Apr 152015
 April 15, 2015
How Many Scandals Will It Take To Fire DEA Chief Michele Leonhart?

Yesterday DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart had to testify before members of Congress in regards to a series of illegal sex parties that DEA agents participated in. The sex parties took place in Columbia, and involved prostitutes that were paid for by cartels. According to Representative Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), Michele Leonhart ‘looked the other way’ and instead of punishing the parties involved, gave them ‘essentially a vacation.’ Per The Hill: Both Republicans and Democrats took shots at Leonhart, with some calling for “new leadership” at the DEA. She’ll be back on Capitol Hill Wednesday testifying before what promises to be an

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Mar 312015
 March 31, 2015
Marijuana Legalization Effort Gears Up In Italy

By Phillip Smith An effort to legalize marijuana is getting underway in the Italian parliament, with some 60 lawmakers having signed onto a motion to do just that by the time it was rolled-out three weeks ago. Now, the “all party” group is getting to work on the twin tasks of drafting an actual legalization bill and getting it enacted into law. The effort is being led by Sen. Benedetto Della Vedova, who is also Italy’s undersecretary of state for foreign affairs. Della Vedova was a long-time member of the country’s Nonviolent Radical Party, but was elected to parliament as

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Mar 272015
 March 27, 2015
DEA Agents Had Cartel 'Sex Parties' With Prostitutes While Working In Colombia

Marijuana activists have been saying for decades that the DEA needs to be de-funded. The agency has caused so much misery and ruined so many lives in the name of the drug war. The money that goes to fund their failed war on drugs could be going to schools, roads, or just about anything else. A story broke yesterday which highlighted just how out of control DEA agents can be. Per Politico: Agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration reportedly had “sex parties” with prostitutes hired by drug cartels in Colombia, according to a new inspector general report released by the

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Mar 262015
 March 26, 2015
Crucial New Drug Policy Reform Campaign Needs Your Help

By David Borden Dear reformer: We have launched an important and unique new campaign, and I am writing to ask your help — financial with a donation, activist through the involvement of your own organization, or both. The campaign is a US-based coalition taking on international drug policy in the US and at the UN. It is the first coalition of its type in drug policy reform. We released our first statement — a broad and groundbreaking one — at the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs Meeting in Vienna last week. The statement was distributed to the 200 national delegations

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Mar 142015
 March 14, 2015
Western-Imposed Drug Prohibition Policies Hurt Poor Countries

By Phillip Smith Wealthy Western countries are undermining good governance and social and economic development in poor, drug-producing countries by pressuring them to enforce prohibitionist policies that exploit peasant farmers and waste millions of dollars a year on failed crop eradication and drug interdiction programs. That’s the conclusion of a recent report by the British advocacy group Health Poverty Action (HPA). In the report, Casualties of War: How the War on Drugs is Harming the World’s Poorest, HPA shows how the West exports much of the harms of drug prohibition—violence, corruption, environmental damage—onto some of the world’s poorest societies and weakest

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Mar 092015
 March 9, 2015
Groups From Thirteen Countries Form 'International Medical Cannabis Patient Coalition'

Medical cannabis (marijuana) patients from thirteen countries, including those represented by U.S. advocacy group Americans for Safe Access (ASA), established the International Medical Cannabis Patient Coalition (IMCPC) this past week while at the “Medical Cannabis and Cannabinoids: Policy, Research and Medical Practice” conference in Prague from March 4-7th. IMCPC member countries include Bulgaria, Canada, Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Poland, Slovenia, Spain, United Kingdom, and United States. The first action of the IMCPC was to ratify a declaration urging the 2016 UN General Assembly Special Session on Drugs to either: reclassify cannabis for medical use, convene a UN Special

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Feb 262015
 February 26, 2015
Jamaica Decriminalizes Small Amounts Of Marijuana

Marijuana is very much a part of Jamaican culture. I have never traveled to Jamaica, but many of of my friends and family have. All of them have consumed marijuana on their trip, and stated that it was readily available, cheap, and of high quality. But marijuana has been illegal for a long time in Jamaica, despite the fact that it is used for religious purposes, recreational purposes, and medical purposes all over the island nation. This week Jamaica decriminalized marijuana. Per The Guardian: Jamaican lawmakers have passed an act to decriminalise small amounts of marijuana and establish a licensing

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Jan 152015
 January 15, 2015
Rick Steves Criticizes U.S. International Marijuana Policy

I certainly haven’t hid my love for Rick Steves as he helped legalize marijuana in Oregon, on his own dime, by traveling the state and sharing his perspective on cannabis. Steves has quickly become one of our greatest weapons in our fight to legalize marijuana as he is someone with a global perspective and he is respected by older, more conservative people, who are usually less likely to support legalization. In the lead-up to Rick Steves speaking at the International Cannabis Business Conference in San Francisco on February 15th, Sfgate.com’s Smell the Truth blog has been publishing an extensive interview

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Jan 042015
 January 4, 2015
What Happens After Marijuana Legalization?

My last article written was about staying away from believing marijuana legalization is inevitable, as that kind of thinking will only stall legalization efforts. However, I do not think it is crazy to think that marijuana legalization is highly probable and may be approaching quickly. So with that in mind, what will you be doing? What will be your next crusade? Or will you just be done with activism altogether? Even though for marketing reasons marijuana reformers have taken the point of “marijuana is safer than alcohol,” I still think the heart and soul of marijuana reform is “it is

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Dec 242014
 December 24, 2014
Attend The 7th Annual Canadian Students For Sensible Drug Policy National Conference

I have always been a big fan of Students For Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP). Chapters in Canada are going to be holding their national conference in a couple of months. I strongly urge you to attend if you are able. Below is more information: Canadian Students For Sensible Drug Policy (CSSDP) will be hosting its 7th Annual National Conference, “A Rising Revolution: Drug Policy Reform Around the Globe,” from Friday, February 27 to Sunday, March 1, 2015 in Toronto, Canada. The CSSDP Annual National Conference is the only national drug policy conference in Canada. In conjunction with the Toronto CSSDP

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