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Stories by Phillip Smith
Phillip Smith is editor of the AlterNet Drug Reporter and author of the Drug War Chronicle.
Oakland 4/20: "Obama, You're Alienating Your Base"
Posted on: Apr 21, 2012, Source: Drug War Chronicle
Demonstrators in Oakland Friday put the campaign on notice that the administration is losing friends in California with its attacks on medical marijuana.
Colorado Democratic Party Endorses Pot Legalization
Posted on: Apr 16, 2012, Source: Drug War Chronicle
Heads of State Considering Alternatives to the Drug War
Posted on: Apr 12, 2012, Source: Drug War Chronicle
Obama's heading to Colombia for a summit with Latin American leaders--and for the first time, alternatives to drug prohibition are on the agenda.
San Francisco Responds to Oaksterdam Raid With Pro-Pot Protest
Posted on: Apr 7, 2012, Source: Drug War Chronicle
Those federal dollars are better spent on programs that actually help people, and people are concerned about this having a deleterious impact on the state's economy.
Feds Raid Oaksterdam Marijuana University, The Beating Heart of the Oakland Cannabis Revival
Posted on: Apr 2, 2012, Source: Drug War Chronicle
The country's first "cannabis college" is raided and taped off by federal marshalls; the DEA and IRS continue their "ongoing investigation" as marijuana supporters mobilize.
Colombian Congress Debates New Bill That Decriminalizes Cocaine and Marijuana Cultivation
Posted on: Mar 31, 2012, Source: Drug War Chronicle
The United States have spent billions on coca plant busts; if passed, the bill would eliminate the threat of prison for illicit crop production in Colombia.
Amid Obama's War On Pot, DC Kicks Off Medical Marijuana Program
Posted on: Mar 30, 2012, Source: Drug War Chronicle
Medical marijuana is about to become a reality in the shadow of Congress and the White House, but advocates worry patients may be left in the lurch.
NYC, Marijuana Arrest Capital of the World? Activists Rally at Bloomberg's Apartment Over Illegal, Racist Pot Arrests
Posted on: Mar 30, 2012, Source: Drug War Chronicle
11-Year-Old Girl Sues School District for Mandatory Drug Test on Athletes and Extracurricular Clubs
Posted on: Mar 27, 2012, Source: Drug War Chronicle
Fighting Stigma: UN's Anti-Drug Commission Votes to Promote Overdose Prevention
Posted on: Mar 25, 2012, Source: Drug War Chronicle
Delegates to the UN Commission on Narcotics Drugs unanimously approved a resolution promoting measures to prevent drug overdose death.
At Historic Drug Policy Summit, Guatemalan President Calls for Regional Legalization
Posted on: Mar 23, 2012, Source: Drug War Chronicle
In Antigua, Guatemala, Guatemalan President Perez Molina suggested overhauling Central America's drug policy, but no consensus was reached.
'From War and Enemies to Justice and Humanity': Candidate for Mexico's Presidency Says He Would End Drug War
Posted on: Mar 22, 2012, Source: Drug War Chronicle
Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said his government would end the War on Drugs, and instead concentrate on creating jobs and fighting corruption.
Game Change: Colombia Will Decriminalize Drugs
Posted on: Mar 14, 2012, Source: Drug War Chronicle
The move comes amid growing pressure in the region to discuss legalization and its alternatives, and weeks before Santos will discuss legalization at the Summit of the Americas.
4 Marijuana Legalization Initiatives Race Against the Clock in Oregon
Posted on: Mar 7, 2012, Source: Drug War Chronicle
Only two of the four seem to have any chance of success this year, but if one or both makes the ballot, the Pacific Northwest could soon be a hot spot for marijuana law reform.
How Can a Man Who Won an Appeal, And a Major Supreme Court Case, Still be Locked Up for Life?
Posted on: Mar 6, 2012, Source: Drug War Chronicle
Antoine Jones won in court but the feds are making him sit in jail until they can try him once again.
Kentucky and Oklahoma Reject "Anti-Meth" Bills Banning Over-the-Counter Cold Medicine
Posted on: Feb 24, 2012, Source: Drug War Chronicle
This week, prescription-only bills were killed in Oklahoma and withdrawn in Kentucky, and unhappy police and prosecutors are blaming the over-the-counter industry.
Outrage: Congress Gives States the Go-Ahead to Drug Test for Unemployment Benefits (and Stick Taxpayers With the Bill)
Posted on: Feb 19, 2012, Source: Drug War Chronicle
As part of a deal to extend the payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits through 2012, Congress will allow states to drug test people applying for those benefits.
What's in Obama's New Drug War Budget? (Hint: Same, Old Broken Policies)
Posted on: Feb 17, 2012, Source: Drug War Chronicle
The proposed budget is remarkable for how closely it hews to previous years, especially in regard to the allocation of resources for treatment and law enforcement.
13 States Working Towards Smart, Sane Marijuana Laws
Posted on: Feb 14, 2012, Source: Drug War Chronicle
State legislatures have convened or are convening all around the country, and once again this year, marijuana decriminalization or legalization are hot topics at the statehouse.
Washington State Voters Now Have the Power to Legalize Marijuana -- But Will They?
Posted on: Feb 13, 2012, Source: Drug War Chronicle
If the bill passes, Washington will be the first state to legalize the possession and commerce of marijuana, sending the state on a collision course with the federal government.
Colorado 'Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol' Campaign Was Short on Signatures, But...
Posted on: Feb 6, 2012, Source: Drug War Chronicle
The campaign was found to have an unusually high number of invalid signatures, and now has 15 days to collect enough valid signatures to cover the shortfall.
Amend the State Constitution, Legalize Pot? How Advocates in Montana are Sticking it to the Feds and Local Republicans
Posted on: Feb 3, 2012, Source: Drug War Chronicle
Provoked by federal raids and Republican attempts to eradicate medical pot, activists are rolling out a campaign for a constitutional amendment to legalize pot in Big Sky County.
Important New Research Shows It's Retaliation -- Not Drugs -- Driving Gang-Related Violence
Posted on: Feb 2, 2012, Source: Drug War Chronicle
The popular image of street gang violence in the US as being "drug-related" is largely mistaken, a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a new report.
Can a Strong Coalition of Pot Activists Define Medical Marijuana Regulation -- And Avoid the Feds?
Posted on: Jan 27, 2012, Source: Drug War Chronicle
A coalition of advocates has filed a statewide medical marijuana regulation initiative aimed at ending the years-long confusion over what is and what is not allowed.
Facing Influx of Cartels, New Guatemalan President Dumps His 'Iron Fist' Drug Strategy Position to Advocate for Reform Instead
Posted on: Jan 20, 2012, Source: Drug War Chronicle
Newly installed Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina has called for talks about a regional drug strategy, including drug decriminalization.
Will 2012 be the Year of State-Required Drug Tests for Public Benefits?
Posted on: Jan 18, 2012, Source: Drug War Chronicle
Statehouse politicians across the country are already racing to see who can be next to introduce a bill that would require drug testing of people receiving public benefits.
Reefer-Mad Feds Step Up Medical Pot Crusade and Threaten Colorado Distributors
Posted on: Jan 13, 2012, Source: Drug War Chronicle
Colorado US Attorney sent letters to 23 medical marijuana dispensaries and their landlords across Colorado warning them to shut down in 45 days, or lose their property.
Florida Will Pay $2.6 Million for Wrongful Death of 23-Year-Old Informant Murdered During a Sting
Posted on: Jan 9, 2012, Source: Drug War Chronicle
After Rachel Hoffman was busted and agreed to become a snitch in 2008, Tallahassee police sent her out into a dangerous new world, until a "buy-bust" sting took her life.
Colorado Works to Legalize Pot, Hands Over Twice the Signatures Needed for Ballot Approval
Posted on: Jan 4, 2012, Source: Stop The Drug War
Legal Pot? Washington Initiative for Marijuana Legalization is Likely to Qualify for November Ballot
Posted on: Jan 3, 2012, Source: Drug War Chronicle
With some 350,000 signatures handed in -- enough to account for duplicate and invalid signatures -- the campaign to legalize and regulate pot should make the ballot.
488 Drug Offenders Executed in 2011: Amnesty International Intervenes in Iran's Quest to Kill Addicts
Posted on: Dec 19, 2011, Source: Drug War Chronicle
Amnesty International has called on Iran to stop executing people for drug offenses, saying the Islamic Republic has embarked on "a killing spree of staggering proportions."
Are We Moving Towards Reform? For the First Time in 40 Years, U.S. Prison Population Declines
Posted on: Dec 19, 2011, Source: Drug War Chronicle
America's experiment with mass incarceration may have peaked, exhausted by its huge costs, but change is coming very slowly.
What's Going on in the War on Weed? Updates from the Front Lines of Medical Marijuana Legalization
Posted on: Dec 15, 2011, Source: Drug War Chronicle
The feds are still cracking down, but the states are fighting back.
Why is the DEA Laundering Drug Money for Mexican Cartels?
Posted on: Dec 5, 2011, Source: Drug War Chronicle
The DEA has moved hundreds of thousands of dollars in drug money across boarders, but high-risk anti-trafficking operations may not be as efficient as they aim to be.
U.S. Governors Fight Back, Call on DEA to Pull Marijuana Out of Ridiculous Schedule I Category
Posted on: Nov 30, 2011, Source: Drug War Chronicle
Gov. Lincoln Chafee and Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire Wednesday called on the federal government to reschedule marijuana as a drug with accepted medical use.
Newt Gingrich on the Drug War: Execute Mexican Cartel Leaders (And More Terribly Draconian Ideas)
Posted on: Nov 28, 2011, Source: Drug War Chronicle
Gingrich's position on the drug war is so extreme he wants to emulate Singapore, where corporal punishment for minor offenses and the death penalty for drugs are policy.
Obama Pardons Handful of Drug Prisoners
Posted on: Nov 22, 2011, Source: Drug War Chronicle
Obama granted pardons to five people, three with marijuana-related convictions, and commuted the sentence of a woman doing more than 20 years on a crack charge.
Raiding Seattle: The Justice Department's Latest Offensive Against Medical Marijuana
Posted on: Nov 16, 2011, Source: Drug War Chronicle
In an orchestrated strike Tuesday, DEA agents raided at least 14 medical marijuana dispensaries in the Seattle area.
A Step Backwards: CA Court Rules Cities Can Ban Marijuana Dispensaries
Posted on: Nov 14, 2011, Source: Drug War Chronicle
In the days since the ruling was announced, a number of localities have already either moved to enact bans or halted plans to regulate dispensaries.
Highlights and Insight From Leaders of the Anti-Drug-War Movement
Posted on: Nov 11, 2011, Source: Drug War Chronicle
Experts discuss the status of medical marijuana; a Republican presidential candidate vows to free pot prisoners; and cops speak out against prohibition.
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