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Thursday, October 19, 2017
Phillip Smith

More Arrests For Marijuana Than For Violent Crime Last Year

Despite spreading marijuana legalization and a growing desire for new directions in drug policy, the war on drugs continues unabated. According to the FBI’s latest Uniform Crime Report, released Monday, overall drug arrests actually increased last year to 1.57 million, a jump of 5.63 percent over 2015. The increase includes marijuana arrests, which jumped by more than 75,000 last year compared to 2015, an increase of 12 percent.

September 28, 2017

A Marijuana Drive-Through Could Be Coming To A Corner Near You

Voters in Maine narrowly approved marijuana legalization last November, and since then, the state legislature has been busily trying to come up with rules and regulations for the legal weed market. Now, they are envisioning something of a rarity: allowing customers to buy their weed at drive-up windows.

September 25, 2017

New Hampshire Just Decriminalized Marijuana Possession

As of noon Saturday, the possession of small amounts of marijuana has been decriminalized in New Hampshire. Now, people in New England who are caught with a joint or two will not be subject to arrest. Two New England states—Maine and Massachusetts—have legalized marijuana, and all the others have now decriminalized it. Decriminalization came when, after years of effort, the legislature passed House Bill 640 in June, and Republican Gov. John Sununu signed it into law the following month.

September 17, 2017
Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump jokes about how difficult he says it is for him to listen to Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton's voice, as he holds a rally with supporters in Fresno, California, U.S. May 27, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst.

While Trump Moves Backward On Drug Sentencing, California Heads In A Different Direction

The Trump Justice Department under prohibitionist Attorney General Jeff Sessions is reviving some of the drug war’s worst sentencing practices—mandatory minimum sentences, charging low-level defendants with the harshest statutes. But that doesn’t mean the states have to follow suit. As has been the case with climate change, environmental protection, trade, and the protection of undocumented residents, California is charting its own progressive path in the face of the reactionaries in Washington.

September 15, 2017
Roger Stone

Roger Stone Yanked As Conference Keynote Speaker After Cannabis Community Erupts

The Cannabis World Congress and Business Exposition had selected the white-haired provocatuer to address the two pot business conferences after Stone came out for pot legalization early this summer. But Stone’s pro-legalization stance wasn’t enough to protect him from charges of racism, misogyny and being too close to Trump, who rode his own racist dog whistles to the White House.

September 9, 2017
Border Wall

The Claim That The Border Wall Will Stop Drug Smuggling Is Just More Trump Bullsh*t

President Trump sure loves his border wall. It was a staple of his campaign rhetoric, and despite Mexico’s firm insistence that there is no way Mexico is ever going to pay for it, Trump’s desire for the wall is unabated. Now, he’s threatening to shut down the government unless he can persuade Congress to make American taxpayers pay for it.

September 4, 2017

Marijuana Becomes A Player In California Politics And It’s Putting Its Money On Gavin Newsom

Marijuana is already a multibillion-dollar-a-year business in California, and with recreational sales to adults coming online next year, it’s about to get even bigger. Now, the legal pot industry is beginning to throw its weight around in state office-level politics, and it’s doing it the old-fashioned way: with a checkbook.

August 20, 2017
Sanctuary cities, Immigration, Trump

In New York City, World’s Marijuana Arrest Capital, Minorities Bear The Brunt

Last month, the Drug Policy Alliance released a report noting that marijuana arrests under New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio continue to be marked by shocking racial disparities, much as they were under his predecessors, Rudy Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg. Stung by the criticism, de Blasio is fighting back…

August 8, 2017
drug

Meet America’s Most Powerful Drug Reformer

Led by Ethan Nadelmann since its formation 17 years ago, the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) has been the most influential drug reform organization in the country, with a hand in advancing the causes not only of medical marijuana and marijuana legalization, but of drug law reform more broadly, in all its manifestations and intersectionality.

July 24, 2017
pardons

Jeff Sessions Wants More Asset Forfeiture—Especially In Drug Cases

Asset forfeiture is a practice in which police seize cash and property. It has come under sustained criticism in recent years, with critics arguing that it amounts to policing for profit, and state legislatures around the country have moved to rein it in. But Attorney General Sessions is headed in the opposite direction.

July 21, 2017
Lennox,_South_Dakota_5

Shocking Conduct In South Dakota’s Drug War

The state of South Dakota is practicing a form of drug war excess tantamount to torture or sexual assault, according to a pair of federal lawsuits filed by the ACLU on June 28. One suit charges that law enforcement and medical personnel subject drug suspects to forcible catheterization if they refuse to submit to a drug test.

July 2, 2017
traffic stop search

Legalizing Marijuana Dramatically Reduces Traffic Stop Searches

With marijuana possession being legal, police in legal states can no longer assume criminal activity merely because of the presence of pot, which would have given them probable cause to conduct a search. And that means fewer interactions between drivers and police, reducing the prospect of dangerous—or even deadly—clashes.

June 27, 2017
drugs

26 Real Policy Steps To Address Opioid Addiction

Drugs, mainly opioids, are killing Americans at a record rate. The number of drug overdose deaths in the country quadrupled between 1999 and 2010—and compared to the numbers we’re seeing now, those were the good old days. Some 30,000 people died of drug overdoses in 2010. According to a new estimate from the New York Times, double that number died last year.

June 14, 2017
A cannabis plant

5 Big Investors Diving Deep Into The Marijuana Industry

This is not your father’s marijuana industry. In a couple of decades we’ve gone from a completely black market in marijuana to a legal market valued at $4 billion a year—and projected to increase rapidly—and from tie-dyed Northern California pot farmers hiding from helicopters to people in suits and ties with dollar signs in their eyes.

June 5, 2017

How Many States Will Legalize Marijuana This Year? It’s Not A Pretty Number

In the euphoric aftermath of marijuana legalization victories in California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada last November, the marijuana blogosphere was alive with predictions about which states would be next to free the weed.

May 31, 2017

Trump’s Pick For ‘Drug Czar’ — A Servant Of Big Pharma And Brutal Punisher Of Drug Addicts

President Trump will name Pennsylvania Congressman Tom Marino (R) to head the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP—the drug czar’s office), CBS News reported Tuesday. Marino’s legacy of legislative achievements around drug policy, however, raise serious questions about whether he is the right choice.

April 12, 2017
Sessions, Department Of Justice

Jeff Sessions Claims Marijuana Only ‘Slightly Less Awful’ Than Heroin

Sessions’ uninformed claim is likely to increase jitters in the country’s nascent legal marijuana industry as it confronts an attorney general whose rhetoric so far has strongly suggested he would like to crack down on legal weed—although he has yet to take any concrete steps to do so.

March 16, 2017
NIH

Trump Goes Full Nixon On The Drug War

In a sharp break with the Obama administration, which distanced itself from harsh anti-drug rhetoric and emphasized treatment for drug users over punishment, President Trump this week reverted to tough drug war oratory and backed it up with a series of executive orders he said were “designed to restore safety in America.”

February 13, 2017
drug war

We’ve Endured A Long, Hot Summer Of Drug War Deaths In America

Levonia Riggins was only the last person to be killed in drug law enforcement operations this summer that left 10 other people dead in separate incidents, including a Tennessee police officer. According to the Drug War Chronicle, which has been tracking such deaths since 2011, the year’s drug war death toll now stands at 33.

September 6, 2016