Blog Voices from the Frontlines

Jan 222015

ASA Runs Ad in USA Today NFL Preview Announcing 3rd Annual Conference - Americans for Safe Access

ASA formally announced its 3rd annual Unity Conference, "Wellness is Winning: Advancing Evidence Based Medical Cannabis Policy," by running an ad in the USA Today. The conference, which is being held in Washington, D.C. on March 27-31, 2015, will highlight medical and legal experts, policymakers, and a wide array of workshops and panels focusing on scientific research, strategic planning, and skills building. On Tuesday, March 31st, ASA will host a press conference at 11am, followed by Congressional lobbying visits by hundreds of patient advocates.

The quarter-page USA Today ad, which ran all last week in the newspaper's NFL Superbowl Preview publication, appeared on news stands across the country. This week, a digital version of the ad is running online for millions of Internet viewers. Sponsors of the ad include the American Herbal Products Association, Cannabis Training Institute, Patient Focused Certification, and OrganiCann.

Jan 212015

Help a patient get to Washington, D.C. - Americans for Safe Access


Looking to become a volunteer? We can use your help right now, and you can have a lot of fun with this project! Will you host a house party or reception for your friends and loved ones to help send a medical cannabis patient to our conference and lobby day in Washington, DC?

Americans for Safe Access (ASA) knows that the best outcomes happen when medical cannabis patients have a voice in the conversation about policies that affect their lives. We need to have patients from all over the country at our National Medical Cannabis Unity Conference and lobby day in Washington, DC, March 27-31st. Unfortunately, many patients with a lot to contribute to the national dialog cannot afford the trip. That is where we need your help.

We want volunteers from around the country to host a house party of reception with your friends and loved ones to sponsor a patient’s trip to Washington, DC. It takes approximately $1,000 to get a patient to the conference (depending on where they live). Donors sponsored 125 patients from thirty four states last year. Those patients learned about medical cannabis and advocacy skills at the conference, before participating in the largest medical cannabis lobby day in US history. We visited more than 300 Congressional offices that day.

Jan 202015

Join Safe Access VA for Lobby Day Tomorrow - Americans for Safe Access

Virginia_State_Capitol_Building_2.jpgOn January the 8th, 2015, Delegate Kenneth R. Plum pre-filed HB 1605 which is a bill to amend Virginia’s current--but non-functional--law relating to possession or distribution of marijuana for medical purposes. In support of this bill and to express to our elected officials our need for safe, legal access to medical marijuana in Virginia for all legitimate patients, Safe Access Virginia will be holding a lobby day on January 21, 2015. We will meet with our legislators to share patient stories and to express our support of this bill as well as HB 1445, which was introduced by Delegate David Albo in December. We will also be asking legislators to support both bills, while advocating for HB 1605 as it covers everything HB 1445 does, plus more.

What: Virginia Patient Advocates Medical Marijuana Lobby Day
When: January 21, 2015; 8:00 A.M. until 5:00 P.M.
Where:  General Assembly Building  (1000 Bank Street) in Richmond, VA

Jan 192015

ASA California Weekly Roundup: January 19, 2015 - Americans for Safe Access

Town Hall pictureHappy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, California! I hope you are all having a safe and healthy holiday. There is good news and bad news at the local level in this week’s California Weekly Roundup. The good news is that the Pinoleville Pomo Nation, a Native American tribe in Mendocino County, will soon start cultivating medical cannabis on tribal land. And I am also happy to see the City of San Diego continuing its march towards safe and legal access in Southern California.

Unfortunately, there is bad news for patients in other communities. The City of Vallejo just voted to close all of the patients’ collectives there, and Kern County is suing local providers. You will also see a short piece this week about plans to ban outdoor cultivation in Redding.

While the prospects for medical cannabis look good for the state on the long term, patients and providers are still stuck in crosscurrents at the city and county level. Local advocacy is still important, and I want to help you succeed in your hometown. You can use ASA’s free online Medical Cannabis Advocates Training Center to learn advocacy skills, craft a strategy, and build a coalition. You can also use this weekly email blast to let others know about community meetings, city council meetings, and other important events. Just send an email to CARoundup@SafeAccessNow.org before 12:00 PM on Friday to be included in Monday's distribution.

Jan 122015

ASA California Weekly Roundup: January 12, 2015 - Americans for Safe Access

CA Capitol BuildingThe California legislature is back in session, and you can expect a lot of activity around medical cannabis. Assembly Member Jones-Sawyer (D-Santee) has introduced AB 26and Assembly Member Rob Bonta (D-Oakland) introduced AB 34. Both bills will seek to regulate and license commercial medical cannabis activity, but neither is in its final form yet. That means there is still time to speak up about what you want to see in state legislation.

ASA will be sponsoring legislation this year to protect legal medical cannabis patients who need organ transplants from discrimination. You can read more about the Medical Marijuana Organ Transplant Act online. You can sign a petition supporting the legislation in the Take Action Now section of this message.

You can use the tools and strategies in ASA’s free Medical Cannabis Advocacy Training Center to help you participate in the legislative process this year. Read more about the online resource in the ASA Website Spotlight section of this message.

Jan 082015

Deadlines are fast approaching for #Unity15! - Americans for Safe Access

Register_Now_Graphic.jpgDeadlines are fast approaching and we are less than 3 months away from the 3rd Annual National Medical Cannabis Unity Conference and Lobby Day

Last year’s conference was amazing. We heard from leaders in the science, politics, and activism of medical cannabis from all over the United States and the world. Check out highlights from last year’s conference here.

The 3rd Annual National Medical Cannabis Unity Conference is going to be bigger and more important than ever before. The issue of medical cannabis has never been more visible in the national media or present in the minds of lawmakers. The medical cannabis industry and movement are evolving faster than ever before. 

Jan 052015

ASA California Weekly Roundup: January 5, 2015 - Americans for Safe Access

Airplane sunsetI will be joining hundreds of other medical cannabis advocates in Washington, DC, March 27-31 for ASA’s third annual National Medical Cannabis Unity Conference and Citizen Lobby Day. I am going because, in the wake of last year’s historic vote to end funding for federal interference, there has never been this much momentum for a comprehensive national medical cannabis policy. I am excited to talk with patients, researchers, industry leaders, and other advocates about what is on the horizon for medical cannabis. But I am even more excited to talk face-to-face with members of Congress about what we want to see in a bill this year!

I want to see as many Californians in DC as possible. What Congress does with medical cannabis will have a big impact on patients and the industry that serves them. We know the best outcomes for stakeholder come when they have a seat at the table. Your voice really matters. Research shows that visits from ordinary citizens are six times more likely to influence lawmakers than visits from a paid lobbyist!

If you have not done so already, get registered and make your travel arrangements now. Have a look at the “ASA Website Spotlight” section of this message to learn about a free tool ASA has designed to help you raise money to be a part of this important event.

Dec 292014

ASA California Weekly Roundup: December 29, 2014 - Americans for Safe Access

Happy New YearContents:

  • Message from the CA Director: Happy New Year, California!

  • News: National, California, Humboldt County, Los Angeles, Oceanside

  • Public Meetings & Events: Oakland, Santa Cruz, Los Angeles, San Diego, Washington DC

  • Court Support: Redding

  • Take Action Now: Support the Medical Marijuana Organ Transplant Act, Join the ASA-CCSA Discussion List, Expand the Green Zone

  • ASA Website Spotlight: National Medical Cannabis Unity Conference 2015

  • Chapter & Affiliate Meetings: None this week

Happy New Year, California! We had a big year in 2014, and are looking to accomplish even more in 2015. Just consider some of what you helped ASA achieve this year…

  • We scored a huge victory when Congress finally adopted an amendment to the omnibus budget bill that removes funding for federal interference and intimidation in California and other medical cannabis states.
  • Californians re-elected all of our supporters in the legislature in the midterm elections.
  • Voters in Santa Ana approved new medical cannabis regulations that will provide safe and legal access for patients in that community.
  • ASA certified the first patients’ cooperatives and collectives in San Francisco and Berkeley under our new Patient Focused Certification program, which endures quality and integrity in the medical cannabis industry. Congratulations, SPARC and Berkeley Patients Group!
  • ASA members helped persuade the influential California Medical Association to oppose the practice of denying organ transplants to cannabis users
  • ASA helped to improve two major legislative proposals regarding commercial medical cannabis regulations in California by successfully amending legislation more than a dozen times. ASA also helped stop a bill in the state legislature that would have established unscientific DUI limits for legal patients.
Dec 222014

California Weekly Roundup: December 22, 2014 - Americans for Safe Access

ASA Signature Vape Pen

Contents:

  • Message from the CA Director: Happy Holidays, California

  • News: National, California, San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, Fresno County, Costa Mesa, Sonoma County

  • Public Meetings & Events: Santa Cruz, Los Angeles, San Diego, Washington DC

  • Court Support: None this week

  • Take Action Now: Support the Medical Marijuana Organ Transplant Act, Join the ASA-CCSA Discussion List, Expand the Green Zone

  • ASA Website Spotlight: National Medical Cannabis Unity Conference 2015

  • Chapter & Affiliate Meetings: None this week

Happy Holidays to ASA members and friends in California! 

2014 may be winding down, but medical cannabis activity at the state level is speeding up! See the News section of this message for articles about an exciting development in court for patients who use concentrates and a new player in the statewide regulatory game - the State Water Resources Control Board. That agency will join lawmakers in trying to regulate medical cannabis cultivation next year. Meanwhile, cities and counties are still grappling with local regulation, a Los Angeles neighborhood rejected a medical cannabis Santa Claus, and the results from the states biggest outdoor cannabis contest are in.

Dec 182014

The Gift that Keeps on Giving - Americans for Safe Access

Give_the_gift.jpgEveryone wants to give a gift that is truly valued by their loved ones. This winter holiday, simplify it so your loved ones and supporters can give a gift that keeps on giving.  Through your own personal fundraising page your loved ones can help ensure your presence at the 3rd Annual National Medical Cannabis Unity Conference in Washington, DC March 27-31, 2015.

This week medical cannabis patients scored an enormous victory in Washington D.C.! An historic provision to prohibit the Department of Justice from interfering with state medical marijuana programs just passed Congress and was signed into law by President Obama.  Including the Rohrabacher-Farr language in the funding bill was an accomplishment that was 12 years in the making, and was given a major push by all of our members & supporters who attended coordinated lobby days at 2013 & 2014 National Medical Cannabis Unity Conferences. These lobby days were instrumental in demonstrating to Members of Congress that medical cannabis is an important issue among their constituencies.

While we have taken a major step forward, there is still work to be done. Unity 2015 will once again include face-to-face lobbying in Congressional offices, and will be the premier medical cannabis advocacy event in the country. We know the best outcomes for medical cannabis patients come when they have a seat at the table to discuss strategy, priorities, and policy.