Press Releases

May 062013

California Supreme Court Recognizes Legality of Medical Marijuana Dispensaries, But Says Localities May Ban Them - Americans for Safe Access

  • May 06, 2013 4:00 AM

Sacramento, CA -- The California Supreme Court ruled today in the case City of Riverside v. Inland Empire Patients Health and Wellness Center that local governments may ban the distribution of medical marijuana and are not preempted by state law by doing so. However, the court also recognized the legality of dispensaries, more than 1,000 of which currently exist and operate throughout the state. More than 50 localities in California officially regulate the distribution of medical marijuana, while nearly 200 cities ban the activity outright. Notably, the court emphasized that, "nothing prevents future efforts by the Legislature, or by the People, to adopt a different approach."

Apr 172013

Medical Marijuana Advocates Applaud Passage of Illinois House Bill and Continue to Lobby for Changes - Americans for Safe Access

  • April 17, 2013 4:00 AM
Springfield, IL -- The Illinois House voted 61-57 today to pass HB1, the "Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act," which creates a framework to protect physicians and certain qualified medical marijuana patients from arrest and prosecution. HB1, which is scheduled to sunset in four years, was introduced in January by State Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie) and is the latest attempt by the legislature to pass a medical marijuana bill. Similar legislation passed the Senate in 2009, but was defeated in the House.
Apr 152013

Michigan Medical Marijuana Patient Refused Placement in Prison Medical Facility Despite Judge's Recommendation - Americans for Safe Access

  • April 15, 2013 4:00 AM

Detroit, MI -- Late last week, 53-year-old Michigan medical marijuana patient Jerry Duval received a Justice Department order to surrender to federal authorities on June 11th to begin serving a 10-year prison sentence at the Federal Correctional Institution in Elkton, Ohio. Although Duval is a kidney-pancreas transplant patient with coronary artery disease and a strict medication regimen, the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) ignored the recommendation of District Judge David M. Lawson at sentencing, that Duval be "placed in a Federal Medical Center or other facility deemed to be appropriate in consideration of the Defendant's medical needs."

Apr 082013

Medical Marijuana Advocates Voice Opposition as Well-Intentioned, But Flawed Bill Passes Maryland Legislature - Americans for Safe Access

  • April 08, 2013 4:00 AM
Annapolis, MD -- The Maryland Senate voted 42-4 today to pass what legislators are calling a new statewide medical marijuana bill, but patient advocates say that HB1101 is more symbolic than practical and will fail to make much "real-world" difference in the lives of patients. Specifically, HB1101, which has already been passed by the House of Delegates, would extend the current affirmative defense for patients who are arrested and prosecuted under state law, but would provide no way for patients to obtain their medication.
Mar 292013

Massachusetts Department of Public Health Issues Draft Regulations for Medical Marijuana - Americans for Safe Access

  • March 29, 2013 4:00 AM
Boston, MA --  The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) issued draft regulations today to begin implementation of the state's first medical marijuana program, ahead of its own schedule. Today's proposed regulations are the work of weeks of deliberation, during which DPH sought input from medical marijuana patients and other stakeholders, indicating a willingness to address issues being raised by the patient community.
Mar 222013

Medical Marijuana Advocacy Group Petitions Full DC Circuit to Review Rescheduling Appeal - Americans for Safe Access

  • March 22, 2013 4:00 AM

Washington, D.C. -- Medical marijuana patient advocacy group Americans for Safe Access (ASA) filed a petition with the federal court of appeals today in a widely watched case that seeks to reclassify marijuana for medical use. Plaintiffs in the case ASA v. Drug Enforcement Administration are requesting a rehearing before the original panel, as well as seeking full (en banc) review by the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. On January 22nd, the D.C. Circuit granted plaintiffs standing -- the right to sue the federal government to reclassify marijuana -- but, in a 2-1 ruling, denied the appeal on the merits by setting a new, virtually-impossible to meet standard for assessing medical efficacy.

Mar 082013

Comprehensive Maryland Medical Marijuana Bill to be Heard by House Committees Today - Americans for Safe Access

  • March 08, 2013 3:00 AM

Annapolis, MD -- A comprehensive statewide medical marijuana bill introduced in January by Maryland House Delegate and Deputy Majority Whip Cheryl Glenn (D-Baltimore) is scheduled to be heard jointly by the House Judiciary Committee and Health and Government Operations Committees at 2pm today. The hearing will feature Dr. David Bearman, a clinician with over 40 years of providing drug abuse treatment and prevention and a recognized national expert on medical marijuana, as well as Irv Rosenfeld, an author and patient who, as part of the federal government's Investigational New Drug Program, receives monthly shipments of medical marijuana from a government-licensed farm at the University of Mississippi.

Feb 202013

Hundreds of Medical Marijuana Advocates to Gather in Washington, D.C. for National Conference, to Change Federal Policy - Americans for Safe Access

  • February 20, 2013 3:00 AM
Washington, D.C. -- The country's leading medical marijuana advocacy group, Americans for Safe Access (ASA), will host a 4-day National Medical Cannabis Unity Conference, "Bridging the Gap Between Public & Policy," this week in Washington, D.C. from February 22-25, 2013. The conference will feature medical and legal experts, elected officials, as well as seasoned advocates from the U.S. and overseas, including Canada, Israel and the Netherlands.
Feb 142013

Federal Medical Marijuana Bills Introduced Today in Anticipation of Patient-Led Congressional Lobbying Effort - Americans for Safe Access

  • February 14, 2013 3:00 AM


Washington, D.C. -- More than a dozen Members of Congress co-introduced legislation today that would reclassify marijuana for medical use and provide federal defendants the right to use state law compliance as evidence in medical marijuana trials, a right they're currently denied. Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) authored H.R. 689, the "States’ Medical Marijuana Patient Protection Act," which in addition to rescheduling marijuana will allow states to establish production and distribution laws without interference by the federal government, and will remove current obstacles to research. Rep. Sam Farr (D-CA) authored H.R. 710, the "Truth in Trials Act," a separate bill which seeks to overturn the prohibition on medical marijuana evidence in federal court. Both bills were introduced in anticipation of a national medical marijuana conference to be held next week in Washington, D.C. during which hundreds of advocates are expected to meet with their Congressional representatives about the legislation.

Feb 112013

Medical Marijuana Group Featured at RAND Conference and Webcast on Public Health Regulations for Marijuana - Americans for Safe Access

  • February 11, 2013 3:00 AM

Washington, DC -- Medical marijuana advocacy group Americans for Safe Access (ASA) will be featured today in a RAND Drug Policy Research Center conference and webcast discussion on developing public health regulations for marijuana, given the recent passage of "adult use" laws in Colorado and Washington States.