U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Holds Unprecedented Hearings Tuesday on Federal Enforcement of State Marijuana Laws
Washington, D.C. -- Less than two weeks after the Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a memorandum on how it intends to enforce marijuana laws in states that have legalized its use, the Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to hold unprecedented hearings this Tuesday at 2:30am ET, focusing in part on the details of that enforcement plan. Medical marijuana advocacy group Americans for Safe Access (ASA) will also be hosting a Google Hangout at 5pm ET following the hearings on Tuesday to discuss the reaction to the testimony. The media and general public are invited and encouraged to join the Google Hangout by logging into the ASA YouTube page.
California Legislature Introduces Bill to Regulate Medical Marijuana Commercial Businesses Across the State
Sacramento, CA -- A week after the Justice Department issued a memorandum, providing guidance on the role of federal law enforcement with respect to state marijuana laws, California legislators introduced a bill today that would bring long awaited regulations to medical marijuana businesses across the state. In the non-binding memo released a week ago Thursday, Deputy Attorney General James Cole claimed that as long as states implement "strong and effective regulatory and enforcement systems to control the cultivation, distribution, sale, and possession of marijuana," the DOJ would defer to local and state law enforcement. In response, the Medical Cannabis Regulation and Control Act (MCRCA) was introduced today as AB 604 by Assembly Member Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco) and co-authored by Senators Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) and Mark Leno (D-San Francisco).
Washington, DC -- The U.S. Justice Department issued a press release earlier today, announcing a memorandum from Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole that detailed a similar policy on recently adopted laws in the States of Washington and Colorado as it previously indicated for medical marijuana states. To the extent this new memorandum affects medical marijuana patients in Washington, Colorado and other states, advocates are taking a "wait and see" approach.
Chicago, IL -- Medical marijuana advocates will hold a 4-hour conference this Thursday from 1pm-5pm to discuss implementation of HB1, the Illinois medical marijuana law that was signed by Governor Quinn earlier this month. Thursday's conference is being sponsored by Americans for Safe Access (ASA) and Local 881 of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) and will not only review aspects of the new law, including the rights and responsibilities it establishes, but also bring together patients, caregivers, cultivators, lab experts, dispensary operators, and their workers in order to ensure that law will protect and benefit Illinois patients. The conference is free and open to the public.
Seattle, WA -- Medical marijuana patients across Washington have begun a campaign called "Health Before Happy Hour" to educate the Washington State Legislature and Governor Jay Inslee that the needs of patients are much different from those of recreational marijuana users, and they will not be easily brushed aside. With the help of national patient advocacy group Americans for Safe Access (ASA), the medical marijuana community in Washington will be taking their issues to lawmakers over the coming weeks.
San Francisco, CA -- U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder delivered a speech today to the annual meeting of the American Bar Association in which he outlined a new sentencing and enforcement strategy as America enters the fifth decade of the so-called "War on Drugs." Medical marijuana advocates are cautiously optimistic that the announcement will bring about the compassionate release of federal medical marijuana prisoners.
Find Out More About What Changed CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta's Mind on Medical Marijuana - Americans for Safe Access
Washington, DC -- Ahead of a widely publicized CNN documentary on medical marijuana this Sunday at 8pm ET, Dr. Sanjay Gupta has spoken out on the news magazine circuit to humbly apologize for misleading the American public on the issue. Calling the federal government's policy on medical marijuana "hypocritical," Dr. Gupta interviews physicians and medical marijuana patients, and even travels to Israel in order to let the public know about this important therapy.
Medical Marijuana Advocates Partner with Massachusetts Medical Society-Accredited TheAnswerPage.com - Americans for Safe Access
Boston, MA -- The advocacy group Americans for Safe Access (ASA) launched a new educational tool today called "Wake & Learn," aimed at better informing patients, doctors and the public about medical marijuana. Utilizing TheAnswerPage.com, an online educational website for physicians, healthcare professionals and others, ASA is encouraging patients to participate in a daily Q&A at 10am via Facebook and Twitter, as well as a weekly interactive crossword puzzle featured every Saturday on the ASA blog, Voices from the Frontlines.
Advocates Appeal Marijuana's Federal Status as a Dangerous Drug with No Medical Value to U.S. Supreme Court - Americans for Safe Access
Washington, DC -- Medical marijuana patient advocacy group Americans for Safe Access (ASA) filed a petition for writ of certiorari today with the U.S. Supreme Court to appeal a January Circuit Court decision that maintained marijuana's current federal status as one of the most dangerous drugs with no medical value. In the widely watched case ASA v. Drug Enforcement Administration, petitioners are challenging an unreasonable and unprecedented standard set by the District of Columbia Circuit, which also creates a federal appellate split on what constitutes proof of medical efficacy.