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2014 ASA Accomplishments & What's on the Horizon in 2015
ASA 2014 Accomplishments
VICTORY AND PROGRESS ON THE FEDERAL LEVEL
- ASA hosted the largest medical cannabis citizen lobby day in US history, taking more than 300 patients and advocates to 500 meetings with Congressional offices.
- ASA hosted the second annual National Medical Cannabis Unity Conference in Washington, DC, with 350 patients, advocates, researchers, industry leaders, and more. This conference is now the premier medical cannabis politics, science, and advocacy event of the year.
- After twelve years of work by ASA and some strategic last minute advocacy, Congress finally adopted an amendment to the omnibus budget bill that removes funding for federal interference and intimidation in medical cannabis states. This means the US Department of Justice cannot spend money on investigation, raids, prosecution, or incarceration related to legal medical cannabis activity.
- ASA launched a new and improved Vote Medical Marijuana 2014 website to help patients and advocates make informed decisions about candidates in the crucial 2014 midterm elections.
- ASA supported HR 689, the "States' Medical Marijuana Patient Protection Act." HR 689 aims to reclassify marijuana for medical use, increase therapeutic research, and restrict DOJ enforcement on a more permanent basis.
- ASA supported the "Veterans Equal Access Act,” a federal bill that would allow our country's veterans to become medical cannabis patients in states where it's legal.
PATIENT FOCUSED CERTIFICATION: PROTECTING PATIENTS’ WELFARE
- After working closely with ASA, The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) released its long-awaited medical marijuana manufacturing guidelines today, completing its compendium of industry standards, which include regulatory recommendations for cannabis from seed to sale.
- ASA’s Patient Focused Certification program, which helps ensure quality and integrity in the medical cannabis industry, certified medical cannabis providers in California, Arizona, New Mexico, Washington, Maine, and Washington, DC.
SHAPING THE NATIONAL DIALOG
- ASA ran TV advertisements under the banner of "Vote Medical Marijuana" in Congressional districts in Florida, Maryland, and Washington State. The ads informed constituents how members of the House voted on an important issue affecting medical marijuana patients.
- ASA’s proactive media worked helped shine a national spotlight on the case of the “Kettle Falls 5,” a group of family and friends being prosecuted for growing medical cannabis in Washington. ASA flew defendants to Washington, DC, to meet in person with members of Congress and helped place the story in influential media like CNN.
- ASA teamed up with the world's largest cannabis information resource, Leafly, to run advertisements about medical cannabis and chronic pain in USA Today's NFL Special Edition, which was read by football fans across the country.
MOVING FORWARD IN THE STATES AND DC
- ASA lobbied officials to eliminate the arbitrary list conditions for which medical cannabis can be recommended and dramatically expand the number of plants that providers can cultivate in Washington, DC – a move that extended legal protection and access to thousands of residents.
- ASA was instrumental in passing a new medical cannabis law in Maryland, and we engaged lawmakers in thirteen other states to help adopt and improve medical cannabis laws in 2014.
- ASA was successful in getting product safety standards added to state laws and regulations Illinois, Oregon, Nevada, Massachusetts, and Maryland. The standards will protect hundreds of thousands of legal patients.
- ASA’s Health Before Happy Hour campaign pushed for important changes in Washington state law to protect patients who use medical cannabis from harmful regulations aimed at rolling the state’s medical cannabis program into the new recreational marketplace.
- ASA members helped persuade the influential California Medical Association to oppose the practice of denying organ transplants to cannabis users. ASA will sponsor legislation in California in 2015 to make this the law.
- 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.
On the Horizon for 2015
ASA has big plans for 2015, and we hope you are a part of it!
- One ASA’s top priorities in 2015 will be to implement the new law passed by Congress that removes funding for federal interference and intimidation in medical cannabis states. ASA will act as a federal watchdog to find and stop federal interference, meet with officials at the Department of Justice, and file briefs and writs to enforce the law in federal court.
- ASA will file a new legal challenge to the federal classification of medical cannabis under the Data Quality Act, and obscure federal statue that requires government policy to be based on science.
- ASA will introduce comprehensive medical cannabis legislation in Congress in 2015.
- We will host the biggest and most important medical cannabis conference and citizen lobby day in Congress in 2015. Join us for the National Medical Cannabis Unity Conference & Citizen Lobby Day March 27-31st in Washington, DC.
- ASA will support legislation to better regulate commercial medical cannabis activity and protect patients’ rights in California and Washington.
- ASA will sponsor a bill in California to protect medical cannabis patients who need organ transplants from discrimination.
- ASA will work with lawmakers and local stakeholders to introduce new medical cannabis legislation in Indiana, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and more.
- ASA will expand its new Patient Focused Certification Program to ensure quality and integrity in the emerging medical cannabis industry.
- ASA will continue to offer free legal support and education for tens of thousands of patients and other stakeholders.