State Officials and Experts Applaud New Report that Evaluates Medical Marijuana Programs Nation-wide - Americans for Safe Access
(Washington, D.C.) – Americans for Safe Access (ASA) issued “Medical Marijuana Access in the US: A Patient-Focused Analysis of the Patchwork of State Laws,” today. The annual report evaluates the array of differing state medical cannabis programs across the country from a perspective often overlooked in policy debates: the patients’ and provides policy makers with model legislation and regulations. With dozens of states already seeing legislative and regulatory proposals in 2016, this groundbreaking report will provide state lawmakers with timely tools they need to improve their medical cannabis programs to truly meet the needs of the patients they are meant to serve.
Eighty-one percent of Americans favor the legalization of medical marijuana according to a May 7, 2015, Harris Poll. This broad support has led to unprecedented progress in state medical marijuana programs in 2015. Nineteen states introduced legislation to legalize medical marijuana during the year. In addition, many of the twenty three states with current medical marijuana laws passed legislation to expand or improve their programs in 2015, including New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Connecticut, Oregon, California, Washington, Maryland, Hawaii, Illinois, Delaware, and the District of Columbia. Other states, like Nevada and Vermont, expanded and improved their programs through new regulations.
Medical Marijuana Patient Advocacy Group Urges California Cities and Counties to License Cultivation - Americans for Safe Access
Sacramento, CA – A national medical marijuana advocacy organization published a memo and model ordinance on Monday for California cities and counties recommending that they regulate the cultivation of medical marijuana instead of banning it. The memo and model ordinance are part of project by Americans for Safe Access (ASA) to support patients and advocates fighting bans on cultivation and pushing for local licensing and regulation of medical marijuana businesses.
“Medical cannabis advocates need tools and training to talk with their local lawmakers about medical marijuana,” said ASA California Director Don Duncan. “This project is all about supporting and empowering those local advocates to make a difference in their hometown.” ASA’s new Local Access Project (LAP) is a web portal with links to documents and online training that medical marijuana supporters can use to talk with their representatives on the City Council or County Board of Supervisors.
US Medical Marijuana Advocacy Organization Launches International Research Center - Americans for Safe Access
Prague, Czech Republic – Today members of Americans for Safe Access (ASA), KOPAC and Dioscorides Global Holdings (DGH) were joined by the Minister of Health for the Czech Republic, Svatopluk Němeček to announce the establishment of a new research center, the International Cannabis and Cannabinoid Institute (ICCI) – intended to foster evidence-based exploration with a modern scientific approach to refine the therapeutic applicability of cannabis-based medicines in the Czech Republic. ICCI will identify, coordinate and support global research priorities for the advancement of cannabis and cannabinoid treatments through a multidisciplinary evidence based approach that incorporates innovative tools and approaches.
GENEVA—Today medical cannabis patient advocates representing 27 countries will be addressing the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Expert Committee on Drug Dependence (ECDD) in Geneva, in hopes of reshaping international policies that affect the health and safety of millions of patients using cannabis and cannabis products worldwide. ECDD an important advisor to the United Nation’s (UN) Commission on Narcotic Drugs which sets international drug policies, such as the classification of drugs for international treaties, will be meeting from November 15-20 to discuss global drug policy issues, including cannabis.
Although the ECDD meets yearly, this year is especially essential, as the UN prepares for the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on Drugs (UNGASS 2016) set for April 2016 in New York. The last special session on drugs was held in 1999, with a focus on global elimination of drugs and the next UNGASS on drugs was scheduled for 2019 to assess the progress towards the goals set in 2009.
Washington, DC- On October 8th, 2015 the Division of Chemical Health and Safety (CHAS) of the American Chemical Society voted to form the Cannabis Chemistry Subdivision (CANN). The CANN subdivision previously existed under the Small Chemical Business Division as the Cannabis Chemistry Committee, but will be located within CHAS following the expansion to official subdivision status. CHAS provides expertise in laboratory safety, chemical management and chemical safety practices. The committee’s decision to form an official subdivision comes in response to substantial growth in the medical and commercial cannabis industries in recent years.
Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment Prevents Feds From Continuing to Shut Down California Dispensary - Americans for Safe Access
San Francisco- On Monday, U.S. District Court Judge Charles Breyer ruled that enforcement of the injunction against the Marin Alliance for Medical Marijuana (MAMM), which has prevented the medical cannabis dispensary from engaging in business, must be consistent with the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment and therefore, was only enforceable against activity that is not allowed within state law.
The ruling noted that a “plain reading of [the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment] forbids the Department of Justice (DOJ) from enforcing this injunction against MAMM to the extent that MAMM operates in compliance with state California law.” The ruling further noted that local officials considered MAMM to be a “model business in careful compliance” with local regulations.
Washington, DC- Today, Americans for Safe Access (ASA) released, “Where Will Patients Obtain Their Medicine?” a white paper on the impact of medical cannabis dispensaries on patients, teen cannabis use, crime and communities. Since legal medical cannabis dispensaries first emerged following the creation of California’s medical cannabis program in 1996, the location of medical cannabis dispensaries has been a contentious issue. Although, critics have long suggested that medical cannabis dispensaries will worsen crime rates or otherwise undermine the communities that host them, empirical research shows that dispensaries bring economic development and provide patients with a physician-recommended medicine while not being associated with increased levels of crime or other social ills.
Sacramento, CA- Today, Governor Jerry Brown signed the trio of bills known as the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act that will establish regulation of commercial medical cannabis cultivation, manufacturing, and transportation, as well as create a state-level licensing system in California for the first time since the medical cannabis program was enacted in 1996. The California legislature passed Assembly Bills 243 and 266 and Senate Bill 643 on September 11th, 2015, with overwhelming support in both the Assembly and the Senate.
Patient Focused Certification Hosts Industry Training For Maryland Medical Cannabis Applicants - Americans for Safe Access
Baltimore, MD - On October 12th, the Patient Focused Certification (PFC) program will host a Maryland application preparation event for applicants seeking licenses to operate medical cannabis cultivation, processing or dispensary locations in Maryland. This event, will consist of a networking reception followed by an educational workshop with industry experts on the Maryland’s application process and best practices to meet regulatory requirements. The Maryland Cannabis Commission began accepting applications on September 28, 2015. The commission will issue 15 licenses for cultivation, up to 92 for dispensaries, and an unlimited number for processors.
All Three Defendants in Kettle Falls Medical Cannabis Cultivation Case Receive Jail Sentences - Americans for Safe Access
Spokane, WA – Earlier today Rhonda Firestack-Harvey and Michelle Gregg were sentenced to one year and a day in connection to federal cannabis cultivation charges. Fellow defendant Rolland Gregg received a sentence of 33 months. All three were released pending appeal. In March the trio was acquitted of all crimes they were initially charged with, except for the “lesser included” charge of cannabis cultivation. The defendants were arrested in August of 2012 after the Drug Enforcement Agency seized cannabis plants on their property, which had been grown for medical purposes. They were barred from raising a medical necessity defense, despite Washington State law allowing for the cultivation of medical cannabis.