Blog Voices from the Frontlines
ASA members like you have scored one last victory in the final hours of this year’s state legislative session. We generated more than 1,000 emails and phone calls in opposition to a badly amended bill in less than one week – and it worked!
In response to that grassroots pressure, Senator Noreen Evans (D-Santa Rosa) will not call for a vote on SB 1193 in the Assembly. That means the bill will not be adopted this year. Well done!
ASA is hosting out third annual national conference March 27-31, 2015, in Washington, DC. The National Medical Cannabis Unity Conference 2015 will be our largest and most important conference yet. Hundreds of patients, advocates, scientists, and industry leaders will meet at the Lowes Madison Hotel in the heart of downtown for three days of networking, education, and action. This will be the premier medical cannabis event of the year. Will you be there?
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. Plan right now to join leaders in the science, politics, and activism of medical cannabis from all overt the United States and the world. You will have a front row seat for the exciting conversations about the future of medical cannabis in the United States and play an active and important role in shaping public policy.
Heather Digby Parton, Salon
The midterm election is almost in full swing and the lies and obfuscations are coming fast and furious. Yesterday, we found out that Karl Rove’s group American Crossroads is running ads against foolish Democrats who jumped on the deficit reduction bandwagon and supported (or even implied they might support) cuts to Social Security and Medicare during the Grand Bargain crusade. This shouldn’t come as any surprised since the Republicans did exactly the same thing back in 2010 when they ran ads all over the country attacking Democrats for cutting Medicare as part of the health care reform. Needless to say, the GOP demagogues who have been attacking Medicare as “socialized medicine” since the day it was passed were not philosophically opposed to Medicare cuts.They were at the very same time proposing that the elderly’s health care lifeline be turned into vouchers they could use to comparison shop for their health needs. (If there’s one thing seniors would love is be required to spend their time searching for surgical bargains.)
- Message from the CA Director: One more battle in Sacramento this year
- State & Local News: News from communities all over California
- Public Meetings & Events: Santa Rosa, Riverside, and Online
- Court Support: Submit dates for court support!
- Take Action Now: Oppose SB 1193 and more
- ASA Website Spotlight: Patient Focused Certification
- Chapter & Affiliate Meetings: Submit dates for local meetings!
The 2014 legislative session is almost over. Lawmakers have until August 31 to pass hundreds of bills through the state Assembly and Senate, and Governor Brown has thirty days to sign or veto each. One topic not on the agenda will be SB 1262 (Correa/Ammiano), the bill that would have created statewide regulations for doctors who recommend medical cannabis and for the medical cannabis industry. That bill was held in the Assembly Appropriations Committee on August 15, so it will not be adopted this year. Both co-authors are serving their final terms in the legislature according o the state’s term limit rules, so it is back to the drawing board for statewide regulations in 2015.
Pictured: California Senator Noreen Evans (D-Santa Rosa), author of SB 1193
The Assembly may still vote on a badly amended version of SB 1193 (Evans) – unless we stop them first! SB 1193 was a win-win compromise for law enforcement and patients in California. The old version of the bill, which ASA supported, reduced the amount of cannabis and cannabis plants police and Sheriff’s departments have to keep as evidence, but required law enforcement to pay reasonable compensation if they damaged or destroyed cannabis or plants later found to be legal. Unfortunately, the Assembly Appropriations Committee removed language requiring the return of wrongfully-confiscated property and reasonable compensation at the August 15 hearing.
The California Assembly Appropriations Committee held SB 1262 (Correa/Ammiano) in committee on August 15, meaning the bill will not proceed to the floor for a vote or be adopted this year. The controversial bill would have regulated doctors who recommend medical cannabis and commercial medical cannabis activity. Because both co-authors are serving their final term in the state legislature this year, it will be back to the drawing board for statewide medical cannabis regulations in 2015. This is the third time that the legislature has failed to adopt regulations for the state's seventeen year-old medical cannabis industry.
If you’re like me, you sometimes think, “I wish I could do more to help medical cannabis patients.” Well, we can do more right now. A very generous donor has pledged up to $25,000 in matching donations through Friday, August 21st at 5:00 PM PST. This means , dollar for dollar, any donation you make in the next 30 hours will be matched, doubling your donation.
You have helped ASA score some big victories for medical cannabis patients this year. In May, you helped us win one of our biggest victories yet, when the US House of Representatives voted to cut off funding for federal raids, arrests, and prosecutions in states where medical cannabis is legal. And then in July, the House voted again to protect the rights of cannabis businesses to serve the needs of patients in medical states.
These are historic victories, but we are not finished with the campaign to secure safe, legal, and dignified access for everyone who needs it.
Tom McKay, PolicyMic
With legalized recreational marijuana in Colorado and Washington state and some form of medical marijuana available in 21 other states, you might think that you can't get into much trouble for complying with state ordinances on weed.
Last-minute amendments turned a good medical cannabis bill into a bad one, and ASA needs your help today to stop SB 1193. Patients and advocates have supported this bill all year, because it required law enforcement to pay reasonable compensation if they damaged or destroyed lawfully-possessed medical cannabis or plants. But the Assembly Appropriations Committee quietly deleted those provisions last week and sent a bill devoid of patient benefits to the Assembly for a final vote.
That is not fair, and we need to speak up now to be sure that lawmakers know that this bill is not what we have supported for months. Can you do two things to help stop SB 1193 today?