Americans for Safe Access is excited to announce the release of our annual report: “Americans for Safe Access State of the States Report for the Year 2021” which grades the array of differing medical cannabis laws and regulations across the country from a patient's perspective.
ASA scores each state and territory on six core categories as well as a penalties category. We also provide recommendations for every jurisdiction, model legislative language for lawmakers, and recommendations for state regulators. In this year’s report, the average grade across all jurisdictions was only 44.38% (D). This highlights the critical need for major improvements across the country.
The six core categories scored are:
- Patient Rights & Civil Protections
- Access to Medicine
- Program Functionality
- Health & Social Equity
- Consumer Protections & Product Safety
How did your state do?
Access a copy of this year’s State of the States report.
What can you do?
Every one of us needs to keep pressing our lawmakers, regulators, and officials to make the needed changes outlined in this report if we are going to keep this momentum going. This report not only provides you with a valuable tool for evaluating your own state’s program, but also gives you an analysis of what’s working and not working in other states. With this information, you can have more productive conversations with your legislators and officials on setting up or improving your state’s medical cannabis program.
Send this report to your state legislators today!
Nearly every positive advancement towards changing medical cannabis laws has been a result of people like you, organizing and petitioning their legislators to provide them with safe access to this medicine. Patient advocates spend thousands of hours every year in legislative briefings and administrative hearings, analyzing new regulations and laws, and lobbying their elected officials to pass and improve medical cannabis programs. Our work is saving lives!
The MORE Act just passed in the House Judiciary Committee on September 30,2021 by a vote of 26-15. With the passage of this bill in a key U.S. House of Representatives committee, we are one step closer to ending the federal prohibition of cannabis once and for all!
We support the MORE Act because it would remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) and benefit the medical cannabis community in several ways:
- Ending the conflict of laws between the federal and state governments on cannabis.
- Enabling patients to travel across state lines with their medication without fear of punitive law enforcement intervention, fines or jail time.
- Improving facilitation of federal, academic and private research on medical cannabis in the U.S.
- Introducing much-needed federal leadership and oversight over key components of medical cannabis policy that states have struggled with, such as laboratory testing and labeling standards, patient access, and medical cannabis businesses practices.
- Establishing grant programs for cannabis job training programs, cannabis-related criminal records expungement programs and a national equity licensing program.
- Allowing federal permits to applicants with felony cannabis convictions.
- Creating an Office of Cannabis Justice to oversee social equity provisions in the bill.
- Directing taxes from retail sales to pay for job training, legal fees and health education programs in impacted communities.
- Helping disadvantaged business owners to create equitable cannabis licensing programs for individuals impacted by the drug war.
Despite this victory in the Committee, we still have work to do. We need to ensure that the MORE Act is introduced on the floor of the House of Representatives for a vote by the full body, and we need to make sure it passes the House with additional amendments that are centered around the needs of medical cannabis patients.
We urge you to contact your member of Congress to ask that they support the bill, should the MORE Act go to the full House floor for a vote. Use the simple tool below to use our template email with your Representative.
Each year we request feedback from our supporters to help shape our annual State of the States report. We need the perspectives of patients and cannabis consumers from across the country so that we can learn from real experiences that we many not learn from reading laws and regulations or reviewing news coverage.
Your participation in this short survey will help us produce quality analysis and potentially change laws or regulations within or across states to better serve the needs of patients.
We can no longer stand by while cannabis patients and consumers continue to get penalized, fired, arrested, outcasted, punished and denied gold-medal opportunities simply for using cannabis.
Because this news got so much press, the World Anti-Doping Association (WADA), the international body responsible for doping regulations in sport announced that they are reconsidering their ban on cannabis use by athletes. This announcement came after they had received requests for a review from a number of stakeholders and that their List Expert Advisory Group recommended that they revisit the status of cannabis.
Please add your name to our petition to urge the White House and Congress to pass medical cannabis laws that protect patients, like Sha'Carri Richardson, and recommend that the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) work with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to remove cannabis from their list of banned substances.
On May 25, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC) introduced HR 3212 - the Marijuana in Federally Assisted Housing Parity Act of 2021. This important legislation would protect patients in federally subsidized housing from eviction for cannabis possession or use. Beyond just introducing the bill, Delegate Holmes Norton even sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requesting that HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge change the Department’s policy to stop evicting patients who rely on cannabis to treat their health!
UPDATE: Representatives Blumenauer, Joyce, Lee, and Young, like so many ASA advocates, have reached out to VA Secretary McDonough to demand that veterans be allowed access to medical cannabis. Please join them in their call for swift action from the VA.