By Ross Gardiner for mg Magazine
Cannabis was prohibitively expensive for many consumers even before the pandemic upended the market. “I would say affordability is the number-one barrier to access,” Debbie Churgai, executive director at Americans for Safe Access, told NBC. In 2018, the Washington D.C.-based organization that advocates for safe, legal access to weed conducted a patient survey that revealed 25 percent of the 525 respondents said they often go without plant medicine because they cannot afford it in their state.
By Merritt Enright, Nigel Chiwaya and Robin Muccari for NBC News
In a 2018 survey by Americans for Safe Access, more than 25 percent of the 525 respondents said they often go without treatment because they cannot afford medical marijuana in their states. The respondents’ average cost per month ranged from $50 to $1,500.
By Emma Spears for the Regina Leader-Post
Under the supervision of her physician, the Arizona woman used cannabis to treat symptoms of hyperemesis gravidarum, a first-trimester illness that can cause severe nausea, vomiting, dizziness, weight loss and dehydration in pregnant women.
An Arizona woman who was found guilty of child neglect for consuming cannabis while pregnant is gaining national support after launching an appeal to fight the charges, according to Phoenix New Times.
By Elissa Esher for GreenState
“If medical cannabis were to be sold in grocery stores, the ideal place would be the pharmacy. We are concerned with patient access as well as safety. So, if a grocery store pharmacy was legally permitted to sell medical cannabis to patients, then we would support that.” - Heather Despres
By Nick Vadala for the Philadelphia Inquirer
For patients who need to treat their condition with marijuana coming in from out of state, that creates something of a catch-22, [Dustin] McDonald says. Do you break federal law and put yourself at risk by bring cannabis with you, or buy illegally where there are no quality control requirements? It’s not an easy answer right now — but at least in New Jersey, the latter likely won’t result in charges against you.
“You’re choosing the lowest punishment,” he says. “And hopefully, it is monetary and doesn’t leave something on your record.”
By Elissa Esher for GreenState
“When a product is not manufactured in a sanitary facility, the product runs the risk of containing potentially harmful amounts of contaminants or being able to support the rapid growth of microbiological contaminants once packaged. Foods that are meant to be refrigerated but aren’t are an example of products like these.” - Heather Despres, Director, PFC
By Larry Gabriel for the Detroit Metro Times
"Unfortunately, your doctor can fire you and deny your medicine. Unfortunately, it's a policy that's prevalent, and it affects a lot of people." - Brandy Zink, chairperson of the Michigan Chapter of Americans for Safe Access
By Kevin Knodell for the Honolulu Civil Beat
The bill has the backing of several veteran and drug policy organizations, including the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, VoteVets, Minority Veterans of America, U.S. Pain Foundation, Drug Policy Alliance, Americans for Safe Access, Students for Sensible Drug Policy and Veteran’s Initiative 22.
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.”