ON THE SPEAKEASY BLOG

DC Marijuana Initiative Qualifies for Ballot

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

3 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. 6 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. 2 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. 4 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. 5 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. 11 comments

There Were Several Drug Policy Amendments to the CJS Bill

Reformers have mostly been talking about the 15 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. 13 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. 10 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. 5 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. 12 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. 9 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. 21 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. 8 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. 9 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

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FROM THE CHRONICLE

WA I-502 Upheld, Albuquerque Decrim Blocked, FL Measure 2 Polling Well, Mexico Cartel News, OAS Drug Roundtable in DC, Libertarian Student International Campaign...(Chronicle AM--9/2/14)

No decrim for Albuquerque, Washington's I-502 upheld, Florida medical marijuana initiative polling well, Virginia governor talks nice about medical marijuana, international libertarian student campaign against prohibition, and more. comments

Chronicle AM: Santa Fe Decriminalizes, New Drug Czar Nominated, NYC Heroin Deaths Rise, More (8/29/14)

Santa Fe decriminalizes, no medical marijuana for Alzheimer's in New Mexico, NYC heroin deaths at 10-year high, new drug czar nominated, another drug war death, and more. 5 comments

Orlando SWAT Team Kills Armed Man in Drug Raid

An Orlando SWAT team shot and killed an armed man during a drug raid. He becomes the year's 31st drug war victim. comments

Chronicle AM: NIDA Seeks Marijuana Grower, NC OD Awareness Events, LSD Lifer Seeks Freedom, More (8/28/14)

NIDA seeks a marijuana grower, South Dakota state fair medical marijuana protest planned, an LSD lifer seeks his freedom, Gambia to reduce marijuana penalties, and more. 2 comments

Did You Know Nearly Six Million Americans Are Denied Voting Rights Because of Felonies?, 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. The Chronicle is currently running a series of info items from ProCon.org -- this one from felonvoting.procon.org -- and we encourage you to check it out. 1 comment

Job Opportunities in the Movement

There are paid and volunteer opportunities in the movement at a range of organizations. comments

Drug War Chronicle Needs Your Support!

Now more than ever, StoptheDrugWar.org needs your financial support to continue to provide this crucial informational tool -- the Drug War Chronicle newsletter -- that builds and empowers the movement. 1 comment

Medical Marijuana Update

A study finds medical marijuana may reduce opiate overdose rates, a California appeals court decision is good news for dispensary operators, Connecticut gets its first dispensary, and more. 1 comment

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

Sixteen dirty Puerto Rico cops take plea deals, a cocaine-dealing New Jersey prison guard goes to prison, a Houston cop gets busted in a cocaine deal, and a Massachusetts cop gets caught trying to fill a Ritalin prescription using a false identity. 1 comment

REDEEM Act Aims to Fix Criminal Justice System [FEATURE]

A pair of strange political bedfellows have introduced a bill to reduce incarceration and help young offenders get past their youthful mistakes. Sens. Cory Booker and Rand Paul are sponsoring the REDEEM Act. comments

Chronicle AM: Marijuana Initiatives, CT SWAT Lawsuit, ISIS Burns Syria Pot Fields, More (8/27/14)

Local marijuana initiatives move forward, the Oregon initiative is set to get a high-profile endorsement, a lot of people want to start medical marijuana businesses in Nevada, ISIS is burning pot fields in Syria, there's a harm reduction pre-event ahead of NYC's Electronic Zoo festival this weekend, and more. 1 comment

Canada's Marc Emery is a Man on a Mission [FEATURE]

Canada's "Prince of Pot" is finally out of prison in the US, back in Canada, and raring to go. The Chronicle interviewed him Monday. 7 comments

Chronicle AM: Medical Marijuana and Opiate ODs, ME Welfare Drug Test Law, Colombia Drug Talks, More (8/26/14)

Medical marijuana's link to opioid overdose death rates, International Overdose Awareness Day is coming, the drug war claims another victim, new studies from the NIJ, and more. comments

Puerto Rico Drug Agent Dies of Drug Raid Wounds

A Puerto Rican police drug agent shot and wounded in a raid last week died yesterday. comments

Chronicle AM: Oregon Marijuana Legalization Endorsement, PA Mandatory Minimums, Heroin Maintenance, More (8/25/14)

The Oregonian says legalize it, so do Vermont GOP gubernatorial candidates, LEAP founder says legalize heroin, a Pennsylvania court throws out mandatory minimums, Vancouver's SALOME participants will get their heroin, and more. 3 comments

Did You Know D.A.R.E. Lacked Scientific Evaluation Until 2009?, 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 currently running a series of info items from ProCon.org -- this one from dare.procon.org -- and we encourage you to check it out. 2 comments

Chronicle AM: AR Initiative Rejected, SWAT Lobby Gears Up, Israel Bans New Synthetics, More (8/22/14)

It's back to the drawing board for an Arkansas legalization initiative, we have a pair of Minnesota court cases, the Michael Brown killing starts bleeding into drug-policy related areas, Israel bans new synthetics, and more. comments

Chronicle AM: OR Dems Just Say Yes, DEA Tightens Screws on Vicodin, CT's First Dispensary Opens, Peru Coca Eradication, Venezuela Plane Shootdowns (8/21/14)

Oregon Dems just say yes, Connecticut's first dispensary opens, the DEA tightens the screws on Vicodin, guess who's more likely to get busted for marijuana in Ferguson, Missouri, and more. 1 comment

DEA Tightens Rules on Popular Pain Relievers

Popular hydrocodone-based pain relieving opiates such as Vicodin are being moved from Schedule III to Schedule II, which is going to significantly tighten up access to them. 7 comments

Medical Marijuana Update

There will be no medical marijuana initiative in Oklahoma this year, Jeb Bush comes out against Florida's medical marijuana initiative, San Diego patients are trying a novel tack in their battle with the city, and more. 4 comments

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

Florida deputies get suspended in an excessive force investigation, a Miami sergeant gets popped for perverted play with a teen boy, and a couple of jail guards get caught doing what they always get caught doing. 1 comment

Chronicle AM: Scary Alaska Marijuana Poll, Maryland SWAT Raids, West Africa Drug Meeting (8/20/14)

An unsettling poll in Alaska, Minnesota medical marijuana mom gets busted, there's money to be made in drug testing, Maryland SWAT teams have been busy, a West African meeting on drugs is underway, and more. 3 comments

Alaska Marijuana Initiative Trails in Poll

Alarm bells should be ringing in Anchorage as a new poll shows the marijuana legalization initiative narrowly losing. The numbers could be skewed, but... 7 comments

Chronicle AM: Oregon Initiative Buying Ads, South Portland Maine to Vote, Saudi Arabia Killing People (8/19/14)

Big money for TV ads in Oregon, another Maine city will vote on marijuana legalization, a good bill goes bad in California, and Saudi Arabia executes four hash smugglers. 1 comment

Chronicle AM: SWAT Teams in the News, Santa Fe Decrim Init, Barcelona Cannabis Clubs (8/18/14)

SWAT teams are in the news, the RAVE Act gets critiqued as counterproductive, there will be no medical marijuana initiative in Oklahoma, but it looks like there will be a decriminalization initiative in Santa Fe, and more. comments

Chronicle AM -- August 15, 2014

The California legislature acts on harm reduction, but kills medical marijuana regulation, Jeb Bush takes a stand on medical marijuana, New Hampshire bans a kind of synthetic cannabinoid, and more. 1 comment

California Medical Marijuana Regulation Bill Dies

There will be no statewide regulation of medical marijuana in California this year. An effort to pass a regulation bill died yesterday in the Assembly. comments

Harm Reduction Measures Pass in California

Two harm reduction bills, one allowing pharmacists to dispense unlimited numbers of syringes without a prescription and the other allowing them to dispense the overdose drug naloxone, have passed the California legislature. They now go to the desk of Gov. Jerry Brown. comments

Did You Know Why Some Performance Enhancing Drugs Are Legal While Others Are Banned?, 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 currently running a series of info items from ProCon.org -- this one from sportsanddrugs.procon.org -- and we encourage you to check it out. comments

Chronicle AM -- August 14, 2014

A bill to end the crack/powder cocaine sentencing disparity is close to becoming law in California, the US Sentencing Commission still has work to do on mandatory minimums, the 50th anniversary of America's first pot protest will be commemorated this weekend, and more. comments

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