Breaking News:URGENT: Call Congress TODAY to Save DC Marijuana Legalization!

ON THE SPEAKEASY BLOG

What Does Congress's Medical Marijuana Legislation Actually Mean?

The controversial "CRomnibus" bill passed by the House and Senate includes language barring the Dept. of Justice from using taxpayer funds to interfere with state medical marijuana laws. 9 comments

Washington Sheriff Tells Oregon Voters: Legalization Is Already Working

King County Sheriff John Urquhart has recorded a message letting Oregon voters know that legalization in Washington State has seen wasteful arrests decrease, DUIs decrease, taxes going to schools and police, and drug prevention programs getting funding. 26 comments

DC Marijuana Initiative Qualifies for Ballot

More info later today, see @DCMJ2014 in the meanwhile...

33 comments

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. 55 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. 9 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. 12 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. 10 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. 22 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. 13 comments

There Were Several Drug Policy Amendments to the CJS Bill

Reformers have mostly been talking about the 19 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. 16 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. 9 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. 15 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. 7 comments

Big News from the Administration About Commutations

The Obama administration may issue hundreds or even thousands of sentence commutations in drug cases, 8 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. 5 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. 94 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. 4 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. 10 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. 14 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. 11 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. 27 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. 13 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. 25 comments

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

The recklessness of drug raids... 9 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. 14 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. 11 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. 11 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. 8 comments

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FROM THE CHRONICLE

Chronicle AM: Lebanon Ag Min Says Legalize Hash, NY MedMJ Regs, "Baby Bou Bou" Medical Bill, More (12/19/14)

New York officials have released draft medical marijuana regs, and advocates aren't too impressed, Lebanon's agriculture minister says it's time to legalize it, Bolivia's president criticizes Mexico's drug war, "Baby Bou Bou" has a million-dollar medical bill, and more 1 comment

Check Those Pills! Harm Reduction and Club Drugs [FEATURE]

With the holiday party season approaching, it's time to look twice at those pills. But harm reduction also extends to changing public policies that make things worse. comments

Indiana Meth Suspect Killed After Pursuit, Stand-Off

For the second time in the past eight days, an Indiana man is dead after a drug-related police pursuit. comments

Chronicle AM: NE, OK Seek to Undo CO Pot Legalization, Philly Backs Off on Home Seizures, More (12/18/14)

Colorado's conservative neighbors try to undo its marijuana legalization, Philadelphia drops a pair of high-profile asset forfeiture cases, Obama commutes sentences for eight drug offenders, and more. comments

Medical Marijuana Update

Big news out of Washington and, for a change, most of our medical marijuana news is out of the Midwest this week. 1 comment

Obama Commutes Sentences for Eight Drug Offenders

The president has commuted the sentences of eight drug offenders and issued pardons for four more who have already done their time. comments

Chronicle AM: A Century of Drug War, Yet Another Drug War Bill, Iran Drug Executions Slammed, More (12/17/14)

It's the 100th anniversary of the Harrison Narcotics Tax Act, a GOP senator chides Obama for "pro-marijuana" messages, human rights groups urge the UNODC to quit funding Iranian drug enforcement because of its resort to the death penalty, and more. 2 comments

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

The beat goes on. A Texas drug dog officer snorts the training dope, a pair of married Indiana deputies get wrapped up in the new synthetics, and a Georgia judge goes down for trying to set up a woman who accused him of making advances on her. comments

Chronicle AM: Teen Pot Use Not Up, Federal Police Killings Bill Filed, Mexico Mayhem, More (12/16/14)

The Monitoring the Future teen drug use survey is out, the "cromnibus" bill also killed highway drug use surveys, Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) wants better information on police killings, a damning report is released in Mexico, and more. comments

Chronicle AM: TX Pot Bill Filed, Another MO Legalization Initiative, KY Heroin Bill, More (12/15/14)

Texas begins heading down the path of marijuana reform, a Missouri legalization initiative seeks to really free the weed, Rep. Andy Harris isn't very welcome in DC these days, Kentucky tries to deal with heroin again this year, and more. 2 comments

On Marijuana, Congress Giveth and Congress Taketh Away [FEATURE]

Passage of the omnibus spending bill was good news and bad news for marijuana reform advocates. A big win for medical marijuana, but a nasty move to block voter-approved legalization in DC, too. 4 comments

Indiana Man Pursued By DEA Kills Self, Huge Stash Found

An Indianapolis man being pursued by the DEA and local cops crashed his vehicle, then killed himself. That's the year's 38th drug war death. 1 comment

Chronicle AM: Obama on DC Pot Laws, WI "Cocaine Moms" Law Challenged, No More 'Shrooms in Bali, More (12/12/14)

The president weighs in on congressional moves to block DC marijuana legalization, Oklahoma could be joining the cannabis oil medical marijuana club, a Wisconsin woman sues over the "cocaine moms" law, the ACLU is looking to sue a Connecticut housing agency over mandatory drug tests, and more. 2 comments

Chronicle AM: DC Marijuana Muddle, Feds OK Pot Growing on the Rez, More (12/11/14)

There are conflicting views on the fate of DC's legalization initiative, the Justice Department okays marijuana growing on Indian reservations, Spaniards now support marijuana legalization, and more. comments

DC Legalization Still Alive? Democrats Think So

Despite the confusion, leading Democrats involved in negotiations over DC marijuana reforms in the "CRomnibus" budget bill say that Initiative 71 still lives. 5 comments

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

NYPD officers are involved in two out of three of our corrupt cop reports this week, and a pair of thieving San Francisco cops round out the rogues' gallery. 2 comments

Medical Marijuana Update

Big news from DC on Tuesday as congressional budget negotiators included language barring the use of federal funds to go after medical marijuana where it is legal, and a whole lot of news from California, too. 1 comment

Chronicle AM: Budget Bill Would Block DC Legalization, Also Blocks Federal MedMJ Enforcement, More (12/10/14)

With the budget bill, Congress moves to block DC's voter-approved pot legalization, but also to block federal enforcement actions against medical marijuana where it is legal, a DC protest on the legalization move is set for this afternoon, and more. comments

URGENT: Call Congress TODAY to Save DC Marijuana Legalization!

Your help is needed right now to stop bad language that would block DC's marijuana legalization moves in Congress's Continuing Resolution Omnibus Funding Bill. comments

Budget Bill Seeks to Block DC Pot Legalization, But…

Senate and House budget negotiators have agreed to language that would bar the District of Columbia from implementing marijuana legalization, but the battle ain't over yet. 4 comments

Budget Bill Curbs Federal Medical Marijuana, Hemp Enforcement

House and Senate budget negotiators have agreed on a bill that includes cutting funding for federal medical marijuana enforcement in states where it is legal. And hemp, too. 7 comments

GOP Effort to Block DC Marijuana Reforms Continues, Advocates Pressure Dems [FEATURE]

Congressional Republicans are moving ahead with efforts to block the District of Columbia from implementing marijuana law reforms, but as of now, the situation is fluid. Activists are putting the pressure on Democrats to stand firm. 5 comments

Chronicle AM: NV Marijuana Init Qualifies for 2016, Iran Meth Up, SE Asia Poppy Production Up, More (12/9/14)

A Nevada legalization initiative is the first to qualify for the 2016 ballot, a new poll identifies an amorphous "marijuana middle," meth is on the rise in Iran, and so are poppies in the Golden Triangle, and more. comments

Chronicle AM: DC Pot Battle Unsettled, Federal Racial Profiling Ban, Budapest Drug Testing, More (12/8/14):

DC's marijuana reforms remain under threat from congressional Republicans, Washington state's pot-sellers are feeling burdened by taxes, California doctors reject denying transplants to medical marijuana patients, the Justice Department issued racial profiling guidelines for federal law enforcement, more. 2 comments

Chronicle AM: INCB Head Frets Over Pot, MS Welfare Drug Test Fiasco, SWAT Fights Back, More (12/5/14)

Global anti-drug bureaucrats are grumbling about marijuana legalization in America, one New York county decides to do asset forfeiture for misdemeanor drug offenses, Mississippi's food stamp drug testing program comes up snake-eyes, the SWAT boys fight to keep their military toys, and more. 1 comment

Federal Appeals Court Blocks Florida Governor's Bid to Drug Test Welfare Applicants [FEATURE]

Once again, the federal courts have slapped down Florida Gov. Rick Scott's drug testing plans. 3 comments

White Phoenix Cop Shoots, Kills Unarmed Black Man in Attempted Drug Bust

An unarmed black man is dead after a white policeman shot him while attempting to make a drug bust. Crowds in Phoenix Thursday night wanted answers. 2 comments

Chronicle AM: GOP Still Going After DC Pot Laws, FL Welfare Drug Test Law Blocked, More (12/4/14)

The GOP is yet to give up the ghost on blocking DC marijuana reforms, NYC Mayor de Blasio's new no-arrest pot possession policy is having an impact, Florida Gov. Rick Scott's pet welfare drug testing bill gets rejected by a federal appeals court, and more. comments

Chronicle Review Essay: The Rise of the New Synthetics

With "Drugs Unlimited," British journalist takes us a provocative and eye-opening tour of the world of the new synthetic drugs and the role of the Internet in making it all possible. 1 comment

Chronicle AM: TX Marijuana, TN Asset Forfeiture Reformer, LA DA MedMJ Delivery App Lawsuit, More (12/314)

Houston's police chief criticizes pot prohibition, marijuana reform will be before the Texas legislature, a Massachusetts activist pushes boundaries, LA's DA sues to block a medical marijuana delivery app, a Tennessee DA vows to end civil asset forfeiture, and more. 1 comment

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