Pages tagged "marijuana"

Sign the petition to support AB 258 & save lives!

Assembly Member Marc LevineThe California Assembly Health Committee will vote tomorrow on AB 258, ASA-sponsored legislation that will help to reduce needless suffering and preventable death by protecting medical cannabis patients from discrimination in the organ transplant process. Patients are routinely denied a place on the national organ transplant list when they test positive for cannabis use – even legal doctor-recommended medical cannabis. Patients have already died after being removed from the list, and others are in danger right now.

AB 258, by Assembly Member Marc Levine (D-San Rafael), will prevent anyone from being denied an organ transplant based solely on his or her legal medical cannabis use. We need your help today to be sure this important bill gets over this first legislative hurdle.

If you have not done so already, sign the petition to support AB 258. If you have already signed, please recruit at least one more person to join you.

There is no time to lose. I will be presenting the final count to the committee tomorrow at 1:30 PM in room 4202 in the State Capitol Building. You can watch the hearing online at

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Our Health Is In Our Hands

ASA Executive Director Steph Sherer will be touring California between February 8th and 15th to talk to patients and other stakeholders about the local and state work that needs to get done on medical cannabis between now and November of 2016, when voters are likely to decide on an adult use ballot measure. A lot is up in the air between now and then.

Will regulations for commercial medical cannabis be good, bad, or both? Will the state legislature finally protect legal patients from discrimination? Will cities and counties ban distribution and cultivation, or keep moving forward with regulations allowing local access?

The answer to each question is that it is up to us. Steph’s talk is entitled “Our Health Is In Our Hands,” because responsibility for making sure that patients’ needs are met and rights are respected lies with us – the grassroots medical cannabis community. If we don’t take our message and vision to City Councils, Boards of Supervisors, and state lawmakers; no one else will. Don’t miss a chance to be a part of this important conversation about your community and state. Check the Events section for a list of talks statewide.

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Complete the CA Discrimination Survey for Medical Cannabis Patients

People in a groupAlthough medical cannabis has been legal in California for more than eighteen years, legal patients still face pervasive discrimination. I hear from patients facing discrimination in employment, housing, parental rights, or access to health care every week. This discrimination can have serious consequences for patients – sometime even lethal consequences. ASA is sponsoring legislation this year to prevent discrimination against legal patients who need organ transplants, in part, because at least one member has already died after being denied a place on the organ transplant waiting list due to his medical cannabis use.

Do you face discrimination as a medical cannabis patient? Are you a victim or workplace drug testing? Have you been denied prescription pain medication because you use medical cannabis? Have your parental or custody rights been infringed? ASA needs to hear from you. Our 26-question CA Discrimination Survey will help us talk to lawmakers, the media, and others about the very real discrimination faced by medical cannabis patients in California today.

The survey data could lead to better laws, court decisions, and untimely, less stigma about medical cannabis use. Please take a couple of minutes to complete the mostly yes-or-no questions, and then forward the link to others who might have useful input –

Thanks for helping!

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California has a lot on the line tomorrow


  • Message from the CA Director: California has a lot on the line tomorrow
  • State & Local News: California, Lake County, San Diego, Humboldt County, Nevada County, Del Rey Oaks, Oceanside, Santa Cruz, San Jose, Malibu
  • Public Meetings & Events: Berkeley, Online, Washington DC
  • Court Support: Redding, Norwalk, and more
  • Take Action Now: Pardon Dr. Mollie Fry, Support the Medical Marijuana Organ Transplant Act, and more
  • ASA Website Spotlight: Vote Medical Marijuana 2014
  • Chapter & Affiliate Meetings: San Francisco, Yuba County, Sonoma County, Sacramento

Tomorrow is Election Day, and there is a lot on the line in California. We will elect 53 members to the US House of Representatives, 80 State Assembly Members, 20 State Senators, 8 Statewide Officers, and numerous city and county officials. Voters in 10 different cities and counties will also decide on 12 different medical cannabis ballot measures that will affect if and how legal patients get their medicine.  Locate your polling place and help make a difference by casting a ballot tomorrow between 7:00 AM and 8:00 PM. 

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California Weekly Roundup: November 13, 2014


  • Message from the CA Director: Do you know what's at stake in November?
  • State & Local News: California, Fresno County, San Jose, Shasta County, Calaveras County, Monterey, Anaheim
  • Public Meetings & Events: San Francisco, Redding, Grass Valley, Lincoln, Nevada City, San Diego, Fresno, Porterville and more 
  • Court Support: Sacramento, Redding, and more
  • Take Action Now: Register to Vote, Support the Medical Marijuana Organ Transplant Act, and more
  • ASA Website Spotlight: Vote Medical Marijuana 2014
  • Chapter & Affiliate Meetings: Nevada County ASA, Lake County ASA, and Sacramento NORML

Be sure to join me online for the next live Google Hangout on Thursday, October 16, at 7:00 PM to talk about local ballot measures and what’s at stake for medical cannabis in the November 4 elections. Voters will decide on twelve measures related to medical cannabis in ten different cities and counties this year. There are important legislative races that will help to define next year’s political landscape and an interesting development in the race for Attorney General (see the News section for more details on that).

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State Regulations Moving Forward


  • Message from the CA Director: State Regulations Moving Forward
  • California & National News
  • Public Meetings & Events
  • Court Support
  • Take Action Now
  • ASA Website Spotlight: ASA Condition-based Booklets
  • ASA Chapter & Affiliate Meetings


Assembly Member Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco) has joined as a principal co-author to Senator Lou Correa’s (D-Santa Ana) SB 1262. That bill will better regulate doctors who recommend medical cannabis and commercial medical cannabis activity in California. The bill has been substantially amended since it passed the California Senate by a vote of 31-0 in May.  ASA and other advocates have managed to get most of the objectionable provisions in early drafts removed, and the bill now includes large portions on Assembly Member Ammiano’s AB 1894. Assembly Member Ammiano is our biggest champion in the legislature, but AB 1894 was defeated in the Assembly earlier this year.

I know many of you were surprised to see ASA supporting a bill originally authored by a moderate Democrat from Orange County and sponsored by lobbyists representing cities and law enforcement. Those are not our traditional allies, but early on, ASA recognized the value of a compromise bill that might finally get through the legislature and be signed by the Governor. That is why we decided to get behind SB 1262 and make it the best bill possible. That strategy is working.

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AZ Supreme Court gets it right. Are other states listening?

The Arizona Supreme Court overturned a law this week that made it a crime to drive with any detectable amount of an illegal drug in your blood, including medical cannabis. This is an important victory for patients in Arizona, and we hope, the beginning of a more rational national conversation about medical cannabis and driving while impaired. Patients are at risk when lawmakers ignore the science of medical cannabis use and criminalize those who are obeying state medical cannabis laws.

Regular medical cannabis users will almost always have metabolites for cannabis in their blood or urine. Metabolites are simple compounds that remain in the body after we digest and otherwise process food, drugs, or other substances. Cannabis use is usually detected in a blood or urine test by screening the sample for metabolites of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), one of the active compounds in cannabis. These metabolites can remain in blood or urine for days to weeks depending on numerous factors. That means a regular medical cannabis user will test positive for metabolites long after he or she is potentially impaired to a degree that could affect driving.

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