The Speakeasy Blog

North Dakota Medical Marijuana Petitions Handed In

North Dakota could be voting on medical marijuana this fall. Initiative campaigners have handed in 150% of the signatures they need to qualify. Now, they have to wait and see if they have enough valid signatures. Chronicle story here.

New Hemp Bill Introduced in US Senate

In a bipartisan effort, four US senators are cosponsoring a bill that would differentiate hemp from marijuana under the Controlled Substance Act. Chronicle story here.

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

It never stops, does it? Here's another seven bad apples. Chronicle story here.

Medical Marijuana Update

The end of dispensaries in LA looms, more threat letters in Colorado, and a medical marijuana initiative in North Dakota!? That's just some of the news -- Chronicle update here.

Olympic Athlete's Expulsion for Marijuana Raises Questions

The expulsion of American Olympic judo competitor Nick Delpopolo from the Games after he tested positive for marijuana is raising questions about why pot is on the list of substances banned for athletes in the first place. Chronicle story here.

Arizona SWAT Team Kills Man in Drug Raid Shootout

A kick-the-door-down SWAT team drug raid was met with gunfire at a Phoenix house early Thursday. One man was killed, making him the 39th to die in US domestic drug law enforcement operations so far this year. Chronicle story here.

Springfield (Missouri) Marijuana Decriminalization Initiative Certified

Springfield, Missouri, voters will have a chance to vote for marijuana decriminalization in November -- if the city council doesn't approve it first -- after an initiative there qualified Thursday. Chronicle story here.

Police Kill Miami Man in Marijuana Grow House Shootout

A Miami man is dead after police said he opened fire on them as they investigated a possible marijuana grow house. Still no word if it actually was a marijuana grow house, though. Chronicle story here.

Bipartisan Bill to Fight Overdoses Filed in Congress

A couple of dozen House members have introduced a bill aimed at reducing the steadily climbing toll from drug overdoses, most of them from prescription opioid pain relievers, by providing federal support for state and local prevention and education programs, including expanded use of naloxone. Chronicle story here.

Medical Marijuana Update

What!? No DEA raids? Not this week, but the federal crackdown on dispensaries continues, and cities and localities in medical marijuana states continue to grapple with the issues around it. Chronicle story here.

Handcuffed Marijuana Offender Shot, Killed in Police Car

Police say a young Mississippi man shot himself while cuffed with his hands behind his back in the back sear of a police car with a gun they missed while searching him after arresting him for marijuana. His mother isn't buying it. Chronicle story here.

Lebanon Hash Eradication Hits New Obstacle

Lebanon's annual effort to wipe out hashish production is having a particularly rocky time this year. On Tuesday, eradicators were stuck without bulldozers after locals refused to rent to them. At least no one was shooting at them this week. Chronicle story here.

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

A crank-dealing sheriff cops a plea, an LA narc gets a case of sticky fingers, an Arkansas narc develops a fondness for dope, and a North Carolina parole officer gets caught forcing his parolees to supply him with dope. Chronicle story here.

DOJ to Sentencing Commission: Fewer Prisoners, Please

The Justice Department is signaling it wants a smaller federal prison population because we can't afford our mass incarceration binge anymore, but it doesn't want to talk about the drug war. Chronicle story here.

Woman Walks After Prosecutorial Perfidy in Tucson [FEATURE]

Aurora Lopez-Avila is back home in Mexico. A mother of three, she struggles daily to rebuild a shattered life that once hung in the balance -- after sitting for more than two years in a Tucson, Arizona, federal jail facing charges that she attempted to transport 10 kilos of cocaine across the Arizona-Mexico border on December 8, 2009. Chronicle feature story here.

Medical Marijuana Rescheduling Lawsuit Moving

Ten years after the Coalition for Rescheduling Cannabis filed a petition to remove marijuana from Schedule I and one year after the DEA rejected that petition, a federal appeals court is set to hear the evidence. Chronicle story here.

"You Can't Stop AIDS Without Ending the Drug War" [FEATURE]

The International AIDS Conference in Washington this week saw foreign drug users and sex workers excluded even amidst a rising clamor for ending the drug war to help stop the spread of disease. Chronicle feature story here.

Colombia Coca Cultivation Ticks Upward

Coca production in Colombia ticked upward last year after four straight years of declines, the UNODC said in a new report. It's still way down from its peak, though. Chronicle story here.

Medical Marijuana Update

Harborside fights for its life, LA bans dispensaries, and Oregon transplant hospitals are lightening up on medical marijuana patients. Those are the big stories this week, but there's plenty more, too. Chronicle update here.

Two More US Drug War Killings

One man is dead after swallowing drugs and being hit with a stun gun in Indianapolis as he tried to flee an arrest. Another is dead in Massachusetts after he was shot trying to flee an arrest in his car. Chronicle story here.

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

Bad cop, no donut for a Miami sergeant, two more TSA screeners cop pleas in LA, and a Phoenix cop couldn't keep his paws off the evidence room goodies. Chronicle story here.

Washington Marijuana Initiative Has Good Week

Washington state's I-502 marijuana legalization initiative did well in polling this week and even better in fundraising. This thing could win, and it has the money to help make that happen. Chronicle story here.

Lebanon Hash Farmers Attack Eradicators

It's almost time for the hash harvest in Lebanon, and farmers are taking up arms to protect their cash crop from eradicators. Chronicle story here.

Marijuana Authors Talk at Oaksterdam [FEATURE]

There was some interesting and well-informed discussion at Oaksterdam University Saturday night as the authors of four recent books on marijuana sat down to talk and think out loud. Chronicle feature story here.

Oakland to President Obama: Change Your Ways! [FEATURE]

In one of the largest medical marijuana demonstrations in years, as many as a thousand people came out in Oakland Monday to let President Obama know he needs to end the federal crackdown on dispensaries. Chronicle feature story here.

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