Blog Voices from the Frontlines

Jul 302014

Congressional CBD-Only Bill Raises Both Hope and Significant Concerns - Americans for Safe Access

Yesterday, Representative Scott Perry (R-PA) introduced a bill in Congress that would create an exemption to the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) for cannabis plants and derivatives with an extremely low THC content. Representative Perry has a checkered record on medical cannabis in his first term as a member of Congress, having voted for the Rohrabacher-Farr CJS Amendment in May, but against medical cannabis providers in the Heck and Fleming Amendments to the Financial Services Appropriations bill earlier in July. Perry's HR 5226 was joined by cosponsors Paul Broun (R-GA), Steve Cohen (D-TN), and Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) and would allow for cannabis plants with a THC content of less than 0.3% to be grown in the United States. While this would certainly be a step in the right direction rather than the state quo of complete medical cannabis prohibition, the bill has left many patients, parents, and activists wondering whether this more sideways step than one moving forward towards truly meaningful access to medical cannabis therapy.

Ladybud has already published a superb article that highlights the problems with CBD-only legislation and quotes several parents that are very concerned with the limited therapeutic potential of HR 5226. The piece quotes parents such as Jason David and Brian Wilson, both of whom have been treating their children for seizures with medical cannabis therapy. “CBD is a very important part of the mix, but only part,” noted Wilson. Speaking about the dangers and limitations of THC caps, David said, "There’s no way possible that all these children in Colorado could get seizure control and get off all their medications without using different ratios and adding THC and THCA. It’s impossible to get off all the medications and go through benzo withdrawals without being able to play with the THC ratios.” Wilson and David are hardly alone in their skepticism about CBD-only legislation, and ASA's Dr. Jahan Marcu spoke about the myths of CBD-only at the 2014 ASA Unity Conference back in April.

 

Jul 302014

Do Or Die for Mystery Pot Law

David Downs, East Bay Express

Grab your medicated popcorn. August is going to be an action-packed month in California pot politics. A bill to regulate the state's vast, $1.8 billion medical cannabis industry is speeding through Sacramento on a tight, end-of-August deadline.

Jul 302014

Federal Law Would Legalize Low-THC Marijuana in Bid to Help Epilepsy Patients

Cameron Scott, Healthline News

Hype surrounding the marijuana oil nicknamed "Charlotte’s Web" has spread quickly since Paige and Matt Figi first went public about their decision to give the oil to their daughter, Charlotte, in hopes of stopping her round-the-clock epileptic seizures.

Jul 302014

Medi-Pot Rules Still Struggling With Basics Like Cost, Jurisdiction

David Downs, East Bay Express

'Who would be in charge?' 'How much would it cost?'

Jul 282014

ASA California Weekly Roundup: July 28, 2014 - Americans for Safe Access

  

Contents:

  • Message from the CA Director: One more week...
  • State & Local News: News From Communities All Over California
  • Public Meetings & Events: CA Citizen Lobby Day & Sonoma Blossom Festival
  • Court Support: Westminster
  • Take Action Now: Register for the CA Citizen Lobby Day & More
  • ASA Website Spotlight: Peace for Patients
  • Chapter & Affiliate Meetings: San Diego

One more week... The CA Citizen Lobby Day is just one week away. We need to see a strong showing of support in the Capitol Building next Monday, August 4, to amplify all of the voices from the medical cannabis community at this crucial moment. Key committee votes may happen just days after our lobby day, and final votes on the floor of the Assembly will come soon after. Your lawmakers need to know that this issue matters to voters in their district. Will you be there to speak up?

Register today for the CA Citizen Lobby Day in Sacramento on Monday, August 4. Don’t wait any longer. I only have one more week to schedule appointments for you with your Assembly and Senate offices.

We will be hearing from Senator Lou Correa (D-Santa Ana), the co-author of SB 1262, on Monday morning. We will also be hearing from you. Participants will have a chance to talk to the group about the bills and complete a constituents’ survey about amendments and final positions on legislation. This matters because eleventh-hour amendments in the Assembly Appropriations Committee may have a dramatic effect on SB 1262, the controversial bill that seeks to better regulate doctors and commercial medical cannabis activity in the state. I know many patients and other stakeholders have opinions to share. Now is the time.

Jul 272014

Marijuana poses more risks than many realize

Liz Szabo, USA Today

Doctors say they're increasingly fielding questions about the safety of marijuana, as use of the drug rises and more communities consider legalizing it. Colorado and Washington state have legalized recreational marijuana, and medical use is allowed in 21 states and Washington, D.C.

Jul 252014

Medical Marijuana Patient Headed for Costly Trial Over 39 Grams of Marijuana - Americans for Safe Access

Patient_Protest_CA.jpgSan Diego, CA – Jose Calva a legal medical marijuana patient and his attorney, Michael Cindrich went before judge Jay M. Bloom downtown Wednesday to hear the evidence against Jose in a preliminary examination.  Clayton Carr, who is a brand-new Deputy District Attorney, called two witnesses: the arresting police officer and a San Diego Police detective who appeared to have little patience for the display of wasted money by District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis.

At issue is whether, as a patient, Jose Calva may transport medical cannabis lawfully or if doing so makes him guilty of possession of marijuana for sale and transportation for sale. The city had been grappling with how to ban medical cannabis retail delivery services but abandoned the issue as a state matter when Deputy City Attorney Shannon Thomas made a statement at a recent Public Safety meeting that delivery drivers delivering medicine to sick people have a defense for this action in state court and therefore the practice can not be banned by the city.

The arresting officer in Jose’s case, Kyle Fitchhorn testified to seeing Jose parked in the college area; making contact; flooding Jose’s car with light and spotting a bag of kief, some money and, after searching, found a couple of bagged cannabis products stapled with receipts.  All together, office Fitchhorn found 39 grams of medical cannabis. There were also business cards and a ringing cell phone, the officer said he concluded that Jose was providing a delivery service.

Jul 252014

Medical marijuana rules for doctors raise concerns

Michael Dresser, Baltimore Sun

Proposed rules for Maryland's nascent medical marijuana system are drawing objections from a leading advocate, who says the regulations could discourage doctors from participating.

Jul 242014

New Hampshire Celebrates Bittersweet Anniversary Of Medical Marijuana Program

Katie Rucke, MintPress News

Wednesday marked the bittersweet one year anniversary of New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan signing the state’s medical marijuana legislation into law.

Jul 242014

Let’s talk tonight - Americans for Safe Access

I am having another live Google Hangout tonight to talk about medical cannabis bills and what is coming up next year. Join me at 7:00 PM tonight, July 24, at this web address:

https://plus.google.com/u/0/events/c2k8gkm2n5mhnl1ha1s7oomd374

We will be talking about bills that deal with regulating doctors and commercial medical cannabis activity (SB 1262), the return of wrongfully-confiscated property (SB 1193), and equal access to health care for legal medical cannabis patients. A Google Hangout is an interactive event you can join from your computer or mobile device.

We need to talk tonight, because I need to see you in Sacramento in eleven days. Medical cannabis patients, cultivators, providers, and others are coming to Sacramento for ASA’s CA Citizen Lobby Day on Monday, August 4, to talk about bills that will affect our community for years to come. We expect important committee votes on medical cannabis bills within a few days of the lobby day – maybe that same week. We need to make a strong showing to amplify the voices of advocates at a strategic time in the legislative process.

Register today for the CA Citizen Lobby Day in Sacramento on Monday, August 4, and I will make an appointment for you to meet with your representatives in the state Assembly and Senate.