Spokane, WA -- The medical marijuana advocacy group Americans for Safe Access (ASA) is running two new 30-second TV advertisements on MSNBC, CNN, and HLN in eastern and central Washington every day this week. The ads draw attention to the Kettle Falls 5 case--a federal prosecution against patients lawfully growing for their own personal use--and spotlight how Members of Congress voted last month on a House measure to curb this type of federal medical marijuana enforcement.
Phoenix, AZ & Santa Fe, NM -- Three businesses in Arizona and New Mexico were certified today by a new nationwide program that verifies the quality and reliability of medical marijuana produced, analyzed, and sold. The state-licensed dispensary New Mexicann of Santa Fe was the first in the state to be certified by the Patient Focused Certification (PFC) program for its production and distribution practices. The licensed dispensary Harvest of Tempe was the first licensed medical marijuana business in Arizona to be certified, and AZ Med Testing of Phoenix is the first laboratory in the country to be certified by the PFC program.
"Vote Medical Marijuana" Campaign Airs TV Ads Calling Out Congressional Opponents of Medical Marijuana
Washington, D.C. -- The medical marijuana advocacy group Americans for Safe Access (ASA) is running 30-second TV advertisements on MSNBC in Maryland and South Florida over the next few days to draw attention to Members of Congress who opposed medical marijuana reform in last week's House vote.
Federal Medical Marijuana Defendant Returns to Washington, D.C. to Lobby Senate Ahead of Imminent Vote
Washington, D.C. -- Medical marijuana patient Larry Harvey, 70, has returned to Washington, D.C. this week to persuade the U.S. Senate to vote for an end to the type of Justice Department (DOJ) enforcement that has resulted in unnecessary federal prosecutions like his. Harvey is one of the "Kettle Falls 5," a federal medical marijuana case that is scheduled to go to trial on July 28th in Spokane, Washington. The Senate measure that Harvey is lobbying for is similar to the House budget amendment that won an historic 219-189 vote last week.
St. Paul, MN -- Governor Mark Dayton signed a bill into law today that makes Minnesota the 22nd medical marijuana state. Patient advocates celebrated the passage of SF 2470, which will protect qualified patients from arrest, prosecution, and discrimination, and license two manufacturers of medical marijuana and 8 distribution centers across the state. However, advocates have voiced concern that the law prohibits smoking medical marijuana as well as the use and possession of the dried, whole-plant flowers, which is the method and form most widely used.
Medical Marijuana Advocates Hail Unprecedented, Major Victory in Congressional Vote to Curb DOJ Enforcement
Washington, D.C. -- In an unprecedented 219-189 floor vote late tonight, the House of Representatives approved the end of funding for Department of Justice (DOJ) enforcement in medical marijuana states. Advocates are hailing the vote as a major victory that signals a shift in the approach Congress is taking on this issue. The vote was on Amendment No. 25 to the Commerce, Justice & Science (CJS) appropriations bill. One hundred seventy Democrats and 49 Republicans voted in favor of the amendment.
Congressional Medical Marijuana Amendment Introduced Later Today Would Stop DOJ from Interfering in State Laws
Washington, D.C. -- A bipartisan group of Congressional House members are expected to introduce an amendment later today to the Commerce, Science & Justice (CJS) appropriations bill, which would stop the Department of Justice (DOJ) from using funds to interfere in the implementation of medical marijuana laws. The amendment, which is currently sponsored by 10 House members, 5 Republicans and 5 Democrats, comes after advocates have voiced concern over ongoing, aggressive enforcement actions despite a purported shift in DOJ policy marked by a guidance memo issued in August 2013. A House floor vote on the amendment is expected to occur tomorrow morning.
Federal Medical Marijuana Defendant, Members of Congress Hold Press Conference at the Capitol Wednesday at 9am
Washington, D.C. -- Medical marijuana patient Larry Harvey, 70, who will be tried in federal court next week in Spokane, Washington, is speaking out on Capitol Hill about his prosecution. Harvey will be joined by a bipartisan group of Congressional Representatives including Paul Broun (R-GA), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), and Sam Farr (D-CA), and Americans for Safe Access (ASA) Executive Director Steph Sherer for a press conference on Wednesday, May 7th at at 9am to discuss Harvey's case and the "Kettle Falls 5," as well as an upcoming Congressional action aimed at ending these types of federal medical marijuana prosecutions.
Federal Medical Marijuana Defendant Larry Harvey Goes to Washington, D.C. to Lobby Congress Ahead of May 12th Trial
Washington, D.C. -- Medical marijuana patient Larry Harvey, 70, is traveling to Washington, D.C. this week to persuade Congress to stop funding unnecessary federal prosecutions like his. Harvey is one of the "Kettle Falls 5," a federal medical marijuana case that is scheduled to go to trial next week in Spokane, Washington on May 12th. Despite repeated claims by the Obama Administration that it is not targeting individual patients, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has spent more than $3 million so far to prosecute five patients who were each growing less than 15 plants in accordance with state law. If convicted, the DOJ could spend as much as $13 million to send them to prison.
Advocates Launch VoteMedicalMarijuana.org to Track Voting Records for Individual Members of Congress
Washington, D.C. -- The medical marijuana advocacy group Americans for Safe Access (ASA) relaunched its VoteMedicalMarijuana.org website today, an interactive online tool that provides voting statistics and a report card for each Members of Congress. For example, the site provides details on yesterday's vote to allow Veterans Affairs (VA) physicians to recommend medical marijuana for their patients. Although the amendment didn't pass, it received more "yes" votes from Congress than any other previous effort to reform federal medical marijuana policy.