ON THE SPEAKEASY BLOG

DC Marijuana Initiative Qualifies for Ballot

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

8 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. 11 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. 8 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. 8 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. 17 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. 12 comments

There Were Several Drug Policy Amendments to the CJS Bill

Reformers have mostly been talking about the 16 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. 12 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. 6 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. 13 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. 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. 13 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. 26 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. 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. 12 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. 9 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. 10 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. 7 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. 8 comments

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

Two victories in one on the drug war front this week. 4 comments

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FROM THE CHRONICLE

Medical Marijuana Update

A new study punctures some myths about medical marijuana in California, Connecticut's dispensaries finally open for business, the Illinois program is moving along, and more. comments

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

A Florida police chief gets caught with online pills, a North Carolina jail guard gets caught peddling pills, a former Pennsylvania cop heads to the slammer for cooking meth, and a Seattle-are former deputy gets even more prison time for lying during sentencing. comments

Chronicle AM: Pot Decrim in Jamaica, MD, Philly; Chris Christie Talks Drugs; PA ODs Bill; More...(10/1/14)

Decrim comes to Maryland and Philadelphia, and Jamaica is working on it, too; the Oregon initiative campaign heats up, Chris Christie talks drugs, a SWAT reporting bill in Michigan gets a hearing, and more. 1 comment

Colorado and Washington Help Make the Case for Oregon's Measure 91 [FEATURE]

With Oregon's Measure 91 marijuana legalization initiative in a tight race, supporters are pointing to the experience of Colorado and Washington as arguments for voting yes. comments

Chronicle AM: UMass Student Snitch Policy Review, Baby Bou Bou SWAT Raid Grand Jury, More... (9/30/2014)

Medical marijuana news from several states today, the Baby Bou Bou SWAT raid case is before a grand jury, UMass examines it's student snitch policy, DA candidates in Houston are fighting over drugs, and more. 4 comments

Chronicle AM: Marijuana Policy in Senate Races, CA Fair Sentencing Act, Stanton Peele on Disease Model, More (9/29/14)

Marijuana politics is popping up in some US Senate races, pot arrests are still going up in some states, the Guam medical marijuana initiative faces a legal challenge, Stanton Peele takes on the disease model of addiction and liberals who love it, Jerry Brown signs the California Fair Sentencing Act, and more. 3 comments

California Fair Sentencing Act Signed Into Law

California Gov. Jerry Brown has signed into law a bill that removes the sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine offenses. 2 comments

Chronicle AM: OR Pot Poll, Colombia Drug Accord, More...(9/26/14)

A new poll is surely leading to nail-biting in Oregon, a dirty narc is costing Philadelphia prosecutors dozens of drug cases, Colombia reveals details on drug accords with the FARC, a Canadian drug policy rally is coming next week, and more. 1 comment

Did Miami Police Wrongfully Execute Four, Including Their Informant? [FEATURE]

A 2011 fake drug house rip-off scheme in Miami that ended up with four people dead, including the police informant, has raised lots of questions about police tactics and accountability. 1 comment

Chronicle AM: AG Holder to Resign, Ponders Rescheduling; CT MedMJ Dispensaries Open; Honduras Prez Slams Drug War; More...(9/25/14)

Holder will resign, but has some parting words on rescheduling, Rahm Emmanuel supports pot decrim, but legalization is a step too far, Connecticut dispensaries are now open for business, and more. 3 comments

California Defelonization Initiative Appears Poised for Victory [FEATURE]

California's Prop 47 would turn simple drug possession felonies into misdemeanors, saving the state hundreds of millions of dollars. Six weeks out, it looks set to pass, but we're still six weeks out. 1 comment

Did You Know the Top 17 Hospitals' Positions on Medical Marijuana?, on 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. This the final installment in a six-part series the Chronicle is running of info items from ProCon.org -- this one from medicalmarijuana.procon.org -- and we encourage you to check it out. 1 comment

Medical Marijuana Update

California's medical marijuana battles continue, the Florida initiative is polling strong (according to its own poll), the Pennsylvania Senate is about to vote on a medical marijuana bill, and more. 1 comment

Chronicle AM: MPP Files for 2016 in CA, Addiction Group Calls for FDA Head's Head, More (9/24/14)

MPP begins laying the groundwork for a 2016 legalization initiative in California, a new report examines the impact of marijuana law reforms, Pennsylvania Senate votes on medical marijuana today, anti-addiction activists target the FDA, and more. 2 comments

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

Three more cops with apparent pill problems, and one of them was slinging weed on the side, too. Just another week on the corrupt cops front. 2 comments

Chronicle AM: Rahm Says Defelonize, Mex Prez Says Don't Legalize, Florida MedMJ Poll, More (9/23/14)

Thar's gold in them thar marijuana legalization laws, Seattle's prosecutor throws out pot possession tickets, Massachusetts medical marijuana advocates chastise the slow-moving state government, Rahm Emanuel wants to defelonize drug possession, and more. 2 comments

Chronicle AM: Joe McNamara Passes, Rand Paul Speech, OAS Drug Resolution, More (9/22/14)

Oregon's Measure 91 picks up a nice endorsement, a marijuana legalization vote in York, Maine, is snuffed out, decrim advances in the US Virgin Islands, Rand Paul tells the GOP to reach out on drug policy, Joe McNamara passes, the OAS passes a drug policy resolution, and more. 3 comments

Two Important Conferences in DC and Baltimore

The Students for Sensible Drug Policy conference is taking this Friday through Monday just outside DC, and the Harm Reduction Conference next month in Baltimore. 2 comments

Chronicle AM: DC Pot Poll, NM Pot Poll, Molly Fry Petition, EU Sides with Bolivia on Coca, More (9/19/14)

A pair of marijuana polls have good news for DC, but not so good for New Mexico, there's a move on to get Dr. Molly Fry out of federal prison, Ohio employers are pushing drug testing for students, the EU sides with Bolivia -- not the US -- on that country's coca policy, and more. 2 comments

Chronicle AM: NFL Relaxes Marijuana Policy, Bolivia Rejects US Criticism, Aussie PM Supports MedMj, More (9/18/14)

MPP fights to get a third local Maine initiative on the ballot, Florida CBD cannabis oil growers fight for better rules, the NFL relaxes its marijuana policy, Bolivia's president rejects US claims on drugs, Australia's prime minister supports medical marijuana, and more. 3 comments

Medical Marijuana Update

Our first-ever medical marijuana update with no news from California. But there are things going in places that are not the usual suspects -- a sign of changing times, indeed. 3 comments

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

More cops with pill problems, more jail and prison guards in trouble for drug smuggling and selling. Just another week on the drug war corruption front. 1 comment

Chronicle AM: DC Opposition Emerges, Edibles Awareness Campaign, NJ Opiate Bill Package, More (9/17/14)

Organized opposition has arrived in DC, MPP launches a "Consume Responsibly" campaign, polls suggest a tough fight for the Florida medical marijuana initiative, New Jersey solons roll out a package of bills aimed at opiate use, and more. 2 comments

Bill Filed to Rein in Police Militarization [FEATURE]

With concern over police militarization running rampant in the wake of the Ferguson, Missouri, protests, a pair of congressmen have filed a bill that would begin to rein in the use of military equipment by police. 5 comments

Chronicle AM: Obama Names Drug Producing Countries, CDC Overdose Report, CA Narcan Law, More (9/16/14)

Congress is back and bills are picking up cosponsors, Guam will vote on medical marijuana, Wyoming moves toward ending civil asset forfeiture reform, the president names drug producing and transit countries (again), and more. 4 comments

Chronicle AM: WaPo Just Says No, WV Pain Clinics Using Narcs, More (9/15/14)

The Washington Post just says no to the DC marijuana initiative, the Oregon initiative sees a lively debate, the Madison, WI, police chief says legalize it, another drug war death, West Virginia pain patients are getting screened by narcs--and paying for the privilege! -- and more. 5 comments

Oklahoma Woman Killed Fleeing Police in Drug Bust

A 19-year-old Oklahoma City woman was shot and killed by police as she fled in her car from a drug bust, and her boyfriend, who was apparently doing the drug deal, now faces murder charges in her death. 4 comments

Chronicle AM: Roger Christie Freed, Bogota Smoke-In, First Pot Bust Centenary Demo, More (9/12/14)

With Congress back in session, bills are getting some attention, Roger Christie walks out of prison, the PA Senate will take up medical marijuana next week, smoke-in in Bogota, and more. 1 comment

Chronicle AM: Mexican Coca, Saudis Behead Another Trafficker, Feds Raid LA Fashion District, More (9/11/14)

A federal CBD medical marijuana bill picks up more sponsors, so does a federal asset forfeiture reform bill, Georgia advocates whole whole plant medical marijuana, Mexico's first coca patch is busted, Saudi Arabia beheads another drug offender, and more. 1 comment

Medical Marijuana Update

The Florida initiative is in a close fight, hearings are coming in Hawaii, draft regulations are coming in Maryland, Illinois begins taking medical marijuana business applications, and more. 5 comments

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