Advocates Launch "Vote Medical Marijuana" Ahead of November Elections to Help Educate Supporters, Public New tool makes political candidates' positions, records on medical marijuana more accessible to voters

October 16, 2014 | Kris Hermes

Washington, DC -- The medical marijuana advocacy group Americans for Safe Access (ASA) has produced a new 30-second online TV advertisement to launch its groundbreaking, election-cycle voter education campaign "Vote Medical Marijuana." The ad will also air on this Sunday's morning cable news programs in Detroit, Philadelphia, South Florida, and Washington State. The campaign features an interactive online voter's guide at VoteMedicalMarijuana.org that provides information on political candidate positions as well as voting statistics and a report card for each Member of Congress and certain state elected officials.

"We want to better educate supporters and the general public about casting their ballot for candidates who have their best interests in mind," said ASA Executive Director Steph Sherer. "Our elected representatives in Congress and in state legislatures are making policy decisions on medical marijuana that affect millions of patients in the U.S."

ASA has sent out more than 2,000 surveys to gather information on candidates' positions on medical marijuana so patients and the general public can make more informed electoral decisions. Nearly 200 candidates in federal and state races across the country have responded to the surveys so far, including New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and California Attorney General Candidate Ron Gold. The "Vote Medical Marijuana" campaign will focus on as many as 435 U.S. House races, 36 U.S. Senate races, 36 gubernatorial races, and 31 state attorney general races, as well as more than 360 state legislative races in California, Florida, and Washington.

The "Vote Medical Marijuana" surveys sent to electoral candidates across the country include questions such as, "Do you believe that patients using marijuana for medicinal reasons under the recommendation of their physician should be protected from arrest and prosecution under state law?" and "Should medical marijuana patients or their designated caregiver be allowed to cultivate marijuana for the patient's therapeutic use?" and "Should medical marijuana patients or their designated caregiver be allowed to purchase medical marijuana...from retail storefront locations?"

For more than a decade, polls have consistently shown that more than 80 percent of Americans support legal access to medical marijuana. Unfortunately, such popular support is not as consistently reflected in the way elected officials vote on this issue. "Vote Medical Marijuana" is designed to help reverse this political contradiction.

Earlier this year, ASA ran TV advertisements under the banner of "Vote Medical Marijuana" in Congressional districts in Florida, Maryland, and Washington State soon after an important vote took place in the House so that constituents could better understand how their representatives voted on the issue.  ASA will continue to run educational ads and is offering to produce targeted ads in certain Congressional districts where elected officials voted for or against the advancement of medical marijuana policies.

Further information:
"Vote Medical Marijuana" campaign advertisement: http://www.safeaccessnow.org/vote_medical_marijuana_tv_ads
"Vote Medical Marijuana" campaign page: http://www.VoteMedicalMarijuana.org

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