Aaron Houston

14
Apr

Republicans Medical Marijuana and Needle Exchange

President Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and House Speaker John Boehner worked out an agreement that avoided a federal government shutdown this past week. In order to reach a deal, Obama and Reid bowed to GOP demands to ban the District of Columbia from using any money to fund abortions. But for all of the fierce partisan debate surrounding

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24
Feb

Marijuana: Gateway to the White House

Indiana’s Republican governor, Mitch Daniels, has recently been named a possible contender in the GOP presidential primary. Perhaps realizing that the Oval Office’s three most recent occupants were marijuana users, the governor decided that it couldn’t hurt to expand on his own bust story from May 1970. The Daily Princetonian reported in a recent interview with Daniels that, “Officers found enough marijuana

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16
Feb

Dismantling the Drug War

The U.S. House of Representatives just voted to eliminate $34 million in funding for the National Drug Intelligence Center for fiscal year 2011 (on a 262-169 vote). While this news could seem mundane on its face, it’s a huge development. This demonstrates that conservatives in Congress will finally put their money where their rhetoric has been for a long time. Drug policy

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14
Feb

Guns and the Mexican Drug War

Trying to figure out where the drug trafficking organizations in Mexico obtain their arms is a major task. It is widely accepted that notwithstanding some of the strictest gun purchasing laws in the Western Hemisphere, the country is awash with firepower. Making their presence felt are guns, grenades, and other materiel, many of which have helped to kill about 36,000

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3
Jan

Wikileaks the High Cost of Drug War

Recently, Wikileaks released a secret cable of 28 October 2009 from the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City to a variety of U.S. Government departments in Washington. In the cable, a diplomat depicted and described Mexican Defense Secretary Galvan’s attempt to convince other U.S. diplomats and his Mexican cabinet colleagues to introduce martial law in Mexico, in places where violence over

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29
Dec

2010 SSDP yearly wrap-up

This was an amazing year for Students for Sensible Drug Policy! We helped bring the issue of marijuana legalization into the national spotlight by launching the Just Say Now campaign, a project with our friends at Firedoglake, that provided important tools like a free online phone banking system for activists around the country to call voters in four states with marijuana reforms on

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23
Dec

Marijuana Legalization Reaches House Floor

Believe it or not, two weeks ago marked the first time in history that a member of Congress specifically called for taxing and regulating marijuana like alcohol — from the floor of the House of Representatives! During debate over a terrible pro-drug war resolution that was cynically fast-tracked through the House by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the lone member to rise in opposition

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10
Dec

Children Caught Up in Mexican Violence

Children in a 2010 Juarez family development agency, from Reuters. Unpredictable violence in Mexico continues to jeopardize a peaceful childhood. The fighting between security forces and drug trafficking organizations continues to claim the lives of children and their parents, with the former often labelled “collateral damage.” But as reported last summer Mexican education and public safety officials stated their intention to roll out

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10
Dec

SSDP receives The Nation frontpage

Because of SSDP’s expertise in empowering young people to change harmful drug war policies, I was invited to write a feature piece in The Nation magazine’s December 27, 2010 issue about how students are motivated to work for marijuana ballot measures, here’s an excerpt: “Watching these young activists voraciously consuming information about how to win an election, just days after a historic

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3
Nov

Marijuana Initiatives Fail in Three States

It was bad night for marijuana law reform. Proposition 19, the ballot initiative heard round the world, was defeated by California voters by a larger margin than supporters expected. The initiative still brought in 46% support – nothing to scoff at, and took the legalization issue to the forefront of American politics. It also left half-witted journalists scrambling to see

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4
Sep

Drug Testing for the Scrap Booking Club?

Parents of a student in the Delaware Valley School District have threatened a law suit over the student drug testing policy that requires all students to be tested if they want to participate in sports, extra curricular activities or have campus parking permits. The student in question wanted to be part of the scrap-booking club and her parents asked that she be

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26
Aug

Google Runs Our Ad After Facebook Censored It

SIGN THE PETITION! Google has accepted our Just Say Now marijuana legalization ads.   Just this week, the ads were removed by Facebook, which claimed that the image of a marijuana leaf was in violation of its policy – despite the fact that the ad had at least 38 million impressions on Facebook earlier this month. The ads will begin running

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12
Jan

Legalization in El Paso

By now you are probably aware of the recent resolution, written and passed by the El Paso city council, that included an amendment encouraging that ending drug prohibition be discussed. The resolution was aimed at addressing and drawing attention to the rising violence occurring in the city of Juárez, Mexico which borders El Paso, Texas. After passing unanimously, the resolution was quickly

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29
Oct

How to Make a Drug Warrior Look Foolish

Calvina Fay, executive director of Drug Free America Foundation, recently leaped at the chance to make herself look absolutely foolish by attacking SSDP’s ally Law Enforcement Against Prohibition on an email list of over 300 delegates and officials that attended theUN forum on Illegal Drugs. “These guys in the videos are EX-law enforcement for a reason! Hundreds of thousands of current law enforcement find

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