Blog Voices from the Frontlines
On Thursday, March 16th, Virginia Governor McAuliffe signed Senate Bill 1027 into law allowing the production and distribution of cannabidiol oil (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) with up to 5% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) for patients with intractable epilepsy. Unlike the signing of SB1235 and HB1445 in 2015 (providing an affirmative defense for possession of the oils), which took place in a reporter-packed room surrounded by the children and parents who had lobbied for the bill, the signing of SB1027 went relatively unnoticed by the media. However, it remains a significant move forward in the conservative state.
Despite its promising beginnings, the medical cannabis program in Maryland has suffered since its implementation in 2013. For the past four years, Maryland's medical cannabis program has been subjected to repeated legislative changes, an extensive public debate over establishing a regulatory structure, and a large applicant pool for licenses. Patients are still awaiting access.
It is now possible that these patients may be forced to wait even longer. Several bills have been introduced in the Maryland Senate that could postpone a functioning system for distribution of medical cannabis even longer. For many who are eligible to use medical cannabis, each day without medicine can be both costly and painful.
This blog was originally published 10/31/13.
Cannabis and its derivatives have been documented for anti-epileptic effects since 1881. Today, the promise of cannabidiol (CBD) as an anti-epileptic treatment is prompting people to move to states that have safe access to medicinal products containing this compound. There are increasing reports of CBD being used by parents to treat seizure disorders in their children. This use of a cannabinoid to treat seizures is not unfounded, the ever-popular THC molecule has been studied in children with seizure disorders. The results of early cannabinoid clinical studies and anecdotal findings for epilepsy are promising.
Government has apparently dropped 'gateway' theory, marijuana critics should too - Americans for Safe Access
Steph Sherer calls on politicians to stop basing policy on outdated cannabis myths that the DEA has disavowed.
Read more on The Hill.
ASA Change.org Petition to Get the DEA to Tell the Truth Reaches 100K Signatures - Americans for Safe Access
On Tuesday, Americans for Safe Access delivered more than 98,000 signatures for our Change.org petition to get the DEA to tell the truth about medical cannabis. Today, the number of signers eclipsed 100,000, reaching ASA's goal before President Obama leaves office. ASA is trying to get Obama to instruct the DEA to grant our Information Quality Act petition and remove all references to the "gateway theory" and other scientifically disproven harms from its websites and publications.
Americans for Safe Access’ complaint cites 25 violations under the IQA, alleging that the DEA website currently contains inaccurate statements that do not meet informational standards required by the law. Making matters worse, the DEA continues to distribute statements about the efficacy of medical cannabis and its risks, which have been refuted by the DEA itself in the recent “Denial of Petition to Initiate Proceedings to Reschedule Marijuana,” issued August 12, 2016.
Time is short. We have three more days to ask President Obama to force the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to change its policy on medical cannabis. If you have already signed ASA’s Information Quality Act (IQA) petition, forward this email to your friends and loved ones who care about medical cannabis.
If you have not signed the petition, now is the time. Donald Trump will be inaugurated as our 45th President on Friday, and that may spell trouble for medical cannabis patients and providers.
The Final Barriers to Initiate a Cannabis Rescheduling Hearing May Have Just Been Removed - Americans for Safe Access
New Report Suggests That We Can Neither Confirm Nor Deny the Benefits and Risks of Cannabis Use
January 12th, 2017- The National Academies of Sciences, Medicine, and Engineering issued a cautious report on the health effects of cannabis. The authors recognize that cannabis is an effective treatment for chronic pain, Multiple Sclerosis, and chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. Similarly to ASA’s 8-Factor analysis of Cannabis, the authors sifted through all available research, over 10,000 articles were considered, including over 100 clinical reports.
A new President is about to take office, and we need to make sure we continue to move forward, not backward, on medical cannabis reform, in this administration.
On Tuesday, January 10, 2017, the Senate Judiciary Committee will begin holding confirmation hearings on whether Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) will become the next U.S. Attorney General. Senator Sessions has been outspoken about his feelings regarding medical cannabis:
“I thank you for you and some of your officials in DEA for speaking out and telling the truth about the dangers of marijuana. This is not a non-dangerous drug. And I've got to tell you in terms of messaging, the president's statement -- to me, I spent 12 years working with grassroots citizens’ groups to change the approach to drugs and the climate of drugs and to make it hostile climate for drugs and explain the dangers of drug use.”- Jeff Sessions comments to then-DEA Administrator Michelle Leonhart at Senate Judiciary Committee oversight hearing, April 30, 2014
If confirmed, Senator Sessions could pose a real threat to the more than 2 million American patients who rely upon state medical cannabis programs.
So we are asking that you take a moment to tweet the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee Senators on January 10th and 11th We have generated 2 different tweets to send to the Judiciary Committee Members who will be questioning Sessions, one is about respecting patients and the state medical cannabis programs they rely on; and the second is about basing his medical cannabis policy on science rather than disproven information.
All you have to do is click any or all of the links below to tweet the members the Senate Judiciary Committee. Once you click on one of the links below, you will be able to view the tweet before clicking the Tweet button to post it to Twitter. If you have time to send both tweets to all the members of the Judiciary Committee, great! If you only have a time to send to one or two senators, that is helpful, too.
2017 is here! It is a new year and a new chance to make great things happen. The beginning of a new year is an ideal time to think about new goals and how to achieve them. Here at ASA, our priority has always been and will continue to be ensuring safe and legal access to medical cannabis. Our New Year’s resolution is to work harder than ever before to make this happen.
Let me be frank: the next administration could be disastrous to the movement for safe and legal access. The current federal “cease fire” on medical cannabis is based on two historic developments: a memo from the Department of Justice (DOJ) and an amendment to the federal budget. Both developments could be in jeopardy next year.
But being a supporter of Americans for Safe Access (ASA), you know our talented staff is preparing to tackle whatever comes our way.