Apr 292016
 April 29, 2016
Human Rights Tribunal: Victoria Officer Has The Right To Express Beliefs Against The Failed War On Drugs

I am a big believer in freedom of expression. In America it’s often referred to as a First Amendment right, but even outside of America, people should obviously be allowed to express themselves too. There was a big case involving freedom of expression and an officer in Victoria (BC) who was speaking out against the failed drug war as a member of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP). I’m happy to say that a human rights tribunal ruled in favor of the officer (and in favor of free expression!). Below is more information, via a message that I received from LEAP:

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Apr 212016
 April 21, 2016
Blumenauer On UN Special Session On Drug Policy: We Need A More Just And Compassionate Approach

This week, Representative Earl Blumenauer (OR-03) joined leaders from around the world in New York at the 2016 United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on the World Drug Problem. Representative Blumenauer, who attended the opening day’s events as a Congressional observer, released the following statement on the Session. “There is no better time than now for world leaders to gather to reevaluate international drug policy. The War on Drugs has failed. Instead of escalating the horrific violence of this war, we need a more just and compassionate approach that focuses on public health and harm reduction, rather than punishing

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Apr 192016
 April 19, 2016
United Nations Orders Security To Confiscate Copies Of Open Letter Calling For End To Global Drug War

On the opening day of the 2016 United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on the World Drug Problem, the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) gathered more than 60 performers dressed in costumes from the era of U.S. alcohol prohibition to greet attendees at the entrance to the United Nations and hand them copies of the “Post-Prohibition Times,” a newspaper printout of a letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urging him to set the stage “for real reform of global drug control policy.” UN Security was apparently ordered to confiscate the letter, and attendees were ordered to hand over their copies

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Apr 182016
 April 18, 2016
Today: Students Rally Outside United Nations Drug War Meeting

About 200 students and youth allies will demonstrate outside of a high-level United Nations meeting on the global war on drugs in New York tonight. They are distressed that youth and other anti-prohibition voices have been ignored by world leaders, many of whom seem set on continuing the same criminalization-based approaches that have failed for decades. The activists will stage performance art pieces, including slam poetry readings. Visual art depicting the harms of drug prohibition, from as far away as Afghanistan and Eastern Europe, will be displayed, and students will give short soapbox speeches to make their voices heard. The

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Apr 172016
 April 17, 2016
Students To Rally Outside United Nations Meeting On Global Drug War

About 200 students and youth allies will demonstrate outside of a high-level United Nations meeting on the global war on drugs in New York this Monday. They are distressed that youth and other anti-prohibition voices have been ignored by world leaders, many of whom seem set on continuing the same criminalization-based approaches that have failed for decades. The activists will stage performance art pieces, including slam poetry readings. Visual art depicting the harms of drug prohibition, from as far away as Afghanistan and Eastern Europe, will be displayed, and students will give short soapbox speeches to make their voices heard.

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Apr 162016
 April 16, 2016
Beyond UNGASS: Looking Toward 2019

By Phillip Smith The United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on Drugs is set for UN Headquarters in Manhattan next week, and civil society and some European and Latin American countries are hoping to make limited progress in moving toward more evidence- and public health-based drug policies. But, knowing the glacial pace of change at the UN and well aware of how little of substance is likely to emerge from the UNGASS, some eyes are already turning to the post-UNGASS international arena. Hopes for more forward movement at the UNGASS, always tentative and facing opposition from global drug war

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Apr 142016
 April 14, 2016
Over 1,000 Leaders Worldwide Call For End To Drug War Ahead Of UN Special Session

On the eve of the 2016 United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on the World Drug Problem, world leaders and activists have signed a letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urging him to set the stage “for real reform of global drug control policy.” The unprecedented list of signatories includes a range of people from Senators Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker and Bernie Sanders to businessmen Warren Buffett, George Soros, Richard Branson, Barry Diller, actors Michael Douglas and Woody Harrelson, Super Bowl champion Tom Brady, singers John Legend and Mary J. Blige, activists Reverend Jesse Jackson, Gloria Steinem and

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Apr 082016
 April 8, 2016
Hemp Makes Landmark Strides In White Plume Case, Market Growth And Environmental Sustainability

The Hemp Industries Association (HIA) and Vote Hemp have announced the dates for the 7th annual Hemp History Week, to be held June 6-12, 2016. This year promises to be an historic time in the movement to legalize hemp farming, as more farmers than ever before are planting hemp in states that have lifted prohibition on the crop. Over half of all U.S. states have lifted the ban on industrial hemp farming at the state level, however federal law still prohibits commercial industrial hemp cultivation due to outdated and inaccurate drug policy. Hemp in Current Events On March 28, 2016,

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Mar 302016
 March 30, 2016
Federal Judge Finally Lifts Injunction Against Native American Hemp Farmer

If you are not familiar with the story of Alex White Plume and the Oglala Sioux Tribe’s thwarted efforts to cultivate hemp in the 2000’s, you should be. The Oglala Sioux Tribe is a sovereign nation according to the United States government, at least on paper. I say at least on paper, because in reality the nation has not been treated as such over the years. The Oglala Sioux Tribe, led by Alex White Plume, tried to cultivate hemp in the early 2000’s because the tribe felt it was a viable crop that would help the tribe make money and provide much needed

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Mar 182016
 March 18, 2016
Blumenauer, Conyers, Other Members Call On Obama To Highlight Importance Of Public Health-Centered Approach To International Drug Policy

Yesterday, Representatives Earl Blumenauer (OR-03) and John Conyers (MI-13) led 12 other members of the U.S. House of Representatives in sending a letter to President Obama urging the Administration to highlight the importance of a less punitive and more public health-centered approach to international drug policy at the upcoming United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on the World Drug Problem in April. From states taking action to end the failed prohibition of marijuana to lifting the ban on federal funding for syringe access programs proven to reduce HIV infection rates, the United States has made significant advancements moving away

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