By Jonathan D. Salant for NJ Cannabis Insider
Efforts by cannabis advocates are underway in Washington to try to convince the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to allow physicians at VA hospitals to recommend cannabis in states where the drug is legal.
A number of veterans have said that THC is a preferred alternative to opioids to treat pain, or to help them cope with post-traumatic stress disorder, better known as PTSD.
“Countless veterans suffer from severe post-traumatic stress, traumatic brain injury, and other major issues resulting from their service to our country,” said Debbie Churgai, executive director of Americans for Safe Access, the advocacy group leading the effort.
“These heroes should not be faced with another battle at home when trying to obtain medical cannabis, a medicine that is safer and less addictive than the more commonly prescribed opioids for their symptom relief.”
By Jeff Smith for Marijuana Business Daily
A handful of states could pass significant medical marijuana reforms this year, providing for additional licensing opportunities and potentially hundreds of millions of dollars in new sales for existing operators and ancillary services.
By Elissa Esher for GreenState
“There are states, particularly Colorado, that are going to begin requiring testing on vape pen vapors, looking specifically at heavy metals content. California also requires vape pen testing for Vitamin E acetate. My hope is that we will see a lot more testing and regulation of these products in the future.” - Heather Despres, PFC Program Director
By Elissa Esher for GreenState
“Currently, in states where medical or recreational marijuana is legal, many apartment complexes make residents sign agreements saying they will not consume it. That means medical cannabis patients do not have access to areas where they can consume their medication.” - Heather Desperes, PFC Program Director
By Terry Lassitenaz for Hemp Gazette
“The UN decision today gives us strength and hope,” said ASA last week. “ASA will continue our fight for access until all patients in the US and across the globe have access to this incredible medicine.”
By Andrew Ward for Benzinga
Drug policy advocacy groups face more of a challenge, according to MPP's Lindsey. MPP receives its funding from individual donors and cannabis brands.
The director said that reform efforts are victims of their success, where funding can dry up as the public assumes the fight is mostly over. A state ballot initiative costs millions of dollars and is a standard part of the process.
Contributions largely support ballot efforts, as well as lobbying and staff payroll.
Lindsey said the work continues after a law passes.
"If we 'legalize' but still put more or less the same people in jail for cannabis-related activity, we haven't really achieved our goal of ending prohibition," Lindsey said.
By Janeen Wright for Greenhouse Grower
It is also certified for cultivation under the Americans for Safe Access’ (ASA) Patient Focused Certification (PFC) program. PFC is a non-profit, third-party certification program for the medical cannabis industry that helps patients and healthcare providers identify reliable, high-quality medical cannabis, businesses, products, and services.
By A.J. Herrington for High Times
"Medical cannabis advocacy group Americans for Safe Access (ASA) released a statement on Saturday expressing support for the president-elect’s evolving view on reforming the nation’s marijuana laws."
By John Camarena for The Fresno Bee
As a fully disabled Army veteran, managing my pain is always a challenge. After being medically discharged in 2013 due to a spinal and traumatic brain injury, I’ve experienced three spinal surgeries, three knee surgeries, and countless physical therapy and rehabilitation sessions. Yet my hometown of Madera, where I live with my wife and three young children, has chosen to stop access to the medicine that helps me most: cannabis.
On Nov. 16, Fresno Superior Court will be hearing the case, County of Santa Cruz et al. v. Bureau of Cannabis Control et al. Everyone with medical conditions should follow it, because today it’s me, but tomorrow it could be you.
By B.A. Dorfman for PotNetwork
In the pricey new world of craft and corporate cannabis, one organization is working to ensure that every American has access to medicinal marijuana. Americans for Safe Access announced on Friday a new partnership with Leaf411. The latter is a nonprofit group who works to provide education and “directional support” to the public regarding legal cannabis and how to use it safely. Together, both organizations are now working on what is being dubbed Leaf411’s Affordability program. Low-income medical cannabis patients needing financial support or other help obtaining their medicine will now be able to do so without issue.