Take Action Online Now Action Alerts
Every year, The Senate approves a series of appropriations bills that formally sets the budget for various governmental departments and agencies. The Commerce, Justice, Science, and other Agencies (CJS) appropriations bill determines the budget of the DOJ and Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) for the coming fiscal year.
The US House of Representatives voted late Thursday (May 30, 2014) night to cut off funding for federal medical cannabis raids, arrests, and prosecutions in states where it is legal. This is arguably the biggest victory yet in the contemporary fight for medical cannabis rights. By a vote of 219 to 189, the Republican-dominated House approved the bipartisan Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment to the Commerce, Science, and Justice (CJS) Appropriations bill for fiscal year 2015. Forty-nine Republicans and 179 Democrats voted in favor of the amendment.
As historic as this vote was, the same CJS amendment must still be introduced in the Senate and pass there as well. We're doing our part by lobbying on Capitol Hill, but we desperately need your help contact your Senators and asking for their support to this amendment.
Contact your California State Senator and ask him or her to vote yes on SB 1262 this week. SB 1262 is a bill by Senator Lou Correa (D-Santa Ana) that would regulate commercial medical cannabis activity in the state. In its newly amended form, the bill places state regulatory control and licensing in the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) and sets common-sense standards for cultivation and distribution. ASA supports SB 1262 because our research and experience show that sensible regulations preserve safe and dignified access to medical cannabis for patients, while reducing crime and complaints in neighborhoods.
Click here to email your California Senator today.
SB 1193 is a bill by California Senator Noreen Evans (D-Santa Rosa) that would require that law enforcement return wrongfully-confiscated medical cannabis or plants or pay the owner reasonable compensation. The bill also simplifies the procedures for handling cannabis and plants seized as evidence. Americans for Safe Access (ASA) supports this bill because law-abiding patients have a right to get their property back.
Click here to sign this petition to support SB 1193 today.
ASA will hand deliver copies of this petition to lawmakers’ offices before key votes in committees and on the floors of the Senate and Assembly. We will also take it directly to the Governor’s office when the bill is ready for his signature.
Legislators in Colorado are rushing to pass harmful bills that would expand the drug war by allowing law enforcement to take children away from parents who are suspected of any legal or illegal drug use or possession. With no exemption for medical cannabis use, this could potentially make all parents who use medical cannabis criminals!
The Sacramento County Board of Supervisors will have a public hearing on Tuesday, April 22, to consider a motion to ban indoor cultivation of medical cannabis in the unincorporated areas of the county. The unincorporated areas are those inside the county, but outside the borders of any city. ASA is calling on members and allies to speak up in advance of this hearing and to speak in opposition to the ban on Tuesday morning.
The California Assembly Committee on Public Safety will hear testimony and vote on AB 2500, a bill authored by Assembly Jim Frazier (D-Fairfield), on Tuesday, April 29. The bill will make it a crime to drive with two or more nanograms of THC (one of the active compounds in cannabis) in your blood – even if you are not driving while impaired. This limit is arbitrary and unscientific. Regular medical cannabis users will almost always test positive for two or more nanograms of THC, 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.