Federal Advocacy Project

ASA's National Office, located in Washington, DC, advocates for safe access to cannabis for therapeutic use and research to better meet the immediate needs of patients, medical professionals, and researchers. We help to broaden support for medical cannabis on Capitol Hill, and within executive agencies and national institutes. ASA is the only organization in our nation's Capitol working exclusively to advance safe and legal access to cannabis for therapeutic use and research.

Key Staff:

Steph Sherer, Executive Director 

Beth Collins, Senior Director Government Relations and External Affairs

Michael Liszewski, Government Affairs Director

The National office opened in April 2006 with goals of ending the arrests and prosecutions of patients using medical cannabis therapeutics, ending the ban on research, and creating an access plan for the entire nation. We work on Capitol Hill and within the Administration to improve the federal government's understanding about the therapeutic uses of cannabis and the immediate and long term needs of our members. A variety of legislative issues have the potential to affect the lives of medical cannabis patients and researchers including the development of health policy, federal appropriations for the National Institutes of Health, Office of National Drug Control Policy, National Science Foundation, and the Department of Justice.

In addition to monitoring and responding to these issues, ASA's National Office works to broaden support for ASA's mission on Capitol Hill, and within executive agencies and national institutes.


In This Section

Ending the DEA-Imposed NIDA Monopoly, Support Access to Marijuana for Research

Despite the fact that federal law clearly requires adequate competition in the manufacture of Schedule I and II substances for research, since 1968 the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has maintained an unjustified monopoly on the production of marijuana. DEA helps to protect NIDA's monopoly by refusing to grant competitive licenses for marijuana production to support legitimate medical and research in the US.

ASA National Policy Agenda

Federal law prohibits the use of cannabis even for medical purposes. Americans for Safe Access (ASA) is working to change federal policy to meet the immediate needs of patients, their providers, physicians, other health care providers and medical researchers. ASA and our members encourage Congress, the Administration, and others to support long-term solutions for safe and legal access to cannabis for therapeutic use and programs that advance medical and scientific research.

ASA's Work on Capitol Hill

Americans for Safe Access is working with key policy makers on Capitol Hill in order to pass comprehensive legislation of a federal level that aims to minimize the federal conflict with state medical cannabis laws with a long term goal of eliminating the conflict all together so safe access can exist for all. Get involved with the fight for safe access by meeting with your legislator and asking for support on these bills today.

End Federal Raids

In response to the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) raids on medical cannabis patients and providers in California and other states that have approved the medical use of cannabis, Representatives Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) and Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), will once again introduce a bi-partisan amendment to the Commerce-Justice-State appropriations bill which seeks to put scarce federal law enforcement resources to better use.

Recognizing Science using the Data Quality Act

For many years the federal Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) has maintained that marijuana has no medical value, despite evidence to the contrary in this country and around the world. Read how ASA is using a little-known law called the "Data Quality Act" to change federal policy.