A place for old ASA content, retired from active status, but still useful.

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Sample Housing Letter

Review this letter that may assist patients in avoiding tenancy evictions.

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Felix Kha

Review briefs from this return of property case currently before the California Court of Appeals for the Fourth Appellate District, in which the Attorney General filed an amicus brief.

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California Highway Patrol

Review briefs from a lawsuit that successfully reversed a bad CHP policy of mandatory seizure of patient medicine. ASA obtained a 4-year "consent decree" from the CHP and the Governor, and $75,000 in attorneys fees.

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Jesse Ewing

Review the brief successfully challenging the denial of unemployment benefits.

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Motions to Dismiss

Law enforcement violations of the Compassionate Use Act and Senate Bill 420 are widespread across the state. As a result, countless patients are forced to go through the court system. Herein are briefs to help with the legal defense of patients and caregivers.

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What is the Information Quality Act (aka Data Quality Act)?

Information about the Information Quality Act, which mandates that sound science must inform federal government policies.

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Sales Tax

Review a position paper challenging sales tax of medical marijuana by the State Board of Equalization, and the resulting policy change that occurred in October 2005.

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U.S. v. Ed Rosenthal

A jury in San Francisco federal court found Oakland resident Ed Rosenthal guilty of cultivating cannabis, conspiracy to cultivate, and maintaining a place where drugs are manufactured. Jurors were never allowed to hear evidence regarding Prop. 215 or Rosenthal's deputization by the city of Oakland to grow medical cannabis. Jurors publicly recanted their "guilty" verdict after finding out all the facts that were left out of the trial.

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Matt Vaughn

Matt Vaughn of the Medical Marijuana Caregivers Association of El Dorado County was pulled over by CHP on June 5, 2005 in Glenn County. Ignoring his status as a patient, the CHP confiscated Vaughn’s pipe and 36 grams of his medicine, and charged him with possession.

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2017 California Legislation

Use this page to find the most recent versions of cannabis and medical cannabis bills in the state legislature, ASA's position on bills and more.

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Ed Rosenthal

CRIMINAL: Review briefs from the case of the prolific author and medical marijuana activist, including a successful motion to dismiss based on vindictive prosecution.

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Qualified Patients Association v. City of Anaheim

Review briefs from a lawsuit challenging the City of Anaheim's outright ban on medical marijuana dispensaries.

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County of San Diego v. San Diego NORML

Review briefs by ASA, Drug Policy Alliance and the ACLU Drug Law Reform Project, successfully defending the state's medical marijuana law. San Diego Superior Court ruled that federal law does not preempt state law.

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Ross v. RagingWire Telecommunications

Review briefs filed before the California Supreme Court in an effort to overturn an appellate court ruling that gives landlords the ability to discriminate against patient tenants.

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California Local Regulations

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Conant v. McCaffrey

(2000): The government was enjoined by the U.S. District Court in San Francisco from punishing physicians or taking their DEA licenses for recommending medical use of cannabis.

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Conant v. Walters

(2002): The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that the federal government could not punish, or threaten to punish, a doctor merely for telling a patient that his or her use of marijuana for medical use is proper.

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State of California Medical Cannabis Rulings

Landmark legal rulings in California

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Limiting Law Enforcement Encounters

The Best Law Enforcement Encounter is the One that Never Happens. Fortunately, many patients and caregivers never encounter law enforcement problems. Those that do fairly regularly report successful interactions with local and county police. Many municipalities offer strong protection to medical cannabis patients. However, even in friendly jurisdictions, patients are still being harassed and arrested for medical cannabis, even if they present a valid medical cannabis ID card.

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Demystifying the Legal System

Once you are in the legal system, there is a general a basic set up steps for everyone despite jurisdiction or agency. This section is meant to “demystify” the system so if you find yourself in jail you can know what to expect. Laws surrounding release options may vary state to state.

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Michael Teague

CRIMINAL: Review appeal briefs from the case of one of the first patients after the passage of Proposition 215 to be charged federally for personal use cultivation.

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Michael Lee

CIVIL: Review briefs challenging a due process violation of destruction of property, which resulted in an $8,000 settlement agreement.

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Sample Employment Letters

Review letters ASA has developed to help prevent discrimination and employment termination because of a positive test for marijuana.

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U.S. v. Oakland Cannabis Buyers Cooperative

(2001): The U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling in 2001, which was then used by a federal district court in California to issue a permanent injunction against OCBC, prohibiting it from distributing medical cannabis.

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Scientific History of Medical Cannabis

Cannabis was a part of the American pharmacopoeia until 1942 and is currently available by prescription in the Netherlands, Canada, Spain, and Israel in its whole plant form...

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Rose Johnson

Rose Johnson, is a 53-year-old medical marijuana patient from Atwater. Despite Ms. Johnson's clean driving record -- not having caused an accident in 37 years -- the DMV revoked her license in July of 2008. According to the DMV, Ms. Johnson's license was revoked "because of...[an] addiction to, or habitual use of, [a] drug," thereby rendering her unable to safely operate a motor vehicle, even though no evidence existed to substantiate this claim.

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Solano County

For years, local officials have tried to use federal law as a reason to deny patients their legal rights, but the July 2008 landmark decision in the San Diego case made clear that federal law does not preempt the state's medical marijuana law. ASA filed a lawsuit against Solano county for failing to implement the ID card program, and, in June 2009, the Board of Supervisors voted to begin implementation of the state-mandated program.

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McClary-Raich v. Gonzales

(2007): The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals put what appears to be the final touches on the Raich case on March 14, 2007. In McClary-Raich v. Gonzales, the court addressed the outstanding issues remaining after the Supreme Court's pronouncement that the federal government has the authority under the Commerce Clause to regulate medical marijuana.

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Proposition 64 and Medical Cannabis

Our mission at Americans for Safe Access (ASA) is focused exclusively on medical cannabis; and therefore, the organization generally does not take positions of support or opposition regarding adult-use cannabis laws. However, Proposition 64 makes beneficial changes to the state’s medical cannabis laws related to personal cultivation, taxation, and patients’ rights.

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Law Enforcement Encounters: Know Your Rights

Making the choice to participate in a medical cannabis program or to resist current laws should be done with thoughtful consideration. Following the law in your local area may not always protect you from law enforcement encounters, and the more you know about your rights, the more likely you will be to have a successful encounter with law enforcement.

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Amanda Whittemore

The DMV is another entity that has been found to unfairly discriminate against patients, and ASA is taking a pro-active stance to counter this practice. Amanda Whittemore is a Sacramento patient who, after a routine traffic stop, was referred to the DMV by the police officer that stopped her.

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Talking Points on Alternative Treatments for Opioids & CARERS ACT

We know that meeting with your Representatives can be intimidating. So here are some talking points to help prep you for your meeting.

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Butte County

Review briefs from a lawsuit challenging Butte County's policy of prohibiting private patient collectives.

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City of Fresno

Review briefs from lawsuits challenging Fresno's and other cities' bans on medical cannabis dispensing collectives.

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Jim Blair

Review briefs from a lawsuit in which the City of Emeryville was forced to pay $15,000 to compensate a patient for his wrongfully confiscated medical marijuana.

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Return of Property

Legal information about getting your medical marijuana returned by law enforcement. (California-specific)

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The Role of State Law Enforcement

States, not the federal government, are the principal purveyors of criminal codes. Congress' authority to enact criminal laws is greatly circumscribed by the Constitution. Only when federal and state laws directly conflict is federal law supreme. When there is no direct conflict, states retain the authority to legislate as they see fit.

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Ben Goldstein

Review the briefs for this case of a person living with HIV who was robbed, then prevented by the San Francisco police from obtaining his stolen medicine. This case is before the California Court of Appeals for the First District, and has the support of the National Association of People Living With AIDS.

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Alberto Gonzales v. Angel Raich

(2005): On June 6, 2005, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that federal law enforcement officials can prosecute medical marijuana patients, even if they grew their own medicine and even if they reside in a state where medical marijuana use is protected under state law.

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Court orders for return of property

Review court orders for return of property from County Superior Courts across the state.

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Cannabinoid Receptor as Therapeutic Targets

By Ken Mackie, Annual Review of Pharmacology and Toxicology March 14th, 2006

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Medicine for Real

In considering those decisions, is important that lawmakers and regulators treat medical cannabis like real medicine. We tax and regulate vices, such as alcohol and tobacco, in a fundamentally different way than we do medicine. We would never erect barriers to obtaining heart medication, but we do take steps to discourage tobacco use. Likewise, we would not tolerate a sin tax on insulin or chemotherapy, even if the revenue was dedicated to a laudable goal. Lawmakers must resist the temptation to lump medical and non-medical cannabis use together when making policy choices.

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Physician’s code of Ethics and Medical Marijuana

Excerpted from the AMA’s current opinions on the physician’s code of ethics

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Find an Attorney

Are you looking for an attorney or just need legal advice? Click on your state below to find an attorney in your area. ASA members receive discounts on legal services.

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In re Grand Jury Subpoena for THCF Medical Clinic Records

(2007): The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Washington quashed a subpoena directed to the State of Oregon to reveal information about 17 patients receiving medical marijuana.

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ASA's Work on Capitol Hill

Americans for Safe Access is working with key policy makers on Capitol Hill in order to pass comprehensive legislation of a federal level that aims to minimize the federal conflict with state medical cannabis laws with a long term goal of eliminating the conflict all together so safe access can exist for all. Get involved with the fight for safe access by meeting with your legislator and asking for support on these bills today.

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Chronic Pain and Opiods In the News

Read recent stories, reports, and studies on chronic pain, the opioid epidemic, and medical cannabis.

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Facing State or Federal Charges?

Resources to help medical marijuana patients, caregivers, and providers facing prosecution.

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The Emerging Role of the Endocannabinoid System in Endocrine Regulation and Energy Balance

by Uberto Pagotto, Giovanni Marsicano, Daniela Cota, Beat Lutz, and Renato Pasquali, Endocrine Reviews February 1st, 2006

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End Federal Raids

In response to the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) raids on medical cannabis patients and providers in California and other states that have approved the medical use of cannabis, Representatives Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) and Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), will once again introduce a bi-partisan amendment to the Commerce-Justice-State appropriations bill which seeks to put scarce federal law enforcement resources to better use.

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Patient/Caregiver Legal Checklist

Any patient or caregiver can become the target of a law enforcement action. Each person who decides to use medical cannabis, or helps a patient to do so, should be prepared in advance to successfully maneuver through these encounters. You might not be able to avoid arrest in each instance, but chances of successfully fighting charges are greatly improved by education and careful planning. There are many measures you can take before legal problems occur. Here is a checklist that patients and caregivers can use to prepare themselves.

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Important Documents

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ASA Benefit Application

A formal application to use ASA's name and logo for promotion of events, projects, and/or products.

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CA Tip of the Month Archive

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Study: Medical Cannabis Use in CA

A new study shows that 1.4 million Californians have used medical cannabis and an overwhelming majority of those users (92%) believe cannabis helped treat the symptoms of a serious medical condition. The study, which will be published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Review, challenges the commonly held perception that medical cannabis is being overused by healthy people and demonstrates that California’s medical cannabis laws are providing real relief to a lot of people.

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Kettle Falls Five

Family members from a rural area of eastern Washington are expected to go to trial next month on federal marijuana charges, despite the Obama Administration's repeated claims that it does not target seriously ill patients. Because of marijuana's illegal status under federal law, patients like the "Kettle Falls 5" are typically prohibited from raising a medical necessity or state law defense in federal court.

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2016 Legislation

ASA monitors legislation related to medical cannabis and works with lawmakers to be sure that patients' needs are represented in the legislative process. You can keep track of bills related to medical cannabis in 2016 here.

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Spark the Conversation map

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2016 CA Fact Sheets

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CA Legislative Roundup 2015

The California Legislature adjourned n September, following a session that included more than a dozen bills concerning medical cannabis. Patients, providers, and other stakeholders scored some big victories in Sacramento this year, and now we have important work to do. ASA is committed to working hard to build on the momentum of the legislative session. We are going to be aggressively defending new rights won this year, helping write new regulations for commercial medical cannabis activity, acting as a watchdog on implementation, and more. We are going to need your help and support to get it done.

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Points of Unity - California

ASA believes that workable regulations and state licensing are an important part of expanding and preserving safe, legal, and dignified access to medical cannabis in California. We call on lawmakers, patients, and other stakeholders to cooperate in creating legislation that works for everyone. These “Points of Unity” are designed to help facilitate that process. Your input is welcome.

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2015 Legislation

ASA’s California Campaign for safe access tracks state legislation related to medical cannabis.

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Local Ballot Measures 2014

There are twelve city and county voter initiatives related to medical cannabis in California on the November 4, 2014 ballot. These measures will affect if and how local patients get their medicine.

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Medical Marijuana Regulation, Control, and Taxation Act

This sample legislation reflects the principles ASA and our allies want to see in an effective regulatory bill.

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2014 Legislation

Find out about medical cannabis bills in the state legilslature this year.

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Testimony for the President's Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis

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State Law and Regulation Citation Chart