Medical Marijuana Patients React to New 'American Policy'

February 26, 2009

Washington, D.C. - Speaking at a press conference on Feb 25 with Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Administrator Michele Leonhart, and reiterating a position made by the White House following DEA raids in California on February 4, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder told reporters that ending federal raids on medical marijuana dispensaries "is now American policy.

" The Attorney General's comments are the latest sign of a sea change in federal policy that prohibits the use of medical cannabis in the thirteen states that have enacted such laws. Advocacy organization Americans for Safe Access (ASA) is hosting a conference call for media to find out more about the need for policy change.

In response to a reporter's questions about DEA raids at medical marijuana facilities in California, Holder said, "What the President said during the campaign... is now American policy."

Seventy-two

million Americans live in states where medical cannabis is legal, but federal law prohibits its use under any circumstances. More than 100 Americans are currently facing prosecution, sentencing, or serving time in prison for medical cannabis offenses right now. ASA hopes the emerging change in federal policy will signal an end to prosecutions and bring those already serving time for medical cannabis offenses home to their families.

"There has been a lot of collateral damage in the federal campaign against medical marijuana patients," said Steph Sherer, Executive Director of Americans for Safe Access, the nation's largest medical cannabis advocacy organization. "We need to stop the prosecutions, bring the prisoners home, and begin working to eliminate the conflict between state and federal medical marijuana laws."

ASA provided recommendations for a new national medical marijuana policy to President Obama and the 111th Congress earlier this year.

For more information:
Video of Eric Holder's statement: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kjZeW2fcQHM
Policy Recommendations sent by ASA to President Obama: www.AmericansForSafeAccess.org/PresidentialRecommendations


Congresswoman Lois Capps Letter to Attorney General Eric Holder: www.AmericansForSafeAccess.org/CappsLetter

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