Safe Access Tennessee Launches Grassroots Patient Membership Groups

June 01, 2017 | Marissa Valeri

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE -- Americans for Safe Access (ASA), the nation’s largest patient-focused medical cannabis advocacy organization, is pleased to announce new membership opportunities for medical cannabis patient advocates in Tennessee. 

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A local ASA affiliate, Safe Access Tennessee, is now a full ASA Chapter with local political action groups spread across the state, including:

  • Chattanooga
  • Clarksville
  • Columbia
  • Cookeville
  • Jackson
  • Knoxville
  • Martin
  • Memphis
  • Murfreesboro
  • Nashville
  • Tri-Cities
  • Tullahoma

State Senator Steve Dickerson (R) of Nashville, a prominent anesthesiologist who is sponsoring medical cannabis legislation this session, noted:  “By giving voice to the sickest citizens of our state, grassroots efforts like this are the key to making medical cannabis accessible to Tennesseans.”

David Hairston, Chairman of Safe Access Tennessee, added:  “This geographic distribution means 93% of Tennesseans will be within a one hour drive of meeting with fellow patient groups to plan political advocacy and enjoy the benefits of full membership in Americans for Safe Access.”

Steph Sherer, Executive Director of Americans for Safe Access explained: “We are proud to announce that Safe Access Tennessee is now a fully-fledged chapter of Americans for Safe Access.  Together, we look forward to working with elected officials across the State to ensure that medical cannabis patients have access to the medicine that they need in a safe and legal manner.”

Tennessee members of Americans for Safe Access added:

This has been years in the making and it is about time the citizens of this state take action to restore cannabis as a legal medicine. ASA is one of the best organizations to make this happen with their patient-focused approach.”  Len Armstrong from Lenoir City

“I look forward to working with our new Action Group in the Tri-Cities area to let our legislature know we need reform now.” – Stacie Mathes, Safe Access Tennessee Board Member from Green County

“We need the political know-how, contacts and capabilities that Safe Access Tennessee delivers to win at the State Capitol. I have seen this in action at Legislative Plaza. I am asking my Veteran friends to join us in getting this medicine legal for our disabled vets. It is past time for us to make this happen.” – Matt Walczyk, a Tennessee National Guard Iraq War Veteran

A full medical cannabis bill was sponsored in the 2017 Session of the Tennessee General Assembly. Representative Jeremy Faison (R) of the 11th District (Cocke, Jefferson and Greene Counties) and Senator Steve Dickerson (R) of Nashville (Davidson County) are sponsoring the legislation. The proposed Bill encompasses a comprehensive program for controlled patient access to cannabis-based medicines.  Dr. Dickerson and Representative Faison developed the Medical Cannabis Act after numerous constituent visits, consultation with medical and legal experts and fact-finding missions to other states.

Key elements of the legislation proposed include:

  • Restores the medical freedom to use cannabis under defined medical conditions
  • Limits access to medical use
  • Establishes quality control regulations
  • Provides freedom to conduct research without interference from federal bureaucrats
  • Promotes healthcare industry economic development without violating Federal Law
  • Allows more valid treatment options to patients and doctors
  • Frees citizens and medical professionals from federal overreach on cannabis in healthcare

Medical conditions envisioned in the Legislation (all have a strong peer reviewed, scientific basis) include:

  • Cancer
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
  • Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • Peripheral Neuropathy
  • Intractable Pain
  • Seizure Disorders
  • Spasticity
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Cerebral Palsy

The Medical Cannabis Act is being reviewed by a Special Task Force agreed upon by Lt. Governor Randy McNally and the Speaker of the House, Beth Harwell. The Task Force will meet multiple times this fall and the Bill will be up for voting in the next session of the Tennessee General Assembly in January of 2018.

Patients interested in joining should access safeaccessnow.org/tn for more information on membership options and benefits now available to the citizens of the state of Tennessee.

About Safe Access Tennessee

Safe Access Tennessee is a Tennessee based, non-profit organization founded by and for Medical Patients and their caregivers. Affiliated with the Americans for Safe Access, Safe Access Tennessee advocates for medical cannabis only and holds no opinion on and does not advocate for the legalization of alcohol or recreational marijuana. More information is available on Facebook (Safe Access Tennessee) and a new, revised web site, safeaccessTN.org

About Americans for Safe Access

The mission of Americans for Safe Access (ASA) is to ensure safe and legal access to cannabis (marijuana) for therapeutic use and research.

 ASA was founded in 2002, by medical cannabis patient Steph Sherer, as a vehicle for patients to advocate for the acceptance of cannabis as medicine. With over 100,000 active members in all 50 states, ASA is the largest national member-based organization of patients, medical professionals, scientists and concerned citizens promoting safe and legal access to cannabis for therapeutic use and research. ASA works to overcome political, social and legal barriers by creating policies that improve access to medical cannabis for patients and researchers through legislation, education, litigation, research, grassroots empowerment, advocacy and services for patients, governments, medical professionals, and medical cannabis providers.

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