ON THE SPEAKEASY BLOG

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. 15 comments

DC Marijuana Initiative Qualifies for Ballot

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

29 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. 29 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. 22 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. 16 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. 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. 52 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. 4 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. 27 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. 13 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. 14 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. 11 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. 11 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. 8 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. 10 comments

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FROM THE CHRONICLE

Chronicle AM: DC Pot Bill Moves, Seattle MedMJ Plan, BC Prescription Heroin, Malta Drug Decrim, More (11/25/14)

A marijuana tax and regulate bill advances in DC, a legalization bill gets filed in Georgia, Seattle's mayor has a plan to regulate medical marijuana, prescription heroin is coming to Vancouver, Malta is ready to decriminalize drug possession, and more. comments

Chronicle AM: US Agents on Mexico Drug Raids, New Federal Cash Seizure Guidance, New Pain Pill, More (11/24/14)

Some House Republicans still want to mess with DC legalization, a key Washington state solon is planning a bill that would fold medical marijuana into the legal regulation system, federal officials issue a new code of conduct for highway asset seizures, US Marshals are reportedly going on drug raids in Mexico, and more. 3 comments

Chronicle AM: Federal VA MedMJ Bill, CRS Report on Federal Pot Tax, Swiss Cannabis Clubs, More (11/21/2014)

Some Alaska officials are proving recalcitrant when it comes to legal marijuana, there could be a Senate hearing on pot legalization with DC in the cross hairs, congressional researchers release a report on a federal pot excise tax, asset forfeiture could play a role in hearings for the new attorney general nominee, and more. 1 comment

Chronicle Book Review: Mexico on the Brink

Journalist and Mexico resident has Robert Joe Stout has written a new book about the "landmines" facing Mexico, including the drug war and official corruption. It couldn't be more timely. 2 comments

Chronicle AM: USA Today Slams Asset Forfeiture, NY Times on AFT Drug Stash House Stings, More (11/20/14)

A new Maine legalization group lays out its vision, take your medical marijuana card when you go to Nevada next year, asset forfeiture gets ripped by USA Today, the New York Times takes a look at a questionable law enforcement practice, and more. 3 comments

Medical Marijuana Update

California continues to see dispensary battles, Rhode Island's third dispensary opens, medical marijuana is moving in the South, and more. comments

Another Southern California Man Killed in Police Drug Investigation

For the second time in less than a week, police doing drug operations have shot and killed an armed suspect. 1 comment

Chronicle AM: OR Pot Tax Battle, MA Mandatory Minimums Under Fire, More (11/19/14)

Oregon cities will fight to be allowed to tax marijuana, the CRS says state-level legalization leaves the US vulnerable to criticism on international drug treaties, federal reform bills pick up more sponsors, Hawaii medical marijuana patients get some rental protections, Iran is fine with executing drug traffickers, and more. 2 comments

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

A Baltimore cop who insisted on arresting the wrong guy is in trouble, a suburban Chicago cop who tried to be a little too helpful to some women has lost his job, and a Tennessee cop facing federal drug-related money laundering charges retires with his benefits. 2 comments

Chronicle AM: Marley Marijuana, New Player in Maine, DC OKs Forfeiture Reform, More (11/18/14)

Get ready for "Marley Natural" weed, there are now competing legalization efforts in Maine, a high-CBD medical marijuaan bill is the first one pre-filed for next year in Georgia, the DC city council approves civil asset forfeiture reform, and more. comments

Chronicle AM: Congress Unlikely to Mess With DC Marijuana Legalization, Guatemala Could Legalize Next Year, More (11/17/14)

Congress may "just say meh" to DC legalization, Washington state's first pot auction was a success, it's back to the drawing board for Florida Charlotte's Web regulators, Lebanese hash farmers have an unusual problem, Guatemala's president said pot legalization could be coming soon, and more. comments

Southern California Man Dies in Drug Raid Shootout

The year's 35th drug war fatality took place Thursday in San Bernardino, California, where an undercover cop was wounded and a suspect killed. 2 comments

Chronicle AM: NYC Council Head Says Legalize, UT Drug Defelonization Move, Burma Opium, More (11/14/14)

New York's city council speaker says legalize it, there are medical marijuana moves in Connecticut and Maryland, a Utah commission suggests defelonizing drug possession, a Peruvian petition seeks to end arrests for drug use, which is not a crime in Peru, and more. 5 comments

Chronicle AM: Afghan Opium Funds Elections, Big WA Pot Auction, NV Signatures Handed In, More (11/13/14)

More poppies are growing than ever in Afghanistan, and they helped fund the recent presidential election; the UNODC head tsk-tsks at US legalization votes, Nevada petitioners hand in 2X the signatures needed, federal bills get more sponsors, and more. 1 comment

Medical Marijuana Update

It's been a quiet week on the medical marijuana front, perhaps a post-election lull. But there is news from California, Colorado, and Rhode Island. 3 comments

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

Busy, busy. A crooked FBI agent is wreaking havoc with drug cases in DC, rip-off cops get busted in Chicago and Philly, an Alabama cop gets nailed for making a woman cook meth for him, and more. 2 comments

Chronicle AM: AR Marijuana Init, Nadelmann TED Talk, Colombia MedMJ, Dutch Grower Crackdown, More (11/12/14)

An Arkansas legalization initiative moves forward, Massachusetts' new GOP governor-elect will oppose legalization, Ethan Nadelmann gives a sizzling TED Talk, Colombia moves toward approving medical marijuana, the Dutch move resolutely backward, and more. 1 comment

Chronicle AM: No More Portland Pot Cases, Senior Drug Testing Racket, Vets' MedMj Problems, More (11/11/14)

The fallout from last week's legalization votes begins, California veterans are reporting medical marijuana problems with the VA, doctors are billing Medicare for largely needless senior drug testing, and more. comments

Chronicle AM: Historic UK Drug Debate Looms, NYPD Ending Marijuana Possession Arrests, More (11/10/14)

NYPD to Stop Arrests for Minor Marijuana Offenses. The NYPD and Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) announced today that the department will quit arresting people for low-level marijuana possession. NYPD has been arresting tens of thousands of people each year, but in the face of withering criticism, it will now begin issuing tickets instead. But people caught smoking pot in public will continue to face arrest. comments

Marijuana Arrests Drop, But Still 1.5 Million Drug Arrests Last Year [FEATURE]

Marijuana arrests have begun to decline in the US, but drug war inertia remains strong, and more than 1.5 million people were arrested for drugs last year, according to new FBI statistics. 4 comments

Chronicle AM: 2016 Plans, Silk Road 2.0 Busted, Canada & Jamaica React to Marijuana Votes, More (11/6/14)

Marijuana reform activists are already eyeing 2016, and so is former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, the FBI busts the latest incarnation of Silk Road, Tuesday's vote brings some joy in Canada and Jamaica, and more. 1 comment

Medical Marijuana Update

A medical marijuana initiative won in Guam, but the one in Florida lost despite winning a majority of the votes. There's other news, too. 3 comments

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

Trouble is brewing in Detroit and DC, a Texas narc gets in trouble, so does a Miami cop, so does a Camden cop and a suburban St. Louis one. 2 comments

Chronicle AM: Pot Legalization Trifecta, CA Sentencing Reform Passes, FL MedMJ Fails, More (11/5/14)

Marijuana wins in Alaska, DC, and Oregon; medical marijuana barely loses in Florida, California defelonizes drug possession offenses, New Jersey reforms the bail system, and more 2 comments

Alaska Legalizes Marijuana!

It's a trifecta for marijuana legalization initiatives this year, as Alaska joins Oregon and Washington, DC, in freeing the weed. 1 comment

California Voters OK Drug Defelonization, Reject Doctor Drug Testing

California voters Tuesday approved an initiative to turn drug possession felonies into misdemeanors and rejected a trial lawyers' malpractice caps-raising initiative cloaked in the garb of drug testing doctors. 2 comments

Oregon Legalizes Marijuana!

And then there were three (and don't forget DC). Oregon has now joined Colorado and Washington as a state that has legalized marijuana. Voters Tuesday approved Measure 91 with nearly 56% of the vote. 6 comments

Washington, DC, Legalizes Marijuana!

DC residents are voting overwhelmingly to legalize the possession and cultivation of small amounts of marijuana in the nation's capitol. Now, it will be up to the city council to move on to tax and regulate marijuana commerce. 2 comments

Florida Medical Marijuana Initiative Wins Majority, But Falls Short of Victory

The Florida medical marijuana initiative came achingly close to victory, winning a solid majority of the vote, but not quite the 60% it needed to pass. 2 comments

Chronicle AM: Drug Issues on the Ballot, Guam Approves MedMJ, UK Drug Policy Row Continues, More (11/4/2014)

We're waiting for election results--except for Guam, where medical marijuana has already won--Britain's governing coalition continues to implode on drug policy, Paraguay tries to crack down, and more. 4 comments

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