General Accomplishments Throughout the Years
- ASA has been instrumental in the passage of medical cannabis laws in almost every state across the United States since 2002.
- ASA staff members have trained thousands of Public Defenders on how to defend medical cannabis patients and providers.
- ASA has generated thousands of letters and visits for medical cannabis prisoners.
- ASA has organized over 200 Raid Response protests to medical cannabis raids nationwide. Our innovative text message alert system can mobilize protesters at a moment’s notice.
- ASA has published an unprecedented amount of educational materials – almost one million Legal Manuals, over two million Know Your Rights wallet cards, hundreds of thousands of training manuals (legal, advocacy, industry and patient education, etc.), and countless special reports, newsletters, blogs, press releases, and other materials.
- ASA has hosted 8 California Citizen Lobby Days, and 7 DC Lobby Days setting up more than 2,600 meetings at legislative offices.
- ASA has worked with regulators in dozens of states to pass product safety protocols based on AHPA guidelines.
Action. Policy. Advocacy
- ASA won important impact legislation to force changes in policy at the California Department of Motor Vehicles and California Highway Patrol, as well as precedent setting cases regarding return of property and federal preemption.
- After successfully suing the federal government for unreasonable delay in answering our coalition’s nine-year-old rescheduling petition, in 2012 ASA filed an appeal that forced the first evidentiary hearings on the medical benefits of cannabis in federal court since 1994.
- ASA helped introduce the Truth in Trials Act to Congress, which allows patients to disclose their legal medical use of cannabis in federal courts.
- In 2011, ASA filed a groundbreaking federal lawsuit challenging interference and intimidation in medical cannabis states. This lawsuit invokes the 10th Amendment to stop the Department of Justice from commandeering the law- making authority of the states.
- In 2011, ASA lobbying helped convince Congress to lift the 11-year-old ban on DC’s medical cannabis law, which the voters passed overwhelmingly in 1998.
- In 2015, ASA helped introduce the Compassionate Access, Research Expansion, and Respect States (CARERS) Act.
- In 2015, ASA collaborated with other organizations and activists to hold a press conference and deliver over 100,000 petition signatures calling for the resignation of DEA Chief Chuck Rosenberg.
- In 2016, ASA filed a petition under the Information Quality Act , to force the Drug Enforcement Administration to change its unscientific position on medical cannabis.
- In 2016, ASA successfully lobbied Congress to extend the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment , which prohibits the US Department Justice from spending money to interfere in state medical cannabis programs – including prosecutions, civil asset forfeiture and more.
- In 2016, ASA delivered a letter on behalf of thirteen patient-based organizations urging ranking members of committees in the House and Senate to allow a vote on the Compassionate Access, Research Expansion, and Respect States (CARERS) Act (S.683, H.R. 1583), which would harmonize federal and state medical cannabis laws.
- In 2016, ASA’s federal lobbying efforts resulted in bipartisan passage of the Veterans Equal Access Amendment on the House Floor (233-189) and Senate Appropriations Committee (21-9), although the amendment was surreptitiously removed from the bill in a closed door conference committee session.
- In 2016, ASA was a participant in the United Nations High Level Stakeholder Consultation meeting in support of the preparatory process for the United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS).
- In 2016, ASA successfully campaigned to get the World Health Organization (WHO) Expert Committee on Drug Dependence (ECDD) to create a pre-critical review document to be presented at the annual meeting in Geneva, the first step in rescheduling cannabis under the UN Single Treaty.
- In 2016, ASA and Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, a global legal powerhouse based in San Francisco , partnered together to provide no-cost legal support to medical cannabis patients through ASA’s Patients’ Rights Project.
- In 2017, ASA coordinated advocates to hold simultaneous rallies across the United States with our Washington, DC rally to call attention the potential of medical cannabis in mitigating the opioid crisis.
- In 2017 ASA launched the End Pain Not Lives campaign, to help ensure that medical cannabis become a part of the federal and state discussions and strategies around combating the opioid epidemic.
- In 2017 and 2018 ASA attended National Council of State Legislators (NCSL) Conference, and provided model legislation of medical cannabis as a tool to mitigate state opioid overdose rates to lawmakers from every state.
- In 2017 and 2018, ASA secured renewal of the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer Amendment protecting State medical cannabis programs through September 30, 2018.
- In 2017, ASA provided speakers for, and helped to organize the press briefing for the CARERS Act of 2017 (H.R.2920 and S.1764)
- In 2017, ASA launched a petition urging President Trump to formally declare the opioid epidemic a national health emergency.
- In 2017, ASA delivered their petition, with over 100,000 signatures to the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) urging the President to order the DEA to correct false statements about cannabis on their website. Some of the incorrect information was subsequently removed after this and ASA’s Information Quality Act Petition filing in 2016.
- In 2017, in a response to the President’s Opioid Commission’s final report which left out the use of medical cannabis as a tool presumably due to a singular National Institutes of Drug Abuse (NIDA) study published several weeks prior to the report, ASA filed Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to NIDA and ONDCP to discover how and why the study came about.
- In 2017, ASA held rally on US Capitol grounds to call attention the potential of medical cannabis in mitigating the opioid crisis which followed with visits to key Congressional member offices.
- In 2017, in coordination with Congressman Rohrabacher, ASA secured numerous co-signers to a letter in support of the CJS appropriations medical cannabis amendment.
- In 2017, ASA initiated and coordinated a letter delivered to leaders of House and Senate appropriations committees urging them to pass Senator Leahy’s CJS amendment signed by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Michael J. Fox Foundation, US Pain Foundation, Epilepsy Foundation, Tourette Association of America, National Women’s Health Network, Realm of Caring, and Americans for Safe Access.
- In 2018 for the first time ever, ASA secured the inclusion of CJS medical cannabis language in the base text of the annual appropriations bill, without having to have to amend bill, signifying a historic shift in political opinion towards medical cannabis.
- In 2018 ASA joined a round table of Veterans Service Organizations like the American Legion and the Disabled American Veterans to press the House Veterans Affairs Committee & the Department of Veterans Affairs to conduct medical cannabis research leading to a change in VA policy and the VA Medical Cannabis Act of 2018, the first medical cannabis legislation, of any kind, to pass out of committee since the Controlled Substances Act of 1970.
- ASA also was instrumental in the passage from committee of the Medical Cannabis Research Act of 2018. This is the first medical cannabis bill to pass out of the House Judiciary Committee. ASA simultaneously advocated for expanding research while vocally opposing a restriction that prevented individuals with drug convictions from working at research facilities.
- In 2019 ASA worked with chapters and affiliate groups to improve medical cannabis programs in Georgia, New Mexico, California, and Colorado. We know that all medical programs can work better for the patients they serve and we work to ensure that state regulators and lawmakers know too.
- ASA created a legislative framework for the creation of the Office of Medical Cannabis, a federal agency intended to oversee medical cannabis in the US and align federal interests towards helping patients rather than filling jails or generating income.
- In May of 2019, ASA was selected to testify in front of the FDA regarding cannabis and cannabis products.
- In 2016, ASA worked with leaders in industry and research to develop a new research center in the Czech Republic, the International Cannabis and Cannabinoid Institute (ICCI), which applies a scientific approach to exploring the therapeutic uses of cannabis-based medicines.
- In 2017, ASA submitted formal comments on the medical efficacy of CBD in response to a public request from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA asked for input on CBD and 16 other substances prior to a November meeting of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Expert Committee on Drug Dependence (ECDD).
- In 2019 ASA and our partners at the International Medical Cannabis Patients Coalition (IMCPC) attended the United Nations Commission on Nargoctic Drugs (CND) meeting. We were able to meet with international representatives, conduct advocacy education. That was the third UN meeting where ASA has been able to join and participate.
Education, Training, and Product Safety
- In 2014, ASA launched the Patient Focused Certification (PFC) program.
- In 2016, ASA certified the first International PFC lab in Prague.
- In 2016, ASA partnered with the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA), a laboratory accreditation program, to assure patients and regulators that testing facilities are meeting established standards for accurately assessing cannabis products.
- In 2017, ASA launched the Cannabis Care Certification (CCC) program to better educate medical cannabis patients, caregivers, doctors, and industry workers.
- In 2017 PFC launched an online training program option so that stakeholders can participate in certification courses from anywhere at anytime.
- In 2017, PFC expanded services to pre-state assessments, application writing and review, and consultation.
- In 2019 PFC expanded once again to offer new certifications to businesses working with hemp and CBD products.
- July 2019 marked the completion of the re-certification of our Cannabis Care Certification education for medical professionals. Using new guidlines for "controversial subjects" this education offers CME credits from the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP), American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), and American Psychological Association (APA).
- In 2019 PFC expanded our partnership with A2LA to offer a dual ISO 17025/PFC accreditation. July saw the first of these dual accreditation go to Stillwater Laboratory. This expanded partnership also allowed PFC to begin the process of becoming ISO 17065 accredited as a certifying body. We expect that process to be complete by early 2020.
The DEA’s Denial of Existing Medical Cannabis Research (2016). This report was created in direct response to the DEA's decision not to reschedule cannabis. The report demonstrates the weakness of the DEA's analysis by attempting to correct the errors present in the DEA's argument.
Congressional Briefing Book (2017). A comprehensive roadmap for federal medical cannabis reform.
8-Factor Analysis (2017). A report showing that the Drug Enforcement Administration relied on flawed or outdated scientific research when it rejected petitions to reclassify cannabis under federal law.
Medical Cannabis Access for Pain Treatment (2017). A report on medical cannabis and opiate drug abuse.
Cannabis and Cannabis Resin: A Critical Review Preparation Document (2017). This report cites more than 300 scientific studies about medical uses and outlines needed international reforms to support research and patient care. ASA conference participants collaborated to peer-review the report before it was delivered to the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND).
Medical Cannabis in America - The Medical Cannabis Briefing Book (2017 & 2019). These reports provided members of the 115th and 116th congress and the POTUS with the necessary information to make well-informed decisions regarding medical cannabis policy.
State of the States Report: An Analysis Medical Cannabis Access in the United States (2015-2019). This annual report uses a retooled rubric for evaluating state medical cannabis programs from patients’ perspectives and provides policymakers with model legislation and regulations.
Medical Cannabis as a Tool to Combat Pain and the Opioid Crisis: A Blueprint for State Policy (2018). This report outlines legislative and regulatory solutions related to medical cannabis that states can utilize to combat the opioid epidemic.
Patient's Guide to CBD (2019). The Patient’s Guide to CBD is a comprehensive resource that covers a wide range of topics, including, available forms for use, what to look for on package labels, how to read a certificate of analysis, how CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system, the current state of research, the compound’s legal status, and how to talk to one’s doctor about CBD.
The Medical Cannabis Patient’s Guide for U.S. Travel (2019) was created to address frequently asked questions around the struggles of traveling as a medical cannabis patient. The guide introduces readers to concepts like reciprocity and explains why crossing state lines with cannabis is a problem. It includes information and examples of corporate policies regarding cannabis in the transportation industry and compares and details reciprocity regulations throughout the U.S.