ON THE SPEAKEASY BLOG

Against Jeff Sessions for Attorney General

The president-elect's nominee for Attorney General is a big-time drug warrior who could derail both sentencing reform and marijuana legalization. Please write your Senators in opposition to this nomination. 21 comments

AP: California Legalizes Marijuana!

The Associated Press has called it early. 0 comments

North Dakota Okays Medical Marijuana

With most of the votes counted, Measure 5 is cruising toward victory. 0 comments

Partial Initiative Results: Arkansas, Maine, Massachusetts, North Dakota

Florida has already won. Now returns are coming in from four more initiative states. 0 comments

Florida Passes Medical Marijuana!

First southern state, and a big one. 1 comment

Myths, Moralism, and Hypocrisy Drive the International Drug Control System

Our international drug policies reflect a bias towards the global north, with damaging consequences for the south. 13 comments

Will UNGASS 2016 Be the Beginning of the End for the War on Drugs?

Held this April, will the United Nations General Assembly Special Session be the turning point for the international drug control system? 14 comments

David Borden -- Remarks at the United Nations, February 10, 2016

Last week the UN held an NGO meeting in New York, as part of a series events leading up to this April's major drug session. 12 comments

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. 12 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. 7 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. 8 comments

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. 9 comments

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. 10 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. 10 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. 14 comments

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. 3 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. 3 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. 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 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. 5 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. 7 comments

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FROM THE CHRONICLE

Chronicle AM: Dutch Move to OK Legal Pot Grows, Texas Pot Poll Has Majority For Legalization, More... (2/21/17)

The Dutch are finally doing something to address their "back door" problem of lack of legal supply for the country's pot shops, a new Texas poll has majority support for legalization, a Vermont pot legalization bill gets a hearing later this week, and more. comments

Chronicle AM: Trump Could Cut Drug Czar Office, Thousands Protest Duterte's Drug War, More... (2/20/17)

The drug czar's office could be on Trump's chopping block, asset forfeiture reform advances in two states, a Washington state legislator tries to sic the Justice Department on Seattle, and more. comments

Chronicle AM: AL Bill Has Mandatory Life w/o Parole for Possessing Ounce of Fentanyl, More... (2/17/17)

The Alabama legislature ponders harsh drug sentences not seen since the last century, decriminalization is picking up some support in Texas, China announces scheduling controls on fentanyl, and more. comments

Chronicle AM: House Passes Unemployment Drug Test Bill, Houston Decriminalizes, More... (2/16/17)

The House approves a bill that could open the door to states drug testing people seeking unemployment benefits, harsh sentencing bills advance in Ohio and Kentucky, Houston decriminalizes marijuana possession (in most cases), and more. comments

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

A dozen TSA agents get popped in a massive, long-term cocaine smuggling scheme, a former DEA Special Agent-in-Charge gets his hand slapped for lying about owning a strip club, and more. comments

Medical Marijuana Update

It's all red state medical marijuana news this week, reflecting the slow spread of acceptance to even the most conservative corners of the country. comments

Chronicle AM: House GOP Wants to Drug Test for Unemployment Benefits, More... (2/15/17)

Vermont's GOP governor throws up an obstacle to marijuana legalization, the House GOP is set to vote to force unemployed workers to take drug tests before receiving their earned benefits, the rightist mayor of South America's largest city turns his back on harm reduction, and more. 2 comments

Chronicle AM: NM Senate on MedMJ & Harm Reduction; Iowa Students Win Speech Case, More... (2/14/17)

Medical marijuana and harm reduction measures advance in New Mexico, a police drug field test kit maker is being sued by a Florida man busted for the glaze on his Krispy Kreme donuts, Idaho considers ending mandatory minimums for drug offenses, and more. comments

Chronicle AM: Los Angeles Pot Shop Vote Looms, NM Legalization Bill Stalls, More... (2/13/17)

Los Angeles voters go to the polls next month to decide on permitting dispensaries and pot shops, a New Mexico legalization bill hits a bump in committee, an Ohio bill would restore tough cocaine sentences based on the weight of filler -- not actual cocaine -- and more. comments

In the Time of Trump, Can Congress Take the Lead on Marijuana Policy? [FEATURE]

The Trump administration may be an opportunity for Congress to take charge on marijuana policy. 4 comments

Trump Goes Full Nixon on Law-and-Order, Vows 'Ruthless' War on Drugs and Crime [FEATURE]

"We have no choice" but to double down on failed drug war and crime-fighting strategies, the president claims. 12 comments

Chronicle AM: Trump Rolls Out Crime & Drug War, Brazil Top Judge Says Legalize, More... (2/10/17)

Donald Trump takes a hard line on crime and drugs, a new Michigan poll has support for marijuana legalization at an all time high, a Brazilian Supreme Court justice calls for an end to the drug war there, and more. 1 comment

Chronicle AM: Drug Warrior Jeff Sessions is AG, NY Gov Calls Marijuana Gateway Drug, More... (2/9/17)

A man who thinks marijuana users aren't "good people" is now the US attorney general, New York's Democratic governor cites the gateway theory as he opposes marijuana legalization, North Dakota lawmakers kill a welfare drug testing bill, and more. 2 comments

Chronicle AM: States' Rights Marijuana Bill Filed, Trouble in Morocco's Rif, More... (2/8/17)

A federal bill to let states experiment with marijuana policy is back, CBD cannabis oil and medical marijuana study bills advance at the statehouse, trouble is bubbling up in Morocco's hash-producing regions, and more. comments

Medical Marijuana Update

Arkansas legislators are trying to ban medical marijuana smoking and edibles, a new Florida bill seeks to revamp that state's medical marijuana system, and more. comments

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

Jail and prison guards are dropping like flies, a Border Patrol agent heads for prison for helping a cartel, a Louisiana cop develops a case of sticky fingers, and more. comments

Chronicle AM: Trump Threatens TX Lawmaker Over Forfeiture, NYC MJ Arrests Up Again, More... (2/7/17)

Donald Trump threatens the career of a Texas state senator over asset forfeiture, Chris Christie vetoes an asset forfeiture reporting bill, NYC marijuana arrests jump, Rhode Islanders are ready to legalize it, and more. comments

Chronicle Book Review: This Side of Freedom: Life After Clemency, by Anthony Papa

The power to commute prison sentences is rarely exercised at the state level. Anthony Papa's newest memoir makes an implicit case for it to be used much more often. 1 comment

Interview: Marc Mauer on Criminal Justice Reform in the Trump Years [FEATURE]

Sentencing and other criminal justice reforms advanced in the Obama years, but now there's a new sheriff in town. What are the prospects for criminal justice reform during the Trump presidency? comments

Chronicle AM: CA Faces Plethora of Pot Bills, NM Legalization Bill Advances, More... (2/6/17)

Marijuana-related legislation is moving in several states, the HIA is suing the DEA over hemp foods, Philippines Catholic bishops speak out against drug war killings, and more. comments

Chronicle AM: Duterte Vows More Killings, AK Nixes On-Site MJ Shop Consumption, More... (2/3/17)

Regulators and legislators continue to mess with the will of the voters when it comes to implementing marijuana initiatives, the Philippines' president makes more bloody-minded threats, and more. comments

Chronicle AM: Sessions AG Nomination Advances, FL Bill Would Fix MedMJ System, More... (2/2/17)

The Senate Judiciary Commitee has approved the nomination of Sen. Jeff Sessions to be attorney general, a legalization bill pops up in Wyoming, a Florida bill that would fix the state's medical marijuana system has the support of the folks behind the constitutional amendment, and more. comments

Chronicle AM: AR Lawmakers Meddle With MedMJ, Major Reform Package Rolled Out in MD, More... (2/1/17)

Technical issues stopped us from publishing yesterday and delayed us today, but the news didn't stop. Here's a couple days worth of mainly, but not entirely, marijuana policy news. comments

Gorsuch on Grass: Where Does Trump's Supreme Court Pick Come Down on Marijuana? [FEATURE]

Neil Gorsuch's record is fairly sparse and doesn't illuminate much more than an awareness of the ridiculous current state of pot policy. Well, that and a certain deference to law enforcement. comments

Chronicle AM: Ethan Nadelmann Steps Down at DPA, Seattle Approves Safe Injection Sites, More... (1/30/17)

The leader of the nation's largest drug reform group steps down, Maine becomes the eighth legal marijuana state, Seattle approves safe injection sites -- and isn't asking federal approval -- and more. comments

Chronicle AM: Israel Moves Toward Marijuana Decrim, ND&WY May Lower MJ Penalties, More.. (1/26/17)

It's all weed news today, even from the Middle East. State legislatures are taking up marijuana-related bills, and Israel is moving to decriminalize it. comments

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

Maybe we should call this "This Week's Corrupt Prison Guards," since we have a trio of those bad boys, and an extremely sticky-fingered Louisiana sheriff's deputy. comments

Medical Marijuana Update

The Illinois treasurer asks Trump for clarity on banking for the medical marijuana industry, North Dakota legislators work to ensure workers' compensation won't pay for medical marijuana for injured employees, and more. comments

Chronicle AM: NFL Players Want Less Punitive MJ Approach, Israel MedMJ Research, More... (1/25/17)

NFL players want the league to ease up on weed, an Oregon bill seeks to declare a kratom "emergency" and study whether to ban it, the Israelis are funding medical marijuana research, and more. comments

Chronicle AM: More State Forfeiture Bills, Colombia Drug Farmers Organizing, More... (1/24/17)

Colorado high court rules cops don't have to give your legal weed back if they seize it, changes in the Arkansas medical marijuana law go to the governor, there's more asset forfeiture activity in the states, Colombia's drug crop growers organize, and more. 1 comment

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