ON THE SPEAKEASY BLOG

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. 2 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. 1 comment

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. 1 comment

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. 9 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. 7 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. 6 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. 8 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. 16 comments

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

The recklessness of drug raids... 7 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. 5 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. 5 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. 7 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. 5 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. 2 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. 5 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

Could Different Drug Policies Have Saved Philip Seymour Hoffman?

The tragic death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman yesterday has prompted expressions of grief and of praise for his talent. 9 comments

Smarter Sentencing Act Passes Senate Judiciary Committee

The Smarter Sentencing Act has just passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee, 2 comments

Smarter Sentencing Act in Committee Right Now!!!

Update: It has passed the committee!

2 comments

Another Poll Confirms Emerging Marijuana Majority

They just keep on coming -- polls showing a majority nationwide in favor of marijuana legalization. The latest is from NBC News and the Wall Street Journal. 0 comments

Ted Cruz Likens Obama Drug Policy to Imperialism

Ted Cruz included drug laws among his examples of "imperialism" on the part President Obama, in remarks on CNN following the State of the Union address tonight. 5 comments

Hemp Amendment Included in Federal Farm Bill

The massive federal farm bill, soon to be voted on by both houses of Congress, includes an amendment allowing for research into the industrial uses of hemp. 1 comment

Florida Medical Marijuana Initiative Will Go to the Voters!

The Florida Supreme Court Monday gave the okay for that state's medical marijuana initiative to be placed on the November ballot. 5 comments

German Cannabis Activist Georg Wurth Wins a Million Euros!

Cannabis activist George Wurth of the German Hemp Association has won a million-Euro prize to expand the group's legalization activism from the German television program Millionaire Choice. 6 comments

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FROM THE CHRONICLE

Chronicle AM -- April 17, 2014

Marijuana legalization inititives are in the news, the NCAA ponders relaxing marijuana penalties, a vaporizer company wants to drug test its workers, and more. 0 comments

Faith Leaders Issue Easter Statement on War on Drugs, Mass Incarceration [FEATURE]

A group of faith leaders have issued an "Easter Statement" making a powerful moral and spiritual call for an end to the war on drugs and mass incarceration. What would Jesus do? 4 comments

Medical Marijuana Update

With a stroke of the governor's pen, Maryland becomes the 21st medical marijuana state. Meanwhile, those CBD medical marijuana bills continue to move. And more. 2 comments

Chronicle AM -- April 16, 2014

President Obama commutes a marijuana offender's sentence, organized opposition to a legalization initiative emerges in Alaska, draconian heroin bills are moving in Louisiana, and more. 1 comment

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

A notorious New York City narc goes on desk duty, an Alabama prison guard gets mixed up with meth, a Florida cop is in trouble for slinging steroids, and an LAPD cop gets his hand slapped for lying about a drug bust. 2 comments

Chronicle AM -- April 15, 2014

The Obama administration punts on marijuana rescheduling, Maryland's decrim excludes paraphernalia (for now), sneaky DEA tactics are being challenged in Arizona, fears of more cartel violence in Mexico, and more. 0 comments

Chronicle AM -- April 14, 2014

Maryland decriminalizes and becomes a medical marijuana state, a Tennessee hemp bill awaits the governor's signature, a Kentucky omnibus heroin bill appears dead for the session, a campaign is underway to free a Missouri marijuana lifer, and more. 0 comments

US Sentencing Commission Votes to Cut Drug Sentences [FEATURE]

The US Sentencing Commission voted yesterday to reduce most federal drug trafficking sentences. The move will cut nearly a year off the average sentence and should result in 6,500 fewer prisoners within five years, the commission said. 5 comments

Chronicle AM -- April 11, 2014

A DC marijuana legalization initiative is about to start signature-gathering, we have a trio of state pot polls, the US Sentencing Commission moves to cut drug sentences, German criminal law professors call for marijuana legalization, and more. 0 comments

Medical Marijuana Update

Medical marijuana remains on the agenda at statehouses across the country, Oregon communities decide whether to bother with temporary dispensary moratoriums, DC looks to expand its medical marijuana program, and more. 0 comments

Smarter Sentencing Act Picks Up More GOP Cosponsors

The federal Smarter Sentencing Act picked up four new Republican House consponsors in one day this month. 0 comments

Chronicle AM -- April 9, 2014

Attorney General Holder was on the pot-seat in Congress yesterday, New Jersey's legalization bill looks to have an uphill battle with public opinion, there's a psychedelic conference in Massachusetts this weekend, Uruguay is going to give medical marijuana to prisoners, and more. 2 comments

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

Another jail guard dope smuggler, another cop with a pain pill problem, another cop brought down by a sting, another cop selling cocaine, and yet another cop smuggling cocaine. Ho-hum. Just another week of drug war police corruption. 2 comments

Southern California Schoolgirl Killed in Drug-Related Police Pursuit

A 12-year-old Orange County girl was killed last week when a driver fleeing police seeking to apprehend him on drug and weapons warrants crashed into her family's car. 0 comments

Chronicle AM -- April 8, 2014

The Maryland legislature passed both medical marijuana and decriminalization bills as the session ended in Annapolis, Colorado pot tax revenues aren't as high as the governor thought, the maker of the new opiate pain reliever Zohydro fights a state ban in Massachusetts, and more. 0 comments

The Corruption Files: Camden's Dirty Cops [FEATURE]

Camden, New Jersey, was the scene of one of the nastiest police corruption scandals in recent history. Investigative reporter Clarence Walker takes a look at some cops who would have made the dirty cops in Training Day blush. 4 comments

Chronicle AM -- April 7, 2014

Talk about unintended consequences! Faced with a declining US market share, Mexican pot farmers are switching to opium poppies. Plus, AG Holder has some words about rescheduling, the Maryland decrim bill is back from the dead, it looks like 2016 for California legalization, and more. 1 comment

Police Kill Wisconsin Man in "No Knock" Drug Raid

A Wisconsin man with a history of drug charges was killed when he struggled with police during a "no knock" SWAT raid in February. We just heard about it now. 0 comments

Chronicle AM -- April 4, 2014

Cops like to say they don't make the laws; they merely enforce them, but that wasn't exactly the case today in Louisiana, Oregon, and Washington, DC. Plus, decrim has a last hurrah in Maryland, an Alabama welfare drug testing bill passes, Vermont moves against the new pain reliever Zohydro, and more. 0 comments

Chronicle AM -- April 3, 2014

British celebrity chef Nigella Lawson is banned from the US for admitting using coke, decrim dies for the year in Maryland, CBD medical marijuana bill continue to move, the resort to the overdose drug naloxone is spreading rapidly, Guatemala's president wants to legalize pot and poppies, and more. 3 comments

Guatemalan President Will Present Plan to Legalize Marijuana, Opium Production

Guatemala could present a plan to legalize marijuana and opium production by year's end, President Otto Perez Molina told Reuters yesterday. 2 comments

Pew Poll Reveals Seismic Shift in Drug Policy Attitudes [FEATURE]

A new Pew poll has majority support for marijuana legalization, treatment instead of jail for hard drug users, and getting rid of mandatory minimums. Now, how do we translate that into policy? 3 comments

Medical Marijuana Update

A national clinical cannabis conference is coming to Portland next month, state legislatures continue to deal with medical marijuana and CBD bills, Colorado wants to crack down on high plant-count patients, and more. 2 comments

Chronicle AM -- April 2, 2014

A new Pew Research poll has some surprising and heartening results, Madison (WI) says legalize it, Wisconsin passes a CBD medical marijuana bill, misbehaving cops get noticed, the Russians are griping about the Aghan poppy crop again, and more. 0 comments

DC Mayor Signs Decriminalization Bill! [FEATURE]

Washington, DC, Mayor Vincent Gray has signed a decriminalization bill. Now, Congress must act to stop it within 60 working days or it becomes law. But this is by no means the end of pot politics in the nation's capital. 1 comment

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

More jail guards gone bad, evidence has gone missing in Alaska, a Georgia cop sells pot from his patrol car, a North Carolina detective working prescription pill diversion diverts some his way, and more. 0 comments

Chronicle AM -- April 1, 2014

No April Fools' stories here -- the mayor of Washington really did sign a decriminalization bill, the Kentucky legislature really did pass a CBD medical marijuana bill, the US government won't help Honduras shoot down drug planes, and more. 0 comments

Chronicle AM -- March 31, 2014

Garden State municipal prosecutors say legalize it, an Arizona sheriff has to give back medical marijuana seized rom a patient, Colorado wants to crack down on high plant-count patients, Louisiana takes a resolutely last century approach to heroin, Uruguay is going to seriously track its legal weed, and more. 0 comments

Chronicle AM -- March 28, 2014

Medical marijuana and CBD bills continue moving in state legislatures, Northeastern governors respond to opiates, the Department of Agriculture wants to buy Ukrainian hemp seed, and more. 3 comments

Chronicle AM -- March 27, 2014

No marijuana legalization in New Hampshire this year, neurologists recommend cannabis oil for MS, New Mexico pharmacists will start prescribing naloxone, Russian-US drug cooperation is at risk over the Crimea crisis, and more. 1 comment

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