Obama Frees Dozens Of Nonviolent Federal Inmates

The 46 inmates who had their sentences reduced represent a small fraction of the tens of thousands of inmates who have applied.

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: President Barack Obama announced Monday that he has granted dozens of federal inmates their freedom, as part of an effort to counteract draconian penalties handed out to nonviolent drug offenders in the past. The 46 inmates who had their sentences reduced represent a small fraction of the tens of thousands of inmates who Read the full article…

Marijuana Activists Cheer Michele Leonhart’s Exit From The DEA

Advocates hope that outgoing chief Michele Leonhart will be replaced by someone who is more open to legalizing marijuana.

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA:  Drug Enforcement Agency chair Michele Leonhart was done in by her agents’ unsanctioned, cartel-funded sex parties in Colombia, but it’s marijuana legalization advocates who are excited to see her go. “Hopefully this is a sign that the Reefer Madness era is coming to an end at the DEA,” said Mason Tvert, the Read the full article…

Obama Commutes Sentences For 22 Drug Offenders, Including Eight Serving Life

Calling their sentences the product of an "outdated" system, the White House acknowledged that defendants convicted of the same crimes under current law would likely face far lighter punishment.

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: President Obama commuted sentences on Tuesday for 22 drug offenders, including eight serving life sentences, doubling the total number of commutations issued during his time in office. Calling their sentences the product of an “outdated” system, the White House acknowledged that defendants convicted of the same crimes under current law would likely face far lighter Read the full article…

Is Obama Finally Ready To Dial Back The War On Drugs?

As Obama embarks on the third year of his second term, it looks like the optimists were partially right, although much hinges on what he does during the next two years.

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA:  In a 2011 Reason cover story, I explained why drug policy reformers had been bitterly disappointed by President Obama’s performance during his first few years in office. With the notable exception of his support for shorter crack sentences, which Congress approved almost unanimously in 2010, Obama had done very little to de-escalate the war Read the full article…

Bill Maher Asks Kal Penn To Nudge Obama About Pot

During the interview Maher notes how ironic it is that Penn, who played the stoner character Kumar in the three Harold & Kumar movies, doesn't smoke pot. This is not quite true. Penn asked this writer for several joints at the High Times Stony Awards in 2005, during which Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle was named Stoner Movie of the Year.

During an interview on Real Time, Bill Maher appealed to Kal Penn, known best to stoners as Kumar but who’s actually worked in the White House, to talk to Pres. Obama about marijuana. Maher: When you see Obama, as half of the Cheech & Chong of your generation, ask him why he’s so bad on Read the full article…

Expert: Marijuana Is ‘Gateway Drug To The White House’

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA:  The dangers of marijuana use are overstated, and the last three presidential elections prove it, an expert told a congressional panel on Friday. “When we talk about marijuana as a gateway drug, we have to remember that the last three occupants of the White House have smoked marijuana,” said Carl Hart, an Read the full article…

Obama Plans Clemency For “Hundreds, Perhaps Thousands” Of People Sentenced For Drug Law Violations

New marijuana regulations that passed the State Senate last week would retroactively clear the records of people who have been convicted of criminal offenses of “possession, delivery or manufacture” of marijuana.

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA:  Scrawled on the inside of Barbara Scrivner’s left arm is a primitive prison tattoo that says “Time Flies.” If only that were the case. For Scrivner, time has crawled, it’s dawdled, and on bad days, it’s felt like it’s stood completely still. She was 27 years old when she started serving a Read the full article…

Banks Get A Primer On Pot Money

A team of nine “fact finders” are in Colorado to study the effects of marijuana legalization in that state.

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA:  The Obama administration, taking the first regulatory step to accommodate the country’s growing state-approved marijuana businesses, issued guidelines Friday designed to bring dispensaries into the banking system and end their risky reliance on stashing large amounts of cash. The step was a cautious one, reflecting conflicting pressures on the administration. On one Read the full article…

Advocates On Each Side Of Pot Debate Pressure Obama To Take Stand

California lawmakers have reached a historic compromise on regulating the world’s largest medical pot economy.

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: With more than half of all federal prisoners serving time on drug charges, the Obama administration says it’s time to free more low-level drug offenders. “This is where you can help,” Deputy Attorney General James Cole told the New York State Bar Association last week, urging lawyers to assist prisoners in creating “well-prepared Read the full article…

Advocates On Each Side Of Pot Debate Pressure Obama To Take Stand

Pima County Superior Court judge has ruled that Arizona medical marijuana law is so vague, patients can sell to other patients.

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: With more than half of all federal prisoners serving time on drug charges, the Obama administration says it’s time to free more low-level drug offenders. “This is where you can help,” Deputy Attorney General James Cole told the New York State Bar Association last week, urging lawyers to assist prisoners in creating “well-prepared Read the full article…