Blog Voices from the Frontlines

Jul 292015

Christie’s Proposed 50 State War On Marijuana - Americans for Safe Access

This morning New Jersey Governor Chris Christie set off a small firestorm saying he would use the power of the federal government to end state-level access to marijuana saying, “Marijuana is against the law in the states and it should be enforced in all 50 states.” Although Colorado and other states with recreational marijuana laws have received the lion's share of Christie’s criticism he has previous called medical marijuana a front for legalization” so there is every reason to fear that a theoretical Christie administration would mean a new war on medical marijuana patients.

It goes without saying that Christie is behind the times on medical marijuana, but its worth noting just how out of the mainstream Christie is compared to the rest of the country.

It’s Going To Be Bigger War On Patients Then Most People Realize

23 states, Guam, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia have passed laws to create medical marijuana programs.

States_with_Medical_Marijuana_Laws_Final.jpg

Jul 272015

California Weekly Roundup: July 27, 2015 - Americans for Safe Access

Google Hangout

Join me for another live Google Hangout tomorrow night at 8:00 PM PT. We will be talking about what pending medical cannabis legislation does and does not mean for patients and providers in California. You can be a part of he conversation by logging on to “The Truth About Medical Cannabis: Regulations in California.”

Get more details about the Google Hangout below; plus medical cannabis news, events, court support requests, action alerts, and more in the California Weekly Roundup for Monday, July 27, 2015.

Contents (Scroll down for details and links):

News

  • National
  • California
  • Local

Events

  • July 28, 2015 - Sacramento County Board of Supervisors Meeting (Sacramento)
  • July 28, 2015 – The Truth About Medical Cannabis: Regulations in California (Online)

Court Support

  • July 27, 2015 – Court Support for James Morton (Oroville)
  • July 29, 2015 – Court Support for Lance and Julie Stenhouse (Red Bluff)
  • More

Take Action Now

  • Sign the Petition to Ask Your Representative and Senators to Sign on to the CARERS Act!  (National)
  • 5 Things People Can Do to Help Create Safe Access (National)
  • Growing Medical Cannabis is Not a Waste (Sacramento County)

ASA Website Spotlight

  • Provider Resources and Support

Chapter & Affiliate Meetings

  • July 28, 2015 – San Diego ASA (San Diego)
Jul 232015

Senate Committee Backs Banking Access For Marijuana Businesses - Americans for Safe Access

Piggy_Bank.jpgThis afternoon the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee voted 16-14 on an amendment to allow state-legal marijuana businesses to have access to banking services. Currently both medical and recreational marijuana businesses are unable to access normal banking services because marijuana is not legal under federal law.

Jul 232015

Florida residents, it's time to talk to your doctor about medical cannabis education - Americans for Safe Access

Talking to your doctor is one of the most important parts of good health care. We know your health care is very important to you. Which is why we want to encourage you to talk to your physician about medical cannabis therapeutics and education.

Whether you are already a patient or looking to find more information about medical cannabis as a treatment option, it is imperative your physicians have all the information they need before making decisions regarding your care.

While your physician has spent countless hours obtaining education during medical school, residency, and fellowship; there has been no formal education provided to doctors in the area of medical cannabis. And in Florida, only physicians who have completed required education courses are approved by the state to recommend low-THC cannabis.

Jul 222015

5 things people can do to help create safe access - Americans for Safe Access

summer_sunglasses_2_copy_EN.jpgWe hope you are enjoying your summer! ASA members and friends like you are always looking for ways to push the medical cannabis movement forward. That is why our staff has put together this fun list of things you can do this summer to make a real difference! Will you join our nationwide team of citizen advocates in helping out?  Here are 5 things you can do this summer to help safe access!

1. Host or Attend: Truth About Medical Marijuana Educational Series

Educate yourself and/or your community by attending or hosting a Truth About Medical Marijuana Workshop. The series includes three workshop sessions that you can host or attend locally. These workshops are designed to reach out to those who already support safe access as well as people who are not already involved. We’ll send you everything you need for a successful meeting, including a video, engagement materials, and a survey. Your help will build support for local, state, and national legislation like he CARERS Act. Sign up to host an educational workshop near you, by clicking here!

Jul 202015

California Weekly Roundup: July 20, 2015 - Americans for Safe Access

Google Hangout July 28

Mark your calendar now for the next live Google Hangout, The Truth About Medical Cannabis: Regulations in California, on Tuesday, July 28, at 8:00 PM. Get all the federal, state, and local medical cannabis news for California... plus events, court support, action alerts, chapter meetings, and more in this week’s California Weekly Roundup!

Contents (Scroll down for details and links):

News

  • National
  • California
  • Local

Events

  • July 28, 2015 - Sacramento County Board of Supervisors Meeting (Sacramento)
  • July 28, 2015 – The Truth About Medical Cannabis: Regulations in California (Online)

Court Support

  • July 21, 2015 – Court Support for Stephen Boski/The Healing Connection (Modesto)
  • More

Take Action Now

  • Sign the Petition to Ask Your Representative and Senators to Sign on to the CARERS Act!  (National)
  • Growing Medical Cannabis is Not a Waste (Sacramento County)

ASA Website Spotlight

  • Find an Attorney: ASA Legal Team

Chapter & Affiliate Meetings

  • July 21, 2015 - Nevada County ASA (Grass Valley)
  • July 21, 2015 - San Francisco ASA (San Francisco)
  • July 23, 2015 - Sacramento ASA (Sacramento)
  • July 26, 2015 - Nevada County ASA (North San Juan)
Jul 172015

Senators Demand Answers on Administrative Barriers to Cannabis Research - Americans for Safe Access

Earlier this week, Senator Elizabeth Warren (MA) and 7 other U.S. Senators sent a letter the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office of National Drug Control Policy, and the Drug Enforcement Agency seeking specific answers on a number of bureaucratic barriers to medical marijuana research.  The letter comes just a few weeks after the Senate Drug Caucus hearing on cannabis-based medicines and the White House announcement to terminate the Public Health Service review process for marijuana, which had been cited by many as one of the major pieces of federal red tape standing in the way of scientists and physicians. 

Joined by Senators Merkley (OR), Wyden (OR), Mikulski (MD), Markey (MA), Boxer (CA), Booker (NJ), and Gillibrand (NY), the letter acknowledges that there is a significant state-legal medical marijuana patient population, and asks why isn't the federal government taking advantage of this ever-growing knowledge base. The Senators note that HHS has the tools to collect data while states continue to implement their medical marijuana programs. With well over a million registered medical marijuana patients living the 40 states with that have some sort of legal protections for patients, there is a great deal of information to be gathered, analyzed and disseminated. This could take place much more rapidly and on a far greater scale than relying merely on traditional FDA human subject trials. 

Jul 162015

The Home Stretch in CA - Americans for Safe Access

California Capitol BuildingThe California State Legislature will adjourn for their summer recess tomorrow, following a flurry of activity surrounding medical cannabis. Legislative policy committees have approved at least eight bills that touch on almost every aspect of the issue. These bills are both good and bad for patients, providers, and others. However, they all share one common trait: they are moving easily through the process. After failing to adopt a significant medical cannabis bill since the Medical Marijuana Program Act in 2003 (SB 420), lawmakers are determined to pass bills this year. Most of bills have passed easily through committee votes so far – some with no opposition at all.

Lawmakers will have three weeks to get bills through the Appropriations Committees and to a final floor vote when they get back to Sacramento on August 17. Not every bill will make it. The Appropriations Committees are tasked with determining which policy decisions the state can afford. Many bills never make it out of these powerful committees. Bills that make it through Appropriations are likely to be adopted in a final floor vote before September 11. Governor Jerry Brown will then have until October 11 to sign or veto each bill. Things will move quickly between now and the end of the session. Patient advocates must stay alert and active to make a difference in the home stretch. 

Jul 162015

Americans for Safe Access Testimony To DC Council on Medical Marijuana Reforms - Americans for Safe Access

Earlier today Americans for Safe Access (ASA) submitted expanded testimony to the DC Council on Bill 21-192, the “Medical Marijuana Laboratory Testing Amendment Act of 2015" and  Bill 21-210 the “Medical Marijuana Reciprocity Amendment Act of 2015.”

These bills represent important steps towards modernizing the District of Columbia’s medical marijuana program. ASA supports both bills, but is seeking improvements to B21-210 to ensure adequate supply and address technical issues. ASA also asked the Council to add delivery and civil protections to the bill.

The Medical Marijuana Laboratory Testing Amendment Act would allow DC to finally have laboratory testing by third parties. This is an essential step for patients to have the confidence they deserve in their medicine. The Medical Marijuana Reciprocity Amendment Act of 2015 is also an important reform, however with the dramatic shortages of medicine in DC’s current system allowing out of the District patients access to the dispensaries would be problematic until those shortages are addressed.

Jul 142015

Who’s Next? - Americans for Safe Access

Building_logo.pngCurrently 40 states have at least some type of legal protection for medical use of marijuana. 23 States, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia have passed comprehensive medical marijuana legislation. 17 more states have passed restrictive cannabidiol (CBD) focused  legislation.

While the progress has been impressive activists in several states that don’t have medical marijuana (or have only highly restrictive access) have continued to push at the state level. These activists are showing they’re in it for the long haul, fighting for medical marijuana no matter how long it takes.