25
Aug

Argentina Decriminalizes Marijuana

I didn’t realize it when I left for the first Latin American Conference on Drug Policy in Argentina a few weeks ago (scroll down a couple of posts for more), but the country was on its way to setting a historical precedent in creation of sensible drug policy. While it may not be Portugal or Mexico, the new law is undoubtedly the first step in

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21
Aug

Mexico Decriminalizes Drugs

That’s right: MEXICO CITY — Mexico enacted a controversial law Thursday decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana, cocaine, heroin and other drugs while encouraging free government treatment for drug dependency. The law sets out maximum “personal use” amounts for drugs, also including LSD and methamphetamine. People detained with those quantities will no longer face criminal prosecution when the law

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21
Aug

Trey No Longer Down With Disease

Aside from setlist highlights, crunchy lot stories, and the occasional bitch & moan about hearing DWD at Shoreline and The Gorge, there’s one thing that phish fans keep bringing up: Trey is sober. And they can hear it. After being arrested on DWI and drug possession charges back in 2006 in New York, Anastasio was sent to drug court. Drug courts are a cost effective

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20
Aug

Marijuana Book Bomb Today!

Today is the Marijuana Book Bomb for the new book “Marijuana is SAFER: So Why are we Driving People to Drink?” by Steve Fox, Paul Armentano, and Mason Tvert. The bomb aims to drive the book up the Amazon charts by having lots of people order the book today. So what are you waiting for?

20
Aug

The Drug War Makes Us Stupid

A few days ago, SSDP’s ED Micah Daigle received this email: Dear Micah, I think personally it is absolutely disgusting that you would have a story on Rachel Hoffman that comes to her defense. She was everything that was wrong with this situation. She was helping the war on drugs. I don’t care how the police twisted her mind and

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20
Aug

The Drug War is Over!

In today’s Washington Post: Law enforcement officials announced criminal drug-trafficking charges Thursday against 43 people in the United States and Mexico, including suspected leaders of prominent cartels in a country that has been plagued with gun violence. […] The indictments “demonstrate our unwavering commitment to root out the leaders of these criminal enterprises wherever they may be found,” said U.S. Attorney

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20
Aug

Obama: Better than Bush on drug policy, but by how much?

SSDP alum and current law professor, Alex Kreit, has a great piece on the American Constitution Society’s blog, entitled “Assessing the Administration’s Evolving Drug Control Policy.”. Here’s a taste:       …for all the administration’s faults, when one looks at the overall picture, I honestly don’t think it would be hyperbolic to say that when it comes to federal drug

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19
Aug

SSDP Remembers Rep. Thomas C. Slater

In 2006, Rhode Island became the 11th state to legalize medical marijuana, largely in part to Rhode Island Representative Tom C. Slater who sponsored the RI Medical Marijuana Act and worked closely with RIPAC. Sadly, Rep. Slater passed away last week after fighting a six year battle with cancer. I had the chance to meet Representative Slater and thank him for his hard

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19
Aug

3 Months in Jail… for TicTacs

I don’t actually know the brand of the mints but who cares? Back in May of 2005, Donald May was driving home from work in Kissimmee, FL when he was pulled over for expired tags. What happened next is just plain outrageous: When officers pulled Donald May over for an expired tag, they thought themints he was chewing were crack and

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13
Aug

Once You Pop, You Just Can't Stop… Those Damn Drug Cartels!

Need more proof that the drug war isn’t working? Watch the above video of 20 Mexican drug cartel members dressed as police freeing 53 inmates from a Mexico jail. The cartel members arrived in 10 vehicles and a helicopter. Yes, they have fucking helicopters. And submarines. How many of the drug dealers and users that we put behind bars in the

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11
Aug

HEA Reform is Close

The HEA Aid Elimination Penalty, introduced by Rep. Mark Souder (R-IN), has been a thorn in the side of educators, students, and social justice activists across the country since its creation in 1998. This year, we may see significant reform to this unfair law. A bill has been introduced byRep. George Miller (D-CA), that if passed, would remove the penalty for students with drug

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11
Aug

Woman Dies After Being Denied Organ Transplant

A Hawaii woman diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver, chronic hepatitis – infection, and end-stage kidney disease died after being denied a liver transplant by her insurance company, Hawaii Medical Service Association, because trace amounts of cannabis were found in her body. Reyes was twice denied a transplant by HMSA for “technical reasons,” such as missing required Alcoholics Anonymous meetings — because

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3
Aug

Judiciary Committee Supports Ending Crack/Powder Disparity

Just days ago, the U.S. House Judiciary Committee voted 16-9 in favor of a bill that would eliminate the 100-to-1 sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine offenses. The disparity in mandatory sentences has resulted in a disproportionate number of African-Americans being sentenced to lengthy prison stays for crack offenses, despite most cocaine users being white, without the drug’s availability being significantly reduced. Under current law,

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29
Jul

Straight From the Whitehouse: Marijuana is Dangerous

First, Seattle Hempfest congratulates him for his new title and commends him for being one of “Seattle’s finest”. Then, he calls for an end to the “war on drugs”. And for a couple of months, he manages to remain completely silent about drugs, using the excuse that he’s still finding his way around the office. But finally, last week, Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske shocks

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6
Jun

Strip Searching Students is Not Ok. Duh!

I’m not sure what the school administrators were thinking when they decided it was necessary to strip search 13 year old Savannah Redding because they suspected she was hiding ibuprofen in her underwear. Not only did the humiliating and unconstitutional search not find any of that oh-so dangerous ibuprofen, but those who carried out the search contended that they had done nothing

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6
Feb

Help Phelps! Boycott Kellogg's!

I’ll admit it, I’m not a huge sports fan. Its quite rare for me to get excited over a football or basketball game (although baseball is the exception) and I generally prefer the Winter Olympic games to the summer – come on – you know you love watching curling. Despite my lack of enthusiasm for watching sports, I could not help

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26
Jan

Fired Cop Wins Suit

Check this out! This is LEAP’s press release (verbatim) regarding this awesome victory for free speech! SEATTLE, WA — A Mountlake Terrace police sergeant who was fired after publicly criticizing the “war on drugs” has reached an $812,500 settlement in a lawsuit he filed against the city and police department, among others. Under the settlement, Sergeant Jonathan Wender has been

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23
Jan

SSDP in El Paso

While my last post made light of the situation in El Paso, this event proved to be an important day for drug policy. Even though mayor Cook’s veto was not overridden by the city council, councilman O’Rourke’s goal to stimulate dialogue about ending prohibition was achieved. Over 40 people testified their support or disagreement with the veto’s override. It seemed

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13
Jan

Your Revolution is Over!

Somehow, El Paso Mayor John Cook’s recent comments stereotyping those who support the resolution he vetoed last week, remind me of the Big Lebowski scene where Mr. Lebowski and The Dude argue about jobs, why he is “the Dude”, and the 60’s hippie revolution; filled with pot smoking – free loving, bums. “I can tell you that all the potheads have sent

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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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6
Jan

Is it Over Yet?

The DEA has continued to raid medical marijuana dispensaries in California since President Obama took office. We know Obama has stated the he does not support using justice department resources to undermine state law on this issue. Yet the DEA continues to waste these resources on law abiding, tax paying dispensaries. There is light at the end of the tunnel.

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10
Dec

Ask the Drug Czar a Question!

True. Drug Czar John Walters will be replaced shortly. But lets not make these last two months any easier for him. Take just a few minutes to ask him a question or two about U.S. drug policy with this nifty form on the White House website. Some topics to ask him about: Crack/Powder Cocaine Sentencing Disparity HEA Aid Elimination Penalty Prohibition Related Violence in

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7
Dec

Sign the Obama Drug Policy Petition

Ideas are fantastic. So why not have an idea machine? SSDP has one and his name is Micah Daigle. His latest idea is a facebook petition that has generated nearly 17,000 signatures. What’s this petition all about you ask? Well, its calling on President Elect Obama to reform U.S. drug policy. We petition that… When you called the War on Drugs an

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19
Nov

Why Smoke One Blunt?

I’m in DC right now, gearing up for SSDP’s 10th Annual International Conference, which I’m sure you already know all about. I’m actually burning the midnight oil with SSDP’s eastern region outreach director Amber Langston. We can see Prince George’s County from her house, a place where the county council just voted to do something very unlikely to achieve the goals the council

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4
Nov

Vote today!!!

I don’t care who you vote for. I really don’t. Obama, McCain, Nader, Moore, whatever. Still holding out hope for Ron Paul? Fine, just vote. Please make sure your voices are heard on this day. It will be exciting to watch the results come in, but it will be even more exciting to watch the drug policy reform movement, as

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