Blog Voices from the Frontlines

Sep 092014

Pot Law Reformers Killed A Slew of Sick Bills This Year in Sacramento

David Downs, East Bay Express

The California legislative session is over for 2014 without much change in the status of medical cannabis — and that’s kind of a good thing, given what was being proposed.

Sep 082014

ASA California Weekly Roundup: September 8, 2014 - Americans for Safe Access


  • Message from the CA Director: Let's talk
  • State & Local News: National, state, and local news from communities all over California
  • Public Meetings & Events: Cable TV, online, and Riverside
  • Court Support: Pasadena, Yuba City, and more
  • Take Action Now: Join ASA’s New California Discussion List and more
  • ASA Website Spotlight: National Medical Cannabis Unity Conference 2015
  • Chapter & Affiliate Meetings: San Diego, Sacramento, Nevada County, Yuba County

I want to invite you to join a new email discussion list ASA is launching to help facilitate conversations about medical cannabis issues in California. The ASA California Campaign for Safe Access (ASA-CCSA) mailing list will be a primary contact point for patients, advocates, and others to share ideas and constructive debate on state legislation, local ordinances, initiatives, and court cases.!forum/asa-ccsa

Sep 052014

Vote Medical Marijuana this November - Americans for Safe Access

It is less than two months until the 2014 elections. Do you know where the candidates stand on medical cannabis? It matters. Lawmakers at the local, state, and federal level are going to make important decisions about medical cannabis that affect your life in the next two years. Cities and counties will decide whether to ban or regulate patients’ collectives, the state legislature will vote again on commercial licensing and patients’ rights measures, and the new US Congress may decide whether or not to keep paying for medical cannabis enforcement.

Sep 052014

Medical marijuana users caught in state-federal conflict

Steph Sherer, CNN Op-Ed

Ten years in prison seems like a life-changing sentence for most people, but for 70-year-old Larry Harvey, it would effectively be a death sentence.

Sep 042014

ASA Activist Newsletter - Sept 2014

In this Issue:

  • CNN Report on Kettle Falls 5 Airs Tonight
  • ASA Runs Ad about NFL Players
  • California Lobby Day Yields Results
  • DC Empowers Doctors to Decide Eligibility
  • First Connecticut Dispensaries open
  • Action Alert: Plan Your Trip to DC
Sep 042014

CNN Report on Kettle Falls 5 Airs Tonight - Americans for Safe Access

Kettle_Falls_Five_CNN_Special.jpgCNN rescheduled its report devoted to the pending federal trial of five Washington State patients. The program will air soon, so check your local listings. On "Erin Burnett OutFront," CNN's David Mattingly investigates the Kettle Falls 5 case, where despite all five family members being qualified patients registered with Washington State to legally use medical cannabis, now face charges that carry mandatory minimum sentences of ten years in federal prison.

Sep 032014

Public can comment on medical marijuana dispensaries next week

Nancy Cook Lauer, West Hawaii Today

Should Hawaii follow the lead of some other states and restrict medical marijuana to large state-run dispensaries and massive growing operations? Or should it allow small farmers to obtain licenses to grow enough for themselves and a few other patients?

Sep 032014

Could Medical Marijuana Ease Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Ashley Boynes-Shuck, Healthline

Marijuana, Mary Jane, cannabis, or kush: No matter what you call it, the medical use of marijuana has been a hotly debated and highly politicized topic in recent years.

Sep 022014

Another big win for patients in California - Americans for Safe Access

By Guest Blogger Lauren A. Vazquez, Esq.

The recent California Court of Appeal decision in People v. Baniani firmly establishes the right of patients to access medical cannabis through a collective or cooperative. The Court stated what medical cannabis advocates have always believed, state law protects members of a collective or cooperative who are qualified patients and are not engaged in a profit-making enterprise. The case is the culmination of over a decade of legal decisions and challenges by medical cannabis advocates.

Americans for Safe Access won a similar victory after appealing the conviction of a medical cannabis provider in San Diego in 2012. In People v. Jackson, the court ruled that medical marijuana patients do not have to actively participate in the cultivation of medical cannabis, and that financial support provided by collective members through medical cannabis purchases constitute sufficient involvement in a collective.

Sep 012014

ASA California Weekly Roundup: September 1, 2014 - Americans for Safe Access


  • Message from the CA Director: Grassroots power worked this year
  • State & Local News: National, state, and local news from communities all over California
  • Public Meetings & Events: Online, Riverside, and Washington, DC
  • Court Support: Sacramento
  • Take Action Now: Organ transplants and Measure S (Nevada County)
  • ASA Website Spotlight: National Medical Cannabis Unity Conference 2015
  • Chapter & Affiliate Meetings: San Francisco, Yuba County, Sonoma County, and Sacramento

Happy Labor Day, California. The state legislature has adjourned for the year, and on balance, it has been a good session for medical cannabis patients and other stakeholders. Your grassroots action helped stop some bad bills from becoming law this year:

  • AB 1588 would have increased the minimum buffer zone between legal patients’ cooperatives and collectives and schools statewide. We killed this bill in committee early in the session.
  • AB 2500 would have made it a crime for a legal patient to drive with even a tiny amount of cannabis detectable in their blood. ASA members and others defeated this bill in committee for the third year in a row.
  • SB 1193 was amended at the last minute to remove language beneficial to patients. ASA members generated more than 1,000 emails many phone calls in opposition to the amended bill in just one week.

We didn’t win every battle. SB 1029 would have expanded eligibility for public assistance to certain drug felons, including those convicted cannabis “crimes.” That bill died in committee.  The legislature also rejected two bills that would have regulated commercial medical cannabis activity – AB 1894 and SB 1262. Read more about that process in my blog from last week: