Americans for Safe Access Grades State Medical Marijuana Laws
March 10, 2017 | Geoffrey Marshall
By Carl Wellstone for Weed News
Americans for Safe Access (ASA) have been at the forefront of the movement to implement sensible cannabis laws that benefit patients battling severe and debilitating medical conditions since the organization was founded in 2002. Led by a great advocate, Steph Sherer, ASA now has over 30,000 members in with chapters in forty different states. The Washington DC-based organization has been instrumental in progress we have seen at the federal level, such as the introduction of the bipartisan CARERS Act last session. With as much knowledge on medical cannabis policy as any group, ASA has just released its report of state medical marijuana laws and it is an interesting read that illustrates the patchwork of laws across the nation and provides a grade based upon a variety of factors.
States were graded with categories that included patient rights and civil protection from discrimination, access to medicine, ease of navigation, functionality, as well as consumer safety and provider requirements. It is great that ASA sees vast improvement across the nation, but disappointing that no state has managed an “A” grade, with California, Michigan and Illinois the only states to get a “B+”. Hawaii, Maine, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio and Oregon all received a “B”.
I need to study ASA’s report for a bit, so I am not certain whether I agree with all of its grades, but this is a great tool. I would love to hear from patients in Ohio and Illinois to see if those patients have as safe as access to cannabis as those in Oregon, for instance. No matter the grade your state received, let’s all strive to do everything we can to ensure that every patient has safe access as soon as possible.