we encourage you to check it out. 0 comments

Rand Paul Files Crack Sentencing Reform Bill

Rand Paul has introduced his fourth drug reform measure this month. This one would completely eliminate the crack/powder cocaine sentencing disparity. 2 comments

Pedestrian Killed in Drug Investigation Police Chase

A high-speed chase during an Ohio drug investigation ends with a dead pedestrian, but the police said they did everything right. Their own policy manual would seem to beg to differ. 5 comments

Chronicle Book Review: To End the War on Drugs

Drug reform journalist Dean Becker has an impassioned new book out, and this week, he's in Washington, DC, to deliver copies to elected officials for their "summer reading assignment." What better time to take a look? 1 comment

Chronicle AM -- July 28, 2014

The New York Times comes out for marijuana legalization, a Florida poll finds majority support for it, Rand Paul introduces a bill to wipe out the crack/powder cocaine sentencing disparity, and more. 0 comments

New York Times: End Federal Marijuana Prohibition

The Grey Lady goes green. The New York Times editorial board has come out swinging in favor of ending federal marijuana prohibition. 5 comments

Florida Man Killed in Drug Bust Gun Battle

A Florida Army veteran has been killed in a shootout with Florida narcotics officers attempting to intercept a package at his home. 1 comment

Chronicle AM -- July 25, 2014

Wichita looks set to vote on decriminalization this fall, Rand Paul (busy, busy) files a federal asset forfeiture reform bill, drug users finally get a voice at the International AIDS Conference, and more. 3 comments

Rand Paul Files Asset Forfeiture Reform Bill

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has filed a bill to reform federal asset forfeiture laws. Yesterday, he introduced the FAIR (Fifth Amendment Integrity Restoration) ACT, Senate Bill 2644, which would require the government to prove with clear and convincing evidence that the property it wishes to forfeit is connected with a crime. 6 comments

Chronicle AM -- July 24, 2014

There's dollar signs coming with marijuana legalization laws, Rand Paul moves to protect medical marijuana, medical marijuana comes too late for one New York girl, there's a new opiate pain reliever out there (with a twist), and more. 5 comments

Rand Paul Files Medical Marijuana Amendment

Rand Paul has filed an amendment to Senate Bill 2569, the "Bring Jobs Home Act," that would explicitly allow states to pass medical marijuana laws despite the provisions of the federal Controlled Substances Act. The amendment would also bar prosecutions of patients and doctors for engaging in medical marijuana activities in states where it is legal. 3 comments

Medical Marijuana Update

Medical marijuana takes another step toward self-regulation, patients and supporters rally for a fired Arizona medical marijuana researcher, Illinois expands its medical marijuana program, and more. 1 comment

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

More cops with pain pill problems, another jailer busted, another cop caught in a protection sting, and another cop gets caught peddling steroids and prescription drugs. 0 comments

Chronicle AM -- July 23, 2014

South Portland, Maine, will vote on marijuana legalization in November, medical marijuana researcher Dr. Sue Sisley's campaign to be reinstated is picking up steam, Mississippi officials get an earful at a public forum on a welfare drug testing law, and more. 2 comments

Membership: "High Price" Signed (reduced price), "After Legalization" (e-book)

For the first time ever we are offering an "E-Book" as our latest membership premium, as well as a popular author-signed book for a reduced price. 0 comments

Sentencing Commission Cuts Up to 46,000 Drug War Prisoners' Sentences [FEATURE]

Late last week, the US Sentencing Commission extended sentencing reforms for federal drug defendants to include people who are already serving their sentences. Some 46,000 drug war prisoners could see cuts averaging about two years. 0 comments

Oregon Marijuana Legalization Initiative Qualifies for November Ballot

The New Approach Oregon marijuana legalization initiative has qualified for the November ballot, the secretary of state's office reported today. 2 comments

Chronicle AM -- July 22, 2014

This is the Drug War Chronicle, not the Marijuana Policy Chronicle, but that's how the news breaks sometimes. It's all marijuana and medical marijuana news today. 1 comment

Chronicle AM -- July 21, 2014

The World Health Organization calls for drug decriminalization (and more), international drug reform and harm reduction groups warn of an AIDS prevention crisis, marijuana policy is popping up in some Republican primaries, and more. 2 comments

US Drug Policy and the Border Child Immigration Crisis [FEATURE]

With tens of thousands of Central American children and adolescents arriving at the US border, the roots of the crisis tend to be obscured by partisan bickering over what is to be done and who is to blame. There's a good argument the war on drugs deserves some credit. 15 comments

Sentencing Commission Makes Drug Sentencing Reductions Retroactive

In a groundbreaking move, the US Sentence Commission has voted unanimously to make federal drug sentence reductions retroactive. That means some 46,000 federal drug war prisoners should be able to apply for sentence reductions -- if Congress doesn't disagree. 2 comments

Chronicle AM -- July 18, 2014

Tens of thousands of federal drug prisoners could get out early after the US Sentencing Commission votes to make guideline reductions retroactive, the Ohio Supreme Court moves to cut some crack sentences, FedEx gets indicted for shipping pills for Internet pharmacies (and not taking a deal with the feds), and more. 4 comments

FedEx Indicted on Criminal Charges for Shipping Internet Pharmacy Drugs

A federal grand jury in San Francisco has indicted FedEx on charges it conspired to distribute controlled substance over its shipments of prescription drugs for illegal online pharmacies. FedEx says it will fight the charges. 3 comments

Chronicle AM -- July 17, 2014

Marijuana decriminalization comes to the nation's capital, Vermont is set to study marijuana legalization, New Jersey residents press for "decarceration," Canadians are ready for marijuana reform, and more. 0 comments

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