ON THE SPEAKEASY BLOG

BREAKING: Another Senate Pro-Medical Marijuana Vote

The Senate Appropriations Committee just voted to extend the ban on DOJ spending funds to interfere with state medical marijuana laws. 3 comments

New York Medical Marijuana Program Brings in $3 Million from Application Process

New York has closed it application process for those wishing to get one of the state's 5 permits to open a medical cannabis dispensary. Each permit would entitle the holder to open four dipsnsaries. In total, 20 dispensaries would be opened in a state with a population of over 19 million people. 0 comments

URGENT: Congressional Vote on Permitting State Marijuana Laws!

Last year's legislation protecting state medical marijuana laws from federal interference is expiring soon. A vote coming as soon as tonight could extend it, while expanding it to include state legalization laws too. 2 comments

CT Lawmakers Push to Add Children and Hospital Patients to Medical Marijuana Program

Both houses of the Conneticut legislature are preparing their final votes on a bill that would add children and hospital patients to the state's medical marijuana program. The bill would restrict children from smoking or vaping their medical marijuana. 1 comment

Three Marijuana Reform Bills Filed in Louisiana

Three seperate marijuana reform bills have been filed in the Louisiana State Capitol. They include a restrictive medical marijuana bill supported by law enforcement, and two seperate efforts to reform the state's harsh sentencing laws. 1 comment

Write and Call Congress TODAY for Vets' Access to Medical Marijuana!

An important amendment is coming up for a vote in the House of Representatives late this afternoon or early evening. Our two web forms will help you to both email and call your member of Congress to support it. 5 comments

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. 4 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. 7 comments

DC Marijuana Initiative Qualifies for Ballot

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

1 comment

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. 2 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. 3 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. 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. 10 comments

There Were Several Drug Policy Amendments to the CJS Bill

Reformers have mostly been talking about the 13 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. 3 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. 12 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, 3 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. 2 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. 7 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. 4 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. 11 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. 12 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. 9 comments

Read all Speakeasy Posts

FROM THE CHRONICLE

Chronicle AM: FL Legalization Init to Roll Out, Dark Web's Largest Drug Market Shuts Down, More (8/27/2015)

The controversial ResponsibleOhio legalization initiative continues to make news, a Florida legalization initiative kicks-off tomorrow, the Dark Web's biggest drug marketplace is shutting down -- at least temporarily -- and more. comments

Medical Marijuana Update

California still has some problems with the feds, dispensaries open in Nevada and get licensed in Illinois, an Oklahoma initiative campaign is gearing up, and more. 1 comment

Illinois Governor Vetoes Heroin Bill Over Medicaid Treatment Funding [FEATURE]

Illinois's Republican governor has vetoed an comprehensive heroin bill because he doesn't want Medicaid to have to pay for treatment. But there appear to be enough votes to override the veto. 3 comments

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

More jail guards in trouble, a DEA agent gets popped for child porn, and a Mississippi cop gets fired after getting caught in a major marijuana deal. comments

Chronicle AM: CA Waits for Big Legalization Init, NYC "Fake Weed" Ban Proposed, More (8/26/2015)

We're still waiting for the big one to drop in California, Ohio officials don't play nice with initiative ballot title language, Illinois gets its first dispensary approved, NYC wants to ban "fake weed,' and more. comments

Chronicle AM: DC AG Talks Decrim, IL Gov Vetoes Medicare Heroin Treatment Funding, More (8/25/2015)

Another South Florida community moves toward marijuana decrimin, GOP primary state voters want the feds to stay out of state marijuana policies, DC's top prosecutor hints at drug decriminalization, Illinois's governor vetoes Medicaid heroin treatment funding, and more. comments

Chronicle AM: Christie Blames Obama for "Heroin Epidemic," CO Patients Sue Over PTSD, More (8/24/2015)

Pot isn't stinky enough for its odor to automatically qualify as disorderly conduct in Oregon, Colorado patients sue over the state's decision not to include PTSD in the medical marijuana program, Oklahomans will try again to get a medical marijuana initiative on the ballot, and more. 1 comment

Chronicle AM: First Las Vegas MedMJ Shop, Peru Restarting Drug Plane Shootdowns, More (8/21/2015)

A Wisconsin tribe moves toward legal marijuana, Oakland's effort to back the Harborside dispensary gets shot down in federal court, Peru wants to shoot down drug planes, both major Kentucky governor candidates want to drug test welfare recipients, and more. comments

Chronicle AM: Truckers Oppose Hair Drug Tests, TX Drug Felon Food Stamp Ban Ending, More (8/20/2015)

Asset forfeiture reform is moving in Michigan, Texas is about to end its ban on food stamps for drug felons, Brazil's high court takes up a case that could lead to drug decriminalization, the Teamsters and other labor groups pan hair drug testing, and more. 1 comment

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

A DARE cop gets popped for ripping off the program, another jail guard goes down, a federal cop gets busted after his meth lab explodes, and more. comments

Medical Marijuana Update

There's a union corruption scandal brewing in California, medical marijuana faces awkward transitions in Oregon and Washington, and more. comments

Chronicle AM: OH Ballot Language Fight, Brit MPs Say Drug Use a Human Right, More (8/19/2015)

Another controversy over the ResponsibleOhio legalization initiative, medical marijuana could be coming to the northern prairie, a British parliamentary panel calls drug use a human right, and more. comments

Chronicle AM: Utah SWAT Raids Almost All Drugs, Bolivia Reduces Coca Growing (Again), More (8/18/2015)

A Wisconsin tribe may legalize marijuana, Ohio foes line up against the legalization initiative there, more Washington state dispensaries will be forced to close, a Utah SWAT reporting law shows what those squads are up to -- and it isn't hostage situations or "active shooters" -- Bolivia has reduced coca growing for another year in a row, more. comments

Obama's Heroin Initiative: One Step Forward, Two Steps Back? [FEATURE]

The White House emphasizes public health in its new heroin initiative, but it's still relying on a heavy law enforcement component. 2 comments

How to Deal With New Psychoactive Substances? [FEATURE]

Banning new psychoactive substances such as Spice ("fake marijuana") or "bath salts" (a euphoric stimulant) isn't working that well. Is there another way? 1 comment

Chronicle AM: White House Focuses on Heroin, Peru Coca Tensions Rise, CO Pot Sales Hit Record, More (8/17/2015)

It's big bucks for the Colorado marijuana industry (and the state's tax revenues), there's more initiative news, the White House takes on heroin, Peruvian coca farmers are feeling the pinch of eradication, and more. comments

Chronicle AM: WY MedMJ Init Underway, DOJ Investigating Police Killing of SC Teen, More (8/14/2015)

CBD cannabis oil goes on sale in England, a medical marijuana initiative is getting underway in Wyoming, the Justice Department will look into the police killing of teenager Zach Hammond in a small-time marijuana bust, and more. 1 comment

Chronicle AM: OH Will Vote on Legalization, ME Welfare Drug Test Program Finds One User, More (8/13/2015)

Ohio could be the next state to legalize marijuana, a union boss gets busted for taking bribes from dispensaries, "fake weed" is the subject of repression in Boston and New York state, Maine's welfare drug test program finds a single drug user, and more. comments

ResponsibleOhio Marijuana Initiative Qualifies for 2015 Ballot

Ohio will be the next state to vote on marijuana legalization. 5 comments

Medical Marijuana Update

With state legislatures adjourned and the dog days of summer upon us, it's pretty quiet on the medical marijuana front this week. But there is some news from the Northeast. comments

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

A North Carolina cop already in prison for stealing pain pills is now charged with marijuana trafficking, a Texas narc gets probation for stealing and using drug dog training drugs, and another prison guard goes down. Just another week of drug war-related law enforcement corruption. comments

Chronicle AM: OH Init Claims to Make Ballot, Clinton Talks Drug Abuse in NH, More (8/12/2015)

Legal marijuana states still have issues, an Ohio group says it has qualified a legalization initiative for the November ballot, a video game league institutes drug testing, Hillary Clinton talks drugs on the campaign trail, and more. comments

Chronicle AM: AK Regulators Want to Ban MJ Social Clubs, ME Gov Threatens to Call Out Guard, More (8/11/2015)

Alaska regulators want to ban marijuana social clubs, Chris Christie signs a bill allowing methadone in drug court programs, a new report says Illinois needs to do better on heroin treatment, Russia wants to censor Reddit, and more. comments

For Some, Best Cure for Heroin May Be Legality

A new study from the British Journal of Psychiatry suggests as much. 4 comments

Chronicle AM: OH Init Looks Set, Israel Anti-Drug Unit Shuttered, NY "Fake Pot" Ban, More (8/10/15)

The New York Times has a strong editorial on marijuana reform, the ResponsibleOhio initiative should qualify for the ballot on a second try, Philly pot busts plummet after decrim, Israel zeroes out its anti-drug agency, and more. comments

Chronicle AM: Judge Throws Out More Philly Cases, India Shiva Pilgrims Toke Up, More (8/7/15)

An Oregon congressman calls for down-scheduling marijuana, an Oklahoma US senator wants to punish tribes that allow marijuana, Boston's first dispensary is likely coming soon, drug hair-testing for truck drivers edges closer, and more. 2 comments

Chronicle AM: Study Supports Prescription Heroin, States Want Feds Out of MJ Policies, More (8/06/15)

The DEA admits the screamingly obvious, the National Council of State Legislatures tells the feds to let states set their own marijuana policies, another South Florida community decriminalizes, and more. 2 comments

Medical Marijuana Update

Medical marijuana got attention on the national stage this past week, medical marijuana for PTSD sufferers was at issue in two states, Florida looks poised to pass a medical marijuana initiative next time around, and more. 1 comment

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

We have a Philadelphia twofer this week, an Indiana cop who killed himself after getting busted stealing pain pills, an Oklahoma K9 cop popped for stealing dope, another jail guard in trouble, and more. comments

Chronicle AM: MA Inits Filed, Pill Crackdown Hurts Patients, Yemen War Snarls Drug Trade, More (8/05/15)

Competing legalization initiatives get filed in Massachusetts, pain patients face obstacles amidst the pill mill crackdown, the Yemen war is messing up the peninsular drug trade, and more. comments

Read all Chronicle Posts

Drug War Issues

Criminal JusticeAsset Forfeiture, Collateral Sanctions (College Aid, Drug Taxes, Housing, Welfare), Court Rulings, Drug Courts, Due Process, Felony Disenfranchisement, Incarceration, Policing (2011 Drug War Killings, 2012 Drug War Killings, 2013 Drug War Killings, 2014 Drug War Killings, 2015 Drug War Killings, Arrests, Eradication, Informants, Interdiction, Lowest Priority Policies, Police Corruption, Police Raids, Profiling, Search and Seizure, SWAT/Paramilitarization, Task Forces, Undercover Work), Probation or Parole, Prosecution, Reentry/Rehabilitation, Sentencing (Alternatives to Incarceration, Clemency and Pardon, Crack/Powder Cocaine Disparity, Death Penalty, Decriminalization, Defelonization, Drug Free Zones, Mandatory Minimums, Rockefeller Drug Laws, Sentencing Guidelines)CultureArt, Celebrities, Counter-Culture, Music, Poetry/Literature, Television, TheaterDrug UseParaphernalia, ViolenceIntersecting IssuesCollateral Sanctions (College Aid, Drug Taxes, Housing, Welfare), Violence, Border, Budgets/Taxes/Economics, Business, Civil Rights, Driving, Economics, Education (College Aid), Employment, Environment, Families, Free Speech, Gun Policy, Human Rights, Immigration, Militarization, Money Laundering, Pregnancy, Privacy (Search and Seizure, Drug Testing), Race, Religion, Science, Sports, Women's IssuesMarijuana PolicyGateway Theory, Hemp, Marijuana -- Personal Use, Marijuana Industry, Medical MarijuanaMedicineMedical Marijuana, Science of Drugs, Under-treatment of PainPublic HealthAddiction, Addiction Treatment (Science of Drugs), Drug Education, Drug Prevention, Drug-Related AIDS/HIV or Hepatitis C, Harm Reduction (Methadone & Other Opiate Maintenance, Needle Exchange, Overdose Prevention, Safe Injection Sites)Source and Transit CountriesAndean Drug War, Coca, Hashish, Mexican Drug War, Opium ProductionSpecific DrugsAlcohol, Ayahuasca, Cocaine (Crack Cocaine), Ecstasy, Heroin, Ibogaine, ketamine, Khat, Marijuana (Gateway Theory, Marijuana -- Personal Use, Medical Marijuana, Hashish), Methamphetamine, New Synthetic Drugs (Synthetic Cannabinoids, Synthetic Stimulants), Nicotine, Prescription Opiates (Fentanyl, Oxycontin), Psychedelics (LSD, Mescaline, Peyote, Salvia Divinorum)YouthGrade School, Post-Secondary School, Raves, Secondary School