ASA in the News

Jun 032015

Trickle of marijuana patients reveals stigma, supporters say - Americans for Safe Access

By Carla K. Johnson The Associated Press

CHICAGO – Supporters of Illinois' medical marijuana program are trying to inspire interest among patients by hosting an educational event, even as the latest official count shows a tapering-off in the number of people who want to use the plant legally.

Illinois sent about 200 approval letters in May to patients who qualify to use medical cannabis, state officials announced Wednesday. That brings the total to 2,500 and reflects a slowing pace for both submitted applications and government approvals.

Jun 022015

Dozens rally against medical marijuana raids - Americans for Safe Access

by Meghan Morelli Up North Live

OTSEGO CO. -- Medical marijuana supporters protested in Gaylord Monday, following a raid on more than a dozen dispensaries and homes last week in Otsego County and the surrounding area.

Protest organizers say they’re upset about the way police handled last week’s raids.

Investigators from the Straits Area Narcotics Enforcement Team (SANE), Michigan State Police, and local law enforcement executed 16 search warrants Wednesday evening on the dispensaries believed to have been operating outside the laws set for medical marijuana distribution.  

Lt. Ken Mills says the businesses are believed to have been providing medical marijuana to people that were not their registered patients. 

No arrests have been made at this time.

“Places are shuttered and people are without safe access to their medicine and that is our concern,” said Jamie Lowell, Chair of the Michigan Americans for Safe Access.  “So we believe there is a much better way of doing this and we’d like to help be a part of that education.”

May 262015

SENATE COMMITTEE APPROVES MEDICAL MARIJUANA FOR VETERANS - Americans for Safe Access

By Thomas Mitchell Westword

Congress can't seem to get the veterans hospital in Aurora straightened out, but a Senate Appropriations Committee passed an amendment to a Veterans Affairs funding bill yesterday that would allow Veterans Health Administration doctors to recommend medical marijuana to patients in states where it is legal.

The 2016 Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, amended and approved by the committee Thursday afternoon, provides the budget for the Department of Veteran Affairs and would lift the ban on VA physicians prescribing cannabis for their patients. Introduced by Senators Steve Daines of Montana and Jeff Merkley of Oregon, the bipartisan amendment passed 18-12 and would mark the first time that the United States Senate has enacted marijuana law reform — if the bill is eventually signed into law by President Barack Obama.

May 202015

Organ Donor Wait-List Patients Can Test Positive For Cannabis in California - Americans for Safe Access

Main St. By Marguerite Arnold

NEW YORK (MainStreet) — Until now, seriously ill patients waiting for transplants were removed from the organ donor waiting list in California if they tested positive for cannabis. In what is being hailed as one of the more significant victories of the year for medical users, the State Assembly passed The Medical Cannabis Organ Transplant Act earlier this month. The bill was authored by assembly member Marc Levine (D-San Rafael) and sponsored by Americans for Safe Access - the largest marijuana patients' rights advocacy group in the U.S.

"This bill is not about drug policy or cannabis legalization," said Don Duncan, ASA's California Director. "It is about fundamental fairness and compassion. Legal medical cannabis patients should not have to choose between their doctor-recommended medicine and a life-saving organ transplant. Research shows that medical cannabis has no adverse affect on medical cannabis patients and may be beneficial in the organ transplant process. It is time for policies to catch up with science."

May 182015

Why two former cops are trying to legalize marijuana in Maine - Americans for Safe Access

Banglor Daily News By Mark Dion and Kevin J. Battle

 

Why are we, two cops-turned-legislators, trying to legalize pot? Because it’s going to happen, and we want to make sure the approach Maine takes is safe, successful, regulated and taxed. The time to legalize is now so our representatives don’t fall behind the voters. We must be proactive, not reactive.

Nationally, momentum is building in favor of a better approach to marijuana than our current, outdated laws allow. Locally, a recent poll found that 65 percent of Maine voters agree; they believe adult-use marijuana should be legal if it is strictly controlled and regulated in a manner similar to alcohol.

May 152015

Drug Reformers Hold Breath as DEA Gets New Leader - Americans for Safe Access

US News and World Report 

By Steven Nelson 

An Internet search for Chuck Rosenberg, the new acting administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration, reveals more information about his various job changes than his leanings on drug policy. But reformers are hopeful the former prosecutor will sing a different tune than Michele Leonhart, the outspoken DEA leader he's replacing.

May 112015

One Marijuana Regulation To Rule Them All? Washington State Consolidates Pot Biz - Americans for Safe Access

Main St.

By Marguerite Arnold 

NEW YORK (MainStreet) — Ever since the passage of the Washington state recreational marijuana initiative I-502, activists, those with marijuana business interests and the state have been in a fierce and growingly contentious battle to bring the medical industry under some kind of regulation. After July 2014, when the recreational market actually became transactional, most officials began to advocate for the medical sector to be consolidated under the regulatory guidelines and taxation structure set out for the recreational industry.

May 082015

Hawai‘i medical marijuana dispensary bill in jeopardy: Legislative tension has slowed progress - Americans for Safe Access

The Kaleo Voice

A bill that would allow for medical marijuana dispensaries in Hawai‘i has potentially halted due to tension between the state House and Senate. 

May 082015

Medical Marijuana Community at Odds Over Proposed Changes to Maine's Law - Americans for Safe Access

MBPN News

 Patty Wight

AUGUSTA, Maine - The LePage administration is proposing more than two dozen changes to Maine's medical marijuana law. The changes come in the form of a bill that supporters say is designed to give the Maine Department of Health and Human Services enhanced oversight and enforcement over the industry.

Caregivers and medical marijuana dispensaries are squaring off over the proposed changes, which went to public hearing at the State House Friday.

May 072015

Legislature considering plans to regulate pot shops, growers - Americans for Safe Access

The Appeal Democrat (Syndicated)

By Patrick McGreevy/Los Angeles Times

SACRAMENTO — California lawmakers are wading into the politically sticky issue of regulating medical marijuana, laying groundwork for state control of the sale and cultivation of cannabis with the expectation that voters will legalize recreational use next year.

The Legislature is considering multiple — and conflicting — plans to impose the first major statewide restrictions on medical marijuana dispensaries and growers; the billion-dollar-a-year industry is now regulated largely by local governments.