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. 14 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. 25 comments

DC Marijuana Initiative Qualifies for Ballot

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

34 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. 25 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. 23 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. 18 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. 21 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. 10 comments

Big News from the Administration About Commutations

The Obama administration may issue hundreds or even thousands of sentence commutations in drug cases, 14 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. 12 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. 34 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. 9 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. 17 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. 22 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. 17 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. 32 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. 22 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. 27 comments

Police Shoot, Kill 80-Year Old Man In His Own Bed

The recklessness of drug raids... 12 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. 17 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. 14 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. 14 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. 16 comments

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FROM THE CHRONICLE

Chronicle AM: INCB Scolds US, Uruguay on Pot; DC, NYC Top Cops on Marijuana, Iran Executions, More (3/315)

The top cops in DC and New York City offer wildly contrasting remarks on marijuana, Iran hangs drug offenders, while Indonesia prepares the firing squad for them, a Florida man gets acquitted of a marijuana cultivation charge in Florida by convincing a jury it was medical, and more. 1 comment

Chronicle AM: TX Border Surge Flops, Belize Decrim Proposal, British Drugged Driving Law, More (3/2/15)

There will be a smoke-out in Trenton later this month, medical marijuana is moving in Utah, the Texas "border surge" accomplishes little, KY cops ignore asset forfeiture reporting, a tough, new British drugged driving law has gone into effect, and more. 2 comments

Maraschino Cherry Mogul Kills Self As Cops Discover Huge Marijuana Grow

When the cops discovered a large marijuana grow-up beneath a historic Brooklyn maraschino cherry company, the owner killed himself on the spot. 6 comments

Chronicle AM: Ted Cruz Flip-Flops on Pot, Mexico Captures "La Tuta," Asset Forfeiture Action, More (2/27/15)

Ted Cruz sees the light (or at least, which way the wind is blowing), a new poll has a majority for legalization in Maryland, asset forfeiture reform gets killed in two states, The Washington Post rethinks drug testing, and more. 5 comments

Chronicle AM: Paul v. Bush on Drug Policy, Russians Warn of DC Pot Addicts; New Report on Global Drug War, More (2/26/15)

The Russians go all Reefer Madness on DC, Rand Paul takes on Jeb Bush's drug policy "hypocrisy," a second Ohio legalization initiative hits a road block, a new report examines the harms of global drug prohibition, and more. 2 comments

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

A Georgia head narc gets popped for drunk driving, a Detroit cop is in trouble for ripping off "Scarface" memorabilia during a drug raid, a San Francisco sergeant heads to prison for ripping off drug dealers, and a couple of California prison guards go down. 1 comment

Medical Marijuana Update

Whew! There are medical marijuana bills all over the place, a leading Democratic politician gets targeted for her anti-medical marijuana stance, and the Kettle Falls Five (now Four) trial gets underway. 1 comment

Chronicle AM: DC Legalizes, Jamaica Decriminalizes, Maryland Heroin Crisis, More (2/25/15)

Marijuana possession and cultivation will be legal in DC in just a few hours, Jamaica gives final approval to decriminalization, marijuana and medical marijuana bills are popping up all over, and more. 3 comments

Marijuana is Now Legal in Washington, DC! [FEATURE]

The Initiative 71 possession and cultivation legalization initiative goes into effect at midnight, despite some Republicans' attempts to stop it. 2 comments

Chronicle AM: Marijuana Legal in Alaska, Ohio Initiative Hits Bump, Bad CA Bills, More (2/24/15)

It was legalization day today in Alaska, Ohio's ResponsibleOhio initiative goes back to the drawing board, a Georgia CBD medical marijuana bill moves, there are a couple of bad bills filed in California, and more. 2 comments

Chronicle AM: Marijuana Legal in Alaska Tomorrow, Kosher MedMJ in NY, Chinese Meth, More (2/23/15)

Alaska's Measure 2 legalization begins to kick in tomorrow, the UFCW organizes medical marijuana workers in Minnesota, Chuck Schumer wants more drug war money, India bans the new synthetic drug mephedrone, and more. 2 comments

First Phase of Alaska Legalization Goes Into Effect Tomorrow

As of tomorrow, it will be legal for adults to possess up to an ounce and grow six plants (three mature) as phase one of Measure 2 comes into effect. It's going to take another year for marijuana businesses to be up and running, though. 1 comment

Alabama Man Killed in Pre-Dawn SWAT Drug Raid

The year's eighth drug war death took place in Birminghama, Alabama, during a pre-dawn SWAT drug raid. There are unanswered questions. 3 comments

Chronicle AM: Federal Marijuana Bills, CO Legal Marijuana Battles, VA Cannabis Oil Bills Pass, More (2/20/15)

It's all marijuana news today: Federal legalization bills are filed, battles break out over legalization in Colorado, the Kettle Falls Five is now the Kettle Falls Four, Virginia CBD cannabis oil bills head to the governor's desk, and more. 5 comments

Federal Marijuana Legalization Bills Introduced [FEATURE]

Reps. Jared Polis (D-CO) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) have filed a pair of bills aimed at ending federal marijuana prohibition. 8 comments

Chronicle AM: More CO Lawsuits, 2016 MI Inits, New Paid Med Rules a Pain for Vets, More (2/19/15)

An anti-crime group has filed a pair of lawsuits challenging Colorado's legal marijuana law, a decrim bill is moving in Hawaii, 2016 initiative plans are getting underway in Michigan, DEA rules on pain pills are causing problems for vets and others, and more. 2 comments

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

An Arizona narc gets caught sleeping with the enemy, a Hawaii prison guard goes away for smuggling contraband to gang members, and an Illinois police dispatcher is in trouble for snatching pain pills. Just another week in the drug war. 3 comments

Medical Marijuana Update

The Kettle Falls 5 will have to face federal trial, a bill to fold the Washington state medical market into the recreational one has passed the Senate, there's movement toward dispensaries in Hawaii and Michigan, and much more. 1 comment

Chronicle AM: Asset Forfeiture Reforms Blocked, AL Life Sentence for Pot, Ominous Afghan Opium News, More (2/18/15)

A New Jersey coalition for marijuana reform has formed, an Alabama judge sentences a man to life in prison over 2 1/2 pounds of pot, the Hawaii legislature advances a dispensary bill, asset forfeiture reform gets slapped down in Virginia and Wyoming, the opium trade is expanding in western Afghanistan, and more. 3 comments

Chronicle AM: VT MJ Legalization Bill, Texas Pot Lobby Day, Federal Sentencing Softens, More (2/17/15)

There's now a marijuana legalization bill in Vermont, an Ohio initiative decides to allow home cultivation, Attorney General holder touts a softening in federal charging and sentencing policies, and more. 3 comments

Chronicle AM: WA GOP Bill to Combine MedMJ, Recreational Pot Moves, KY Heroin Bill Passes House, More (2/16/15)

Colorado gets more time to defend its marijuana law, a possession legalization bill gets filed in Tennessee, a bill to combine medical and recreational markets in Washington passes the Senate over patient objections, the Russian drug czar could be losing his gig, and more. 2 comments

Chronicle AM: CO 2014 Legal Pot Sales at $700 Million, Kettle Falls 5 Will Go to Trial, More (2/13/15)

Final marijuana sales figures are in for Colorado, twin legalization bills are filed in Maryland, a second Ohio legalization initiative campaign gets underway, a federal judge orders the Kettle Falls Five to trial, and more. 2 comments

Chronicle AM: NM Legalization Vote, CA MedMJ Organ Transplant Bill, VA Harm Reduction Bills, More (2/12/15)

Marijuana reform and medical marijuana bills continue to move, a broad coalition urges Congress to enact real sentencing reforms, harm reduction measures are moving in Virginia, and more. 2 comments

Broad Coalition Calls for Serious Criminal Justice Reforms in Congress [FEATURE]

The spirit of sentencing reform seems to be in the air on Capitol Hill. Now, a broad coalition is calling on Congress to get serious about it. 4 comments

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

A suburban Philly cop is under suspicion in a case of missing drug evidence, a former Philly cop who worked with a dealer to rip off other dealers is heading to prison, and so is a former Virginia cop and DEA task force member who used his position to gain sexual favors. 2 comments

Medical Marijuana Update

The Veterans Administration hints at coming changes around medical marijuana, California and Washington see statewide regulation bills filed, both houses in Virginia have passed similar CBD bills, and more. 1 comment

Chronicle AM: IA MJ Penalty Bill Moves, NM Hemp Bill Moves, MD Heroin OD Homicide Bill Filed, More (2/11/15)

Missouri's marijuana lifer may get a shot at freedom, Colorado is raking in the tax dollars from pot, the VA is pondering how to deal with medical marijuana for veterans, medical marijuana regulation bills pop up in California and Washington, and more. 1 comment

Chronicle AM: Drug Czar Confirmed; ME, OH Pot Initiatives Get Going; WY Asset Forfeiture Reform, More (2/10/15)

2016 marijuana legalization initiatives efforts are taking first steps in Maine and Ohio, Alaska lawmakers try to deal with implementing legalization there, Wyoming passes a bill ending civil asset forfeiture reform, CBD medical marijuana bills are moving in Virginia, we have a new drug czar, and more. 2 comments

Chronicle AM: Jamaica Decrim a Step Closer, DC Legalization Battles, Pot and Driving, More (2/9/15)

The fight over legalization continues in DC, Jamaica is now one vote away from decriminalizing ganja, the NHTSA has a study out saying there is no evidence pot use increases the risk of crashes, and more. 1 comment

Five Drug War Killings in Four Days

In four different incidents at locations around the country, police enforcing the drug war killed five people this week. 3 comments

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