Pages tagged "Medical marijuana"

Senate Committee Approves Protections For State Medical Marijuana Programs

By Matt Ferner Huffington Post

The Senate Appropriations Committee approved a provision Thursday that would protect medical marijuana operations from federal crackdown in states where the substance is legal.

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By Dennis Romero LA Weekly

California, God bless her, is often a global tastemaker. And in the field of medical marijuana, the Golden State was the first state in America to legalize it.

But that's about all we did.

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Veterans Equal Access Amendment Would Allow Veterans Administration Physicians To Recommend Medical Cannabis

US Senator CochranIn a landslide vote, the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations voted to the add the Veterans Equal Access Amendment (VEAA) to the FY2016 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs (MilConVA) Appropriations bill, which sets the budget for the Veterans Administration (VA). The VEAA would end the current  gag order preventing VA physicians from recommending or even discussing medical cannabis to veterans in states where medical cannabis programs exist. The bi-partisan amendment was introduced by Senators Steve Daines (R-MT) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and succeeded by a vote margin of 18-12.

The victorious vote in the Senate Appropriations Committee is nothing short of historic for medical marijuana patients. Although states have been implementing their own medical marijuana programs since 1996, the Senate has never officially weighed in on the subject. Now the Senate Appropriation Committee has done so by affirming that the gag order on V.A. physicians should be lifted. 

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Get connected with other medical cannabis providers in California

ASA CCSA logoPlease join ASA’s Medical Cannabis Providers List, a private email discussion list for legal medical cannabis providers in California. The purposes of this list are to help keep medical cannabis providers informed about issues related to their businesses and organizations, to facilitate conversations among providers, and to keep providers connected to the grassroots campaign for medical cannabis in the state.

Sign up for this private email discussion list here:!forum/asa-providers 

You can chose how often you receive messages from other subscribers or go online to read and post messages at your convenience.

This list is hosted and moderated by ASA, the nation’s leading medical cannabis patients’ advocacy organization. Email for more information.


Are you an ASA sponsor? Visit for more information. 

Happy New Year, California!

Happy New YearContents:

  • Message from the CA Director: Happy New Year, California!

  • News: National, California, Humboldt County, Los Angeles, Oceanside

  • Public Meetings & Events: Oakland, Santa Cruz, Los Angeles, San Diego, Washington DC

  • Court Support: Redding

  • Take Action Now: Support the Medical Marijuana Organ Transplant Act, Join the ASA-CCSA Discussion List, Expand the Green Zone

  • ASA Website Spotlight: National Medical Cannabis Unity Conference 2015

  • Chapter & Affiliate Meetings: None this week

Happy New Year, California! We had a big year in 2014, and are looking to accomplish even more in 2015. Just consider some of what you helped ASA achieve this year…

  • We scored a huge victory when Congress finally adopted an amendment to the omnibus budget bill that removes funding for federal interference and intimidation in California and other medical cannabis states.
  • Californians re-elected all of our supporters in the legislature in the midterm elections.
  • Voters in Santa Ana approved new medical cannabis regulations that will provide safe and legal access for patients in that community.
  • ASA certified the first patients’ cooperatives and collectives in San Francisco and Berkeley under our new Patient Focused Certification program, which endures quality and integrity in the medical cannabis industry. Congratulations, SPARC and Berkeley Patients Group!
  • ASA members helped persuade the influential California Medical Association to oppose the practice of denying organ transplants to cannabis users
  • ASA helped to improve two major legislative proposals regarding commercial medical cannabis regulations in California by successfully amending legislation more than a dozen times. ASA also helped stop a bill in the state legislature that would have established unscientific DUI limits for legal patients.
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Sign the petition for organ transplant patients

Patient and surgeonContents:

  • Message from the CA Director: Sign the petition for organ transplant patients
  • State & Local News: National, California, San Francisco, Riverside County, San Luis Obispo
  • Public Meetings & Events: Placerville, Santa Rosa, Washington DC, and more
  • Court Support: Redding, Santa Ana, Los Angeles
  • Take Action Now: Expand the Green Zone (SF), Join the ASA-CCSA Discussion List, Support the Medical Marijuana Organ Transplant Act
  • ASA Website Spotlight: Legal
  • Chapter & Affiliate Meetings: San Francisco, Yuba County, Sonoma County

Voters in California legalized medical cannabis when they approved the Compassionate Use Act eighteen years ago. We have come a long way since then, but we still have important work to do here in California. Legal patients face pervasive discrimination in employment, housing, parental rights, and access to health care. ASA and other advocates are working hard to change this, and we need your help to do it.

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Join the conversation about medical cannabis

US AG Eric HolderContents:

  • Message from the CA Director: Join the conversation about medical cannabis
  • State & Local News: National California, San Francisco, Fresno, Santa Ana, La Mesa, San Diego, Diamond Springs, Riverside County
  • Public Meetings & Events: Riverside, Santa Ana, Placerville, Washington DC, and Online
  • Court Support: No dates reported this week
  • Take Action Now: Expand the Green Zone (SF), Join the ASA-CCSA Discussion List, Support the Medical Marijuana Organ Transplant Act
  • ASA Website Spotlight: Resources for Policy Makers
  • Chapter & Affiliate Meetings: San Diego

Thanks to everyone who joined me last week for the latest live Google Hangout, What Legalization Means for Medical Cannabis. I appreciate the comments and questions. The broadcast is still available if you missed it live.

I know you have a lot to say about medical cannabis in California, too. While medical cannabis and legalizing cannabis gain momentum nation wide, California cities and counties are still cracking down. Read about increased pressure in La Mesa, Santa Ana, Diamond Spring, and San Diego in the News Section of this message. You will also see that Riverside and Fresno are using harsh fines to shut down cultivation. What does this mean for California? How is it impacting you? What can we do about it?

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Let's talk about medical cannabis and the election

CA State AssemblyContents:

  • Message from the CA Director: Let's talk about medical cannabis and the election
  • State & Local News: California, Santa Ana, Santa Cruz, La Mesa, Nevada County, De Luz, Berkeley
  • Public Meetings & Events: San Francisco, Santa Ana, Washington DC, and online
  • Court Support: Los Angeles, Visalia, and more
  • Take Action Now: Pardon Dr. Mollie Fry, Join the ASA-CCSA Discussion List, Support the Medical Marijuana Organ Transplant Act
  • ASA Website Spotlight: Resources for Patients
  • Chapter & Affiliate Meetings: Grass Valley, Yuba County

Election Day in California is over, and medical cannabis advocates can expect a legislative playing field in 2015 that is largely unchanged from this year. Seventeen Assembly Members identified as medical cannabis supporters were up for election on Tuesday. Fifteen were reelected to their offices, and two were elected to serve in the Senate.  Fifteen Assembly Members identified as opponents were seeking reelection, but only thirteen succeeded. The supporter/opponent ratio in the Senate, where only twenty out of forty seats were on the ballot, remained unchanged.

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Voters approve taxes, but are reluctant to repeal bans or adopt regulations

Group of peopleElection Day was good for medical cannabis patients on the national level. All of our champions in Congress were reelected, paving the way for more progress in Washington, DC, in 2015 and 2016 – despite the Republican gains in both Houses. Guam became the first US Territory to legalize medical cannabis, and 58% of voters in Florida supported the state’s medical cannabis amendment (it needed 60% to be adopted). Successful legalization votes in Washington, DC, Oregon, and Alaska are likely to reinforce the increasingly mainstream nature of medical cannabis nationwide. 

Things did not go so well here in California. Voters decided on a total of nineteen local ballot measures last week, and the outcomes may be challenging for patients moving forward. Voters seem keen on imposing new taxes on medical cannabis, but reluctant to repeal bans on cultivation and distribution or to reform onerous local regulations. That tendency may cast a shadow over the debate about regulating commercial medical cannabis activity in the California legislature next year. State lawmakers may be less inclined to be accommodating towards the emerging medical cannabis industry absent a mandate from voters in local races like these.

Click here to see the final vote counts on all nineteen local ballot measures.

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56% of territorial voters approve medical cannabis law

Map of GuamMedical cannabis advocates can claim an early victory in today’s elections. The US Territory of Guam has legalized medical cannabis. Early returns say that voters there approved a ballot measure to allow medical cannabis use for "debilitating medical conditions" by a margin of 56%. Guam joins thirty-four states and the District of Columbia in adopting some form of medical cannabis law. A commission will work out the details of the territory’s medical cannabis program next year.

Guam is an independently governed US territory located in Micronesia in the western Pacific Ocean. The US Constitution gives Congress the authority to “make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory” (Section 3.2). The US Department of Justice indicated in 2013 that they would make enforcement of federal medical cannabis laws a low priority in states with effective regulations and in cases and where activity did not include certain criteria. Arguably, the same principle applies in US Territories.