Blog Voices from the Frontlines
The ONLY thing protecting state medical cannabis programs from Attorney General Jeff Session’s Department of Justice (DOJ) raids and arrests is an amendment to the Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies (CJS) budget that prohibits the DOJ from spending federal funds to prosecute anyone participating in a medical cannabis program as long as they are abiding by state laws.
Contact your Representative TODAY and ask them to ensure that protections for state medical cannabis programs are in the budget for fiscal year 2018.
On June 26, 2017, in Salt Lake City, patients, advocates, and their families introduced a ballot initiative application that would allow for a comprehensive medical cannabis program in Utah. The initiative grew from patient advocates and their families who are frustrated by the inability of the Utah legislators to pass comprehensive medical cannabis bills. This initiative would allow Utah voters decide if they wanted to legalize medical use of the whole cannabis plant in their state.
In the June 2017 Issue:
- CARERS Act Revived in Congress with Added Co-Sponsors
- Safe Access Tennessee Launches Grassroots Patient Groups
- PFC at Forefront of International Standards Development
- California Lobby Day Draws 200 Advocates
- Maryland Program Delays Spur Patient Protest
- ASA Activist Profile: Nichole Miller, Caregiver, Virginia
- ACTION ALERT: Urge your Senators to support CARERS!
On June 16, President Trump’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis held its first meeting to begin formulating recommendations on how to combat the opioid epidemic. The meeting provided compelling stories and thoughtful suggestions on how to resolve the opioid crisis. However, the suggestions that came out of this meeting were narrow; an increase in the availability and use of Naxolone or Narcan, which is a pharmaceutical that blocks the effects of opioids, further doctor education on the prescribing of opioids, and broad adoption of CDC guidelines and basing policy on evidence based research.
Medical Cannabis Advocates Call on Trump Administration to Use all Tools Available to Fight Opiate Crisis - Americans for Safe Access
Americans for Safe Access Submits Comments at Trump’s first official meeting to address drug addiction, opioid abuse
WASHINGTON, DC — Today, June 16th, Governor Chris Christie (NJ) will chair the first meeting of the President’s commision on Drug Addiction and Combating Opioid abuse. Christie is joined on the Commission by Gov Charlie Baker (MA), Gov. Roy Cooper (NC), Rep. Patrick Kennedy and Professor Bertha Madras, Ph.D.
Reintroduced CARERS Act Would Protect States' Rights, Medical Marijuana Patients - Americans for Safe Access
By Thomas Mitchell for Westword
Days after a letter from Attorney General Jeff Sessions surfaced, asking congressional leaders to revoke federal protections for medical marijuana, senators have introduced a bill that would protect medical marijuana patients in states where it's legal while also removing cannabidiol (CBD) from the Controlled Substances Act and expanding research on marijuana.
Great news: the Compassionate Access, Research Expansion, and Respect States (CARERS) Act of 2017 was introduced in the U.S. Senate this afternoon!
The bill is being introduced by Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (New York), Cory Booker (New Jersey), Al Franken (Minnesota), and Rand Paul (Kentucky). This year, we have two new Republican senators who are joining the fight to protect access to our medicine - Senator Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and Senator Mike Lee (Utah).
The CARERS Act is vital legislation that will safeguard patients in states with medical cannabis programs, and expand research opportunities so that we learn even more about our medicine. For the past three years, we have been the driving force behind this legislation to help push it forward, working hard each and every day to make sure that it would be introduced and included additional co-sponsors this year. We worked closely with Senators and their staff to make sure that important protections were included in the bill’s language.
The hundreds of patient advocates who visited their Members of Congress at this year’s National Unity Conference sent Congress a strong message:
We need the CARERS Act!
And now, with the bill’s introduction this afternoon at a press conference coordinated by ASA staff, CARERS is becoming a reality. There is no way we could have done all of this without the support of members like you.
So how can you help pass CARERS?
Here's 3 Simple Things You Can Do Right Now
Donate to ASA.
Share our messages on social media.
Medical Marijuana Bill Introduced With New Sponsors, Improved Chance for Passage; Advocates Praise Legislation As ‘Critical’ - Americans for Safe Access
Compassionate Access, Research Expansion, and Respect the States Bipartisan (CARERS) Act Introduced with Senators Booker, Lee, Paul, Murkowski, Gillibrand, and Franken
WASHINGTON, DC — Today, Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ), Senator Mike Lee (R-UT), Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), Senator Al Franken (D-MN), and Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) introduced the most comprehensive medical cannabis bill in the United States Senate to date. Several elected officials argue that CARERS, which has already garnered bipartisan support in the House and Senate, could be a solution to the nation’s opioid epidemic. The bill would also protect users of medical cannabis who comply with state laws from unwarranted federal prosecution and expand the opportunity for medical and scientific research on the uses and effects of medical cannabis.
The bipartisan CARERS Act reduces the role of the federal government in formulating drug policy and allows states to make determinations on their own drug policies. Giving the power to decide drug policy to the states reinforces the principles of federalism on which our country was founded.
By the Associated Press for WTOP
No other U.S. state is taking the research-before-legislation route because they realize it is futile, said Jahan Marcu of Americans for Safe Access, a national medical cannabis advocacy group.
“It’s never been shown to work in the past, so we are not confident that it’s going to serve the needs of patients,” he said of the process.