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The California Assembly Committee on Public Safety will soon hear testimony on AB 2500, a bill authored by Assembly Jim Frazier (D-Fairfield). The bill will make it a crime to drive with any detectable amount of cannabis in your blood – even if you are not driving while impaired. Regular medical cannabis users will always test positive for cannabis use, because cannabis is detectable in the blood for days after it is used. This bill could turn every legal patient who drives in California into a criminal!
The California Assembly Committee on Public Safety will hear testimony on AB 1588, a bill authored by Assembly Member Connie Conway (R- Visalia), on Tuesday, March 11. Americans for Safe Access (ASA) would like to ask members and allies to speak up in opposition to this bill at or before Tuesday’s hearing. Please take a minute to call or email the Assembly Members listed below and ask them to oppose AB 1588. There is not much time to stop the bill in the committee, so do it today!
US Representative Earl Blumenhauer (D-OR) is sending a letter to President Obama asking him to follow his recent comments on cannabis and its classification under federal law with action. Call your US Representative today and ask him or her to support this effort by signing Representative Blumenhauer’s letter.
A patient in California can be denied a life-saving organ transplant solely based on the fact that he or she uses medical cannabis! Legal patients have died after being removed from the organ transplant list, and others are in jeopardy right now. Americans for Safe Access, the nation's leading medical cannabis patients' advocacy organization, proposes legislation to prevent anyone from being denied a transplant because of medical cannabis. Sign this petition to let lawmakers know you support the Medical Marijuana Organ Transplant Act to provide equal access to health care for legal patients.
On August 29, 2013, Attorney General Eric Holder and the DOJ announced a shift in policy regarding federal enforcement of state-sponsored marijuana programs. A memo was also issued by Deputy AG James Cole to US Attorneys that explained the new "trust but verify" approach as well as instituting new guidelines for prosecution.
This is great news for our community, but it is a shift in policy not a change in law which means cannabis is still illegal at the federal level in the US. Help us turn this shift in policy into actual law by reaching out to your Congressperson to support legislation like HR 689.
As of now, the federal government will permit states to regulate their own cannabis programs without interference so long as state law complies with the new DOJ guidelines. However, these guidelines are just recommendations to be taken into consideration by federal prosecutors and can be deviated from. To help answer questions about what this policy shift means and how the medical cannabis community should move forward, ASA has published our analysis as a report.
The report, "Third Time the Charm? State Laws on Medical Cannabis Distribution and Department of Justice Guidance on Enforcement," shows that states have already enacted regulations that meet federal concerns, and some would have stronger regulations if it were not for federal threats that disrupted the legislative process. The report concludes with recommendations for how federal and state legislators can protect patients and harmonize state and federal policies.
San Diego District Attorney and anti-medical cannabis crusader Bonnie Dumanis wants to put a patient-provider on trial for the third time. Americans for Safe Access (ASA) needs your help to stop this unnecessary prosecution and to keep fighting for patients’ rights statewide.
San Diego medical patient-provider and navy veteran Jovan Jackson was acquitted of all medical cannabis charges in his first trial in 2009, but District Attorney Dumanis opted to try him again later that year. His conviction in the second trial was overturned by a successful appeal filed by ASA. That appeal, People v. Jackson, now guarantees medical cannabis providers statewide a medical defense in court, something denied to Mr. Jackson in his second trial.
Our victory in People v. Jackson should have been the end of the story, but District Attorney Dumanis has decided to prosecute Mr. Jackson for a third time. This latest trial is unnecessary and harmful. ASA is asking medical cannabis supporters statewide to sign a petition asking District Attorney Dumanis and Superior Court Judge Louis R. Hanoian to stop the trial in the interest of justice and leave Jovan Jackson alone.
Support the The Jacki Rickert Medical Marijuana Act (AB 480/SB 363)
What the bill does:
The Jacki Rickert Medical Cannabis Act would create a comprehensive medical cannabis access system for Wisconsin patients. The bill would allow physicians in a bona fide relationship with a patient to recommend medical cannabis for certain conditions or treatment of certain symptoms. Patients, caregivers, providers, and physicians are protected from arrest and prosecution for conduct allowed by the law. It authorizes the Department of Health Services (DHS) to issue regulations on the creation of compassion centers where regulations. Compassion centers may not operate within 500 feet of a school or park. Patients or their registered caregivers may cultivate their own medicine in an enclosed, locked space. DHS may impose a registration fee on patients and caregivers, as well as promulgate other rules related to the medical cannabis program. Patients or their caregivers would not be legally protected if they possess more medicine than is allowed by law or if the patient smokes their medicine in a school, on mass transit, or any other public place.
The bill appears to meet the 8 guidelines set forth in the August 29, 2013 memorandum from the U.S. Department of Justice, “Guidance for Marijuana Enforcement,” (A.K.A. the 2013 Cole Memo).
The federal war on medical cannabis has been a costly one, claiming both financial resources and the freedom of countless advocates. In ASA's newest report "What is the Cost", our research found that over the last decade nearly $500 million had been spent by the Department of Justice (DOJ) on raids, federal prosecutions, incarceration, and asset forfeiture suits. Even more surprising, $300 million of this was spent during Obama's short time in office where the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) spent up to 4% of their budget annually on medical cannabis enforcement in states that had already made it legal.
There are currently over 1 million legal medical cannabis users in 20 states plus the District of Columbia, and over 39% of the country's population lives in a state where it is legal. Additionally, recent polls have shown that 85% of Americans nationwide support the legalization of medical cannabis. In light of these figures, it seems ridiculous that the federal government would continue wasting taxpayer's money to fight a war on medical cannabis that no one supports.
Without Congressional intervention, however, the amount of funds spent on undermining state laws will only increase. This summer, the Senate will be reveiwing and approving the DOJ's budget for the coming year giving us a chance to end the federal war on medical cannabis. As the Senate Appropriations Committee reviews the DOJ's budget for next year, encourage them to support the cutting of all spending on medical cannabis enforcement, effectively putting an end to the federal war on medical cannabis!
This email will demand that your Senators support the CJS budget amendment to cut spending on medical cannabis enforcement as well as request a constituent meeting with their local offices so you can explain your position in person (with the help of our report).
In 2012, the voters of WA approved I-502, a bill to legalize and tax cannabis for recreational use. The voters were promised high tax revenues by the campaign for the state and that the medical cannabis laws would be left alone, but recent statements from I-502 consultants and the Liquor Control Board (LCB) may be putting that promise in jeopardy.
As Washington’s LCB moves forward with plans to fully implement I-502 and open retail stores across the state, some have suggested that medical cannabis be folded into the recreational system, even though it is still in the development stages. As the original intent of the state's medical cannabis laws were grounded in compassion and not a desire for increased tax revenue, patients and advocates are concerned that the LCB is not the appropriate entity to oversee the state's medical cannabis program.
Specific concerns about folding the medical cannabis program into the I-502 scheme include:
- Increased taxation of medical cannabis, even though herbal medicines are not subject to tax in WA
- Concentrated preparations of cannabis could be restricted
- A decrease in the availability of non-psychoactive preparations
- Retail stores under 502 are not legally permitted to discuss the therapeutic benefits of cannabis
- Patients continue to lack legal protections from arrest, something even recreational users are now entitled to
As a way to address these concerns, advocates have created the "Health Before Happy Hour" Campaign and are urging Governor Inslee and state lawmakers to pass legislation that maintains the original compassionate intent of I-692.
You can help by signing this petition to create a medical cannabis program wholly separate from the recreational I-502 program. This would allow for state-licensed dispensaries, explicit arrest protection, and ensure that patients have safe access to affordable medical cannabis.
California voters called on their elected officials “to implement a plan for the safe and affordable distribution of marijuana” when they approved Proposition 215 in 1996, but state lawmakers have yet to adopt a comprehensive regulatory program. In response to divergent interpretations of the law and inconsistent enforcement across the state, patients, local governments, the Attorney General, and others are calling on the state legislature to finally heed the voters’ call.
The “Principles of Sensible Medical Cannabis Regulation” were developed in consultation with patients, cultivators, workers, and other medical cannabis stakeholders over the last year. We are presenting them to lawmakers to illustrate what we would like to see in current and future legislation. Regulation makes sense for everyone in California. These basic principles define a regulatory framework that will benefit patients and their communities, and also describe sensible regulations that will prevent abuse, ensure accountability, save law enforcement resources, generate tax revenue, and create jobs.