Pages tagged "Obama"


ASA Change.org Petition to Get the DEA to Tell the Truth Reaches 100K Signatures


On Tuesday, Americans for Safe Access delivered more than 98,000 signatures for our Change.org petition to get the DEA to tell the truth about medical cannabis. Today, the number of signers eclipsed 100,000, reaching ASA's goal before President Obama leaves office. ASA is trying to get Obama to instruct the DEA to grant our Information Quality Act petition and remove all references to the "gateway theory" and other scientifically disproven harms from its websites and publications.

Americans for Safe Access’ complaint cites 25 violations under the IQA, alleging that the DEA website currently contains inaccurate statements that do not meet informational standards required by the law. Making matters worse, the DEA continues to distribute statements about the efficacy of medical cannabis and its risks, which have been refuted by the DEA itself in the recent “Denial of Petition to Initiate Proceedings to Reschedule Marijuana,” issued August 12, 2016.

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Sign and share this petition today

Obama graphicTime is short. We have three more days to ask President Obama to force the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to change its policy on medical cannabis. If you have already signed ASA’s Information Quality Act (IQA) petition, forward this email to your friends and loved ones who care about medical cannabis.

If you have not signed the petition, now is the time. Donald Trump will be inaugurated as our 45th President on Friday, and that may spell trouble for medical cannabis patients and providers.

Click here to join almost 100,000 medical cannabis advocates in supporting an accurate science-based position on medical cannabis, and then share the link on social media and by email. 

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Obama, Instruct the DEA to Tell the Truth About Cannabis

Obama graphic Did you know that it is illegal for federal agencies to distribute false information?  Well it is, and the DEA has been doing just that with information regarding medical cannabis.  So, last week, Americans for Safe Access (ASA), represented by the law firm Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, filed a petition with the Department of Justice (DOJ) demanding that the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) immediately update misinformation about cannabis.

But we didn’t stop there…

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Federal progress, more scrutiny, & raids in CA all call for sensible medical cannabis regulations

President ObamaFederal momentum behind medical cannabis reform continues to build. Last week, the White House lifted bureaucratic hurdles to scientific research. But with progress comes more scrutiny. One national study spotlighted serious inconsistencies in the way edibles are labeled for potency in California and Washington, and a second review of the scientific literature showed mixed results when it comes to the efficacy of medical cannabis for certain conditions.

Here in California, the state legislature seems determined to adopt some kind of medical cannabis regulations. Bills dealing with commercial licensing, environmental standards for cultivation, and manufacturing concentrates all have committee hearings soon. Meanwhile, local law enforcement raided numerous cannabis gardens in the Island Mountain area of the Emerald Triangle. Law enforcement spokespeople say more raids are coming, in part, because of illegal water diversion and other harmful cultivation practices.

Poor labeling, questions about efficacy, rules for cultivation, and more – it all points to the need for sensible regulations. ASA calls on local and state lawmakers to finish the long overdue work of fully implementing Proposition 215 by adopting guidelines that protect patients, providers, communities, and ecosystems. Read about all the medical cannabis news, events, action alerts, and more in this week’s California Weekly Roundup. 

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Obama, federal court, the state legislature, & more

President ObamaWhen asked if he supported the CARERS Act, in an interview with Dr. Sanjay Gupta last night, President Obama said “I think carefully prescribed medical use of marijuana may in fact be appropriate and we should follow the science as opposed to ideology on this issue…” The President was talking about groundbreaking bipartisan legislation that would end federal interference in medical cannabis in California and other medical cannabis states. His comments are another sign of how far we have come. Read more about the President’s interview, an important case in federal court, bills in the state legislature, and local developments around medical cannabis in the California Weekly Roundup for Monday, April 20, 2015.

You can hear more about what the President’s comments do and don’t mean in a Live Google Hangout tonight. The program will feature ASA Executive Director Steph Sherer,  PA State Senator Mike Folmer, medical cannabis researcher Jahan Marcu Ph.D, U.S. combat veteran and activist with Grow for Vets Matt Kahl, and Weed 3 participant Dr. Sue Sisley. Join the interactive event live from your computer or mobile device tonight at 7:00 PM ET/4:00 PM PT at http://www.safeaccessnow.org/asa_live

Be sure to read ASA Executive Director Steph Sherer’s blog about our 13th birthday!
http://www.safeaccessnow.org/how_are_you_celebrating_today

And finally, don’t forget to email you California Assembly Member in support of AB 258. A vote on the Medical Cannabis Organ Transplant Act in the State Assembly could come at any moment this week.
http://www.safeaccessnow.org/ca_assembly_support_ab_258_and_save_lives

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Vow to continue pressure on Obama Administration to establish comprehensive medical marijuana policy

Medical marijuana advocates are applauding a new memorandum issued Friday by the U.S. Departments of Treasury (DOT) and Justice (DOJ) giving long-awaited guidance to financial institutions, such as banks and credit unions, to provide services to marijuana-related businesses in states where it's legal. A refusal to engage in these services has plagued medical marijuana businesses for years, dating back to the Bush Administration. Due to an aggressive accelerated policy under Obama Administration, States like California, Colorado, Washington, Michigan and others have been forced to deal in large amounts of cash.

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Ask your US Representative to sign Rep. Blumenhauer's letter

US Representative Earl Blumenhauer (D-OR) is sending a letter to President Obama asking him to follow his recent comments on cannabis and its classification under federal law with action. Will you call your US Representative today and ask him or her to support this effort by signing Representative Blumenhauer’s letter?

Click here to find contact information for your US Representative and some talking points to help with the short phone call.

President Obama told a reporter that cannabis was no more dangerous than alcohol on January 27. When asked about that comment by a CNN reporter a few days later, the President said it was up to Congress to decide which drugs belong on Schedule I – a classification reserved for dangerous drugs with no medical value. It is encouraging to hear the President taking a relatively enlightened view of the safety of cannabis and raising the question about its classification under federal law. But we need him to go further.

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If alcohol is "more dangerous" than marijuana, why does Obama continue to classify the plant as the most dangerous drug?

When asked about marijuana in an interview published by The New Yorker this past weekend, President Obama said, "I don't think it is more dangerous than alcohol."

Now, on the surface, the president's statement appears to be consistent with what he's said about marijuana before. And, at least his comparison of marijuana to alcohol, a drug that causes untold harm to the American people, is based on valid scientific evidence. The problem is that the president's commonsense approach to the legalization of marijuana has not translated into a meaningful policy change for medical marijuana and the hundreds of thousands of patients who continue to be told their actions are contrary to federal law and who are being prevented by the Justice Department from gaining access to a medicine that is legal in 20 states and the District of Columbia.

If the abuse potential of alcohol is far greater than marijuana as the president and science both suggest, then why is marijuana classified as one of the most dangerous drugs alongside heroin and LSD, while alcohol is sold over the counter without prescription to millions of Americans?

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Let's Get Jerry Out of Prison!

Jerry Duval (left) with his son Jeremy

Last month, on June 11th, Michigan medical marijuana patient Jerry Duval surrendered to federal authorities to serve a whopping 10-year prison sentence, even though he was never in violation of the state's medical marijuana law. Jerry is a kidney-pancreas transplant recipient who also suffers from heart disease and glaucoma. Nevertheless, the Obama Administration saw fit to arrest, prosecute, and imprison Jerry at a cost of more than $1 million.

This is not just a tragedy for the Duval family, though they were hit hard (as a result of the same case, Jerry's son Jeremy is serving 5 years and the Duvals lost their family farm to forfeiture), it's also an outrage that we have to foot the bill.

However, two other milestones recently occurred that give Jerry and the rest of us hope for his release sooner than planned. Before Jerry even began serving his sentence, attorney Andrew Greenlee of Brownstone filed an appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit on behalf of Jerry and his son Jeremy. We'll be watching that one closely.


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National Lawyers Guild Report Condemns Federal Marijuana Policy, Calls for Reclassification of Marijuana for Medical Use

The National Lawyers Guild (NLG) -- the country's oldest and largest public interest and human rights bar organization -- issued a report yesterday addressing the federal government's flawed policy on marijuana. According to its author NLG Senior Researcher Traci Yoder, High Crimes: Strategies to Further Marijuana Legalization Initiatives "analyzes the legalization process under way in the states, suggests strategies to further marijuana legalization initiatives, and highlights current obstacles to ending prohibition."

While significant attention is given to the adult use of marijuana, generally, the report recommends reframing drug use as "a social and public health issue and not a criminal justice problem," something we've been saying for years at Americans for Safe Access. High Crimes also recommends reclassifying marijuana for medical use. Citing the "[m]ounting scientific and anecdotal evidence" of marijuana's therapeutic benefits, the Guild rightly points out that "Rescheduling cannabis would allow for expanded medical research and use under international law."

The NLG report comes days after a report issued by Americans for Safe Access (ASA), detailing the social and economic costs of the federal government's war on medical marijuana. The ASA report entitled What's the Cost? is geared toward educating federal legislators on the consequences of that war, not only in terms of how it affects the prisoners, their families, and thousands of patients, but also how it impacts the average taxpayer and our federal budget.

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