Blog Voices from the Frontlines

Feb 082016

California Weekly Roundup: February 8, 2016 - Americans for Safe Access

The California Campaign for Safe Access (CCSA) is Americans for Safe Access’ oldest and largest state campaign. This California Weekly Roundup is your way to stay on top of medical cannabis news, events, action alerts, court support, and more.

Last week…

  • Governor Brown signed AB 21, a bill that may slow down the city and county “ban-wagon”
  • Governor Brown appointed a Chief for the new Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation
  • The CMA endorsed cannabis legalization

Mark your calendar…

Get all the news, events, action alerts, & more...
Feb 042016

New Report + Live Hangout Tonight at 6pm ET on Medical Cannabis Access in Your State - Americans for Safe Access

SOS_2016_Google_Hangout_Shareable_Graphic.jpgWe are happy to announce that last week ASA released its 2016 report on “Medical Marijuana Access in the US: A Patient-Focused Analysis of the Patchwork of State Laws”.  This annual report evaluates the array of differing laws across the country from a patient's perspective, using a point system to grade each medical marijuana law on: 1) patients' rights and protection from discrimination, 2) access to medicine, 3) ease of navigation, 4) functionality, and 5) product safety protocols. 

The Good News:

  • More states are adopting at least some level of legal protections
  • There have been tremendous advancements in product safety regulations
  • State program administrators have demonstrated a commitment to making their medical cannabis programs work best for their state

The Bad News:

Even with improvements in 2015, none of the state laws adopted thus far can be considered ideal from a patient’s standpoint. Only a minority of states currently include the entire range of protections and rights that should be afforded to patients under the law, with some lagging far behind others. Therefore, the laws do not function equitably and are often poorly designed, implemented, or both.

Feb 012016

California Weekly Roundup: February 1, 2016 - Americans for Safe Access

The California Weekly Roundup, a project of the California Campaign for Safe Access (CCSA), is your way to stay connected to on the latest events and news on medical cannabis in California. CCSA is Americans for Safe Access’ oldest state campaign. There are more legal patients, providers, and recommending physicians in California than any other state. More than 1.4 million patients have safe, reliable, and dignified access to medicine in the state, but significant challenges remain. Click on the links on below or scroll through the entire email to learn more about what is happening in California and how you can participate.

Jan 272016

Bipartisan Congressional Asks V.A. to Allow Physicians to Recommend Cannabis to Veterans - Americans for Safe Access

Gillbrand_and_vet.jpgA bipartisan group of 21 members from both the U.S. House and Senate has sent a letter to the Veterans Administration urging them to revise their medical cannabis policy. The current V.A. policy expires at the end of January. That policy prohibits their doctors from filling out state medical cannabis forms or even discussing the potential benefits of the therapeutic substance with their veteran patients. Veteran advocates for medical cannabis access have characterized the current policy as a "gag order."

Today's Congressional letter seeks to allow their physicians to recommend the therapeutic substance in accordance with state law. The letter points out that this policy was approved by the Senate as part of the funding bill it approved 93-0 in November, but the provision was not included in the final version of the bill. The policy change was narrowly defeated during a House appropriations vote in April, 213-210, which was an increase of 15 aye votes from the year before. If approved in this year's appropriations bill, the protection would have to be renewed with a vote each year. The issue is also addressed in the CARERS Act, which would permanently solve the issue without the need for annual reauthorization. 

Jan 262016

ASA Releases New Report on State Medical Marijuana Programs - Americans for Safe Access

State_of_the_States_Report_Social_Media_Graphic.jpg

With the release last year of the first detailed analysis and comparison of state medical marijuana laws, Americans for Safe Access (ASA) created a patient-focused tool to identify effective programs and problem areas. That groundbreaking report was followed today by the release of ASA’s new, far more detailed report on state programs, which reflects the many new states that have added programs as well as others that have improved their existing programs.

Like the original report, this latest white paper enables advocates, policy makers and concerned citizens to compare and contrast from the patient's’ point of view the 40 different approaches currently in place in the U.S. Unlike last year’s, this report takes a much closer look at the regulatory frameworks for ensuring product quality and safety. By examining in detail the differences in how state medical cannabis programs have been designed and implemented, ASA’s latest report shines a light on the what’s working and what’s not in ways that can assist policy makers in making the programs under their oversight as broadly effective as possible in ensuring a consistent supply of quality-controlled medicine for the qualifying patients who need it.

Jan 252016

Georgia Lawmaker Breaks Law to Bring Medical Cannabis to Patients - Americans for Safe Access

Allen_Peake_-_GA_State_Rep.jpgGeorgia Representative Allen Peake who authored Georgia’s current law known asHaleigh’s Hope Act (HB1), has publicly admitted to breaking the law to bring medical marijuana to patients in Georgia.  The Georgia law, which allows for low-THC extracts containing primarily cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCa) for patients with certain medical conditions, does not provide for cultivation, production, and distribution in the state, so patients and caregivers must go elsewhere to obtain the oils and bring them back to Georgia.  Unless, of course, their Representative does it for them.

Rep. Peake’s level of commitment to patients is rare and should be commended.  “Maybe at some point there is a need for civil disobedience,” Peake said toWSB-TV Atlanta’s Lori Geary, “I’d do it again if I had to.”  Peake, a Republican, has introduced new legislation (HB 722) this year in hopes of bringing in-state production and distribution of the oils, so he and others won’t have to break laws to obtain them.  The bill, if passed, would also add seventeen conditions to the existing law including intractable pain, Alzheimers, and HIV/AIDS.

 

Jan 252016

California Weekly Roundup: January 25, 2016 - Americans for Safe Access

The California Weekly Roundup, a project of the California Campaign for Safe Access (CCSA), is your way to stay connected to on the latest events and news on medical cannabis in California. CCSA is Americans for Safe Access’ oldest state campaign. There are more legal patients, providers, and recommending physicians in California than any other state. More than 1.4 million patients have safe, reliable, and dignified access to medicine in the state, but significant challenges remain. Click on the links on below or scroll through the entire email to learn more about what is happening in California and how you can participate.

Jan 232016

The Other Problem with the MMRSA - Americans for Safe Access

CA Assembly Member Jim WoodCalifornia lawmakers are moving quickly to correct a drafting error in the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act (MMRSA), a trio of bills that will finally license and regulate commercial medical cannabis activity in the state. However, lawmakers are overlooking a serious issue in the bill that directly affects individual patient-cultivators and primary caregivers. 

Americans for Safe Access (ASA), the nation’s leading medical cannabis patients’ advocacy organization, is calling on lawmakers to remove licensing requirements from the MMRSA that apply to some personal non-commercial cultivation of medical cannabis. Otherwise, the MMRSA could become an obstacle to personal cultivation – a historic cornerstone of California’s twenty-year old medical cannabis program. 

Pictured: California Assembly Member Jim Wood (Dem-Santa Rosa)

Jan 182016

California Weekly Roundup: January 18, 2016 - Americans for Safe Access

The California Weekly Roundup, a project of the California Campaign for Safe Access (CCSA), is your way to stay connected to on the latest events and news on medical cannabis in California. CCSA is Americans for Safe Access’ oldest state campaign. There are more legal patients, providers, and recommending physicians in California than any other state. More than 1.4 million patients have safe, reliable, and dignified access to medicine in the state, but significant challenges remain. Click on the links on below or scroll through the entire email to learn more about what is happening in California and how you can participate.

Jan 112016

California Weekly Roundup: January 11, 2016 - Americans for Safe Access


The California Weekly Roundup, a project of the California Campaign for Safe Access (CCSA), is your way to stay connected to on the latest events and news on medical cannabis in California. CCSA is Americans for Safe Access’ oldest state campaign. There are more legal patients, providers, and recommending physicians in California than any other state. More than 1.4 million patients have safe, reliable, and dignified access to medicine in the state, but significant challenges remain. Click on the links on below or scroll through the entire email to learn more about what is happening in California and how you can participate.