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. 7 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. 16 comments

DC Marijuana Initiative Qualifies for Ballot

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

29 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. 23 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. 10 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. 9 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. 17 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. 6 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. 31 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. 3 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. 11 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: WY MedMJ Bill Killed, Ukraine Blocks Methadone to Rebel Regions, More (1/26/15)

Some pleasantly surprising poll results from Michigan, medical marijuana bills are popping up all over the place, the Baby Bou Bou SWAT raid is sparking bills to rein in over-the-top drug raiders, and more. comments

Seven States That Are Next In Line to Legalize Marijuana [FEATURE]

Four states and DC have already legalized. Here's the next batch. 1 comment

Chronicle AM: WY Decrim Bill Killed, More MedMJ Bills, CDC Warns on Women and Pain Relievers, More (1/23/15)

Marijuana-related activity is ratcheting up at statehouses across the land, Massachusetts' governor rejects legalization, and the CDC issues a warning on opiate pain reliever use among women of childbearing age. 5 comments

Chronicle AM: VA Forfeiture Reform, Jamaica to Decriminalize, Supreme Court Drug Dog Case, More (1/22/15)

There's medical marijuana action in the states, the Supreme Court hears a case about drug dogs, Jamaica is about to decriminalize ganja, an asset forfeiture reform bill is moving in Virginia, and more. 1 comment

Jamaica is About to Decriminalize Ganja

The home of Rastafari and Bob Marley is finally going to decriminalize marijuana possession. comments

Medical Marijuana Update

California localities continue to deal with medical marijuana, bills are showing up in the states, the Kettle Falls Five want their prosecutions ended, and more. comments

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

A veteran cop gets caught with his hands in the cookie jar, jail guards go wild, and two different ex-cops go to prison for growing marijuana. comments

Chronicle AM: DEA Settles Facebook Suit, WY Decrim Bill Advances, More (1/21/15)

The DEA will pay for using a woman's identity (and photos) to make a fake Facebook page, a Wyoming decrim bill is moving, Virginia is seeing CBD and medical marijuana bills, there's a hemp bill in Florida, the Vera Institute releases a report on New York sentencing reforms, and more. comments

Chronicle AM: ME Mj Bills, OH Mj Init, VA Heroin Bills, WY Drug & Asset Forfeiture; More (1/20/15)

State legislative sessions are getting underway, and drug policy-related bills are popping up all over. There's good, bad, and ugly. 1 comment

Chronicle AM: NY Pot Legalization Bill, DEA Gathered Metadata, Indonesia Executions Reaction, More (1/19/15)

New York has a marijuana legalization bill, New Hampshire ponders a study of legalization, Rhode Island patients get a vapor lounge, the DEA has another means of surveilling Americans, Indonesia's resort to the death penalty for drugs stirs controversy, and more. 1 comment

Utah Man Killed in Drug Bust Scuffle

The year's first drug war death occurred Wednesday in Draper, Utah, during a scuffle as cops tried to arrest a man they suspected of using drugs. 2 comments

Chronicle AM: Major Asset Forfeiture Reform Move, NCAA Drug Policy Review, Indonesia Executions, More (1/16/15)

Attorney General Holder announces a major civil asset forfeiture reform move, the NCAA will review its drug policies, a Vermont report on the impact of pot legalization has been released, and more. comments

Justice Department Limits Seized Asset Sharing With State, Local Cops [FEATURE]

Attorney General Eric Holder has taken the biggest step to reform civil asset forfeiture programs in years. 1 comment

Chronicle AM: OR Marijuana Moves, No More UMass Snitches, Suboxone Bottlenecks, More (1/15/15)

Oregon pot regulators are going on a listening tour, Oregon pot consumers are getting organized, a Minnesota Indian reservation ponders producing medical marijuana, UMass ends its student snitch program, and more. 2 comments

Medical Marijuana Update

The battle over a CBD medical marijuana bill is heating up in Georgia, the Florida medical marijuana initiative returns, California localities continue to deal with dispensary issues, and more. 2 comments

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

A Massachusetts prosecutor swaps info for pain pills, more jail guards get in trouble, a Georgia cop gets busted for slinging Ecstasy, a San Antonio cop get nailed for stealing cash and weed from a couple, and more. comments

Chronicle AM: DC Challenges Congress on Pot Legalization, ME Welfare Drug Test Plan Approved, More (1/14/15)

The District of Columbia is challenging Congress on marijuana legalization, Sens. Feinstein and Grassley complain about administration drug policy, a plethora of pot bills have bill filed in Oregon, and more. 2 comments

DC Councilmembers File Bill to Tax and Regulate Marijuana

Congress voted to block DC from implementing marijuana legalization, but DC councilmembers are raring to go and have just filed a bill to tax and regulate the weed. 1 comment

Chronicle AM: Flurry of Federal Drug Reform Bills, AZ Legalization Demo, Heroin ODs Up Sharply, More (1/13/15)

Marijuana legalization battles start to heat up in the states, a flurry of federal drug reform bills are filed, heroin overdose deaths are up sharply, Mexican cartels seem to be switching from pot to meth and heroin, and more. comments

Chronicle AM: CA Tribe Will Grow Pot, Call for Asset Forfeiture Reform, KY Heroin Bill Moves, More (1/12/15)

A California tribe looks to be the first to grow marijuana, DC councilmembers move ahead with plans to tax and regulate pot, key congressional committee chairs call for asset forfeiture reform, an omnibus heroin bill is on the move in Kentucky, and more. comments

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

A high-ranking DEA agent in Mexico is in trouble, so is a former North Carolina SBI narc, an Alabama police officer and a West Virginia jail guard. comments

Medical Marijuana Update

All the medical marijuana news this week is from the West and Midwest. There's good news from Iowa, Montana, and South Dakota, but things are going slowly in Illinois. comments

Chronicle AM: DC Pot Foes Busted, VT Pot Legalization Coalition Forms, KY to Hand Out Naloxone Kits, More (1/7/15)

DC pot legalization foes get nailed for campaign finance violations, Vermont activists are joining forces to legalize it this year, the Congressional Black Caucus is going to concentrate on criminal justice reform, Kentucky is spending money to prevent opiate overdoses, and more 3 comments

Chronicle AM: Seattle Pot Vapor Lounges, VA Pot Poll, Here Comes California, Iran Drug Executions, More (1/6/15)

Seattle's city attorney wants a place for marijuana users to congregate, California activists start moving toward 2016, Dr. David Nutt criticizes British Ecstasy policy, Iran starts the New Year with a bakers' dozen drug executions, and more. comments

Chronicle AM:MT MedMJ Court Victory, DC Mayor Will Fight for Legalization, Thai Drug Sentences, More (1/5/15)

DC's mayor will fight for legalization, a Montana judge blocks most of a restrictive medical marijuana law, a New York county's misdemeanor drug bust asset forfeiture law gets vetoed, Thailand will review drug sentences, and more. 1 comment

Montana Judge Blocks Medical Marijuana Restrictions

A Republican-led effort to put the squeeze on medical marijuana in Montana has hit a legal roadblock. comments

Chronicle AM: AZ Pot Reform Bills, IL MedMJ Applications Delayed, Australia Festival Drug Busts, More (1/2/15)

Pot dollars are starting to roll in in Washington state, marijuana reform bills filed in Arizona, Illinois delays dispensary applications without explanation, Colorado wants to grow research marijuana at colleges, and more. comments

Chronicle AM: DC AG Says Congress Didn't Block Legalization, WI Gov Wants Unemployment Drug Tests, More (12/31/14)

Legal pot is on schedule in Alaska, home hash oil making is not okay in Colorado, DC's new AG says Congress didn't really block legalization in the District, a Hawaii task force recommends dispensaries, and more. comments

The Big Global Drug Policy Stories of 2014 [FEATURE]

2014 was a big year for drug reform, and for a change, the US is pulling things in the right direction. But it some places, it's been business as usual, and in others, things have gone in the wrong direction. Here are our big international stories of the year. 1 comment

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

It looks like even corrupt cops take a holiday break. This week, we have only a pair of jail guards in trouble, and a Tulsa cop heading to prison for dirty dealing. comments

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