ASA in the News
By Johnny Green for Weed News
“President Trump and the Department of Justice need to consider the ramifications before modifying or repealing the Cole memo. For the past three years, state sponsored medical cannabis programs have operated under the guidance of this memorandum, and state governments have painstakingly worked to keep their programs within these guidelines. States are working in conjunction with the DOJ, not in contradiction as it sets up a workable framework that balances the interests of medical cannabis patients and federal enforcement priorities. With 91 Americans a day dying from opioid overdose, and states with medical cannabis programs seeing a nearly 25% decrease in these deaths, it is more crucial than ever that the Federal Government not remove the guidance that is currently working.” - Steph Sherer
By WCL New Service for The Leaf Online
“This success of the Leahy medical cannabis amendment acknowledges, yet again, that the federal government should not interfere with state medical cannabis programs. The passage of the Leahy medical cannabis amendment also shows that Senate support exists for the central elements of the CARERS Act. The CARERS Act would make the protections in Leahy medical cannabis amendment permanent and create a much needed framework for research and federal and state cooperation.” -Steph Sherer
By Brian Owens for Chemistry World
Ensuring that America’s medical marijuana is reliable and of high quality will help patients and drive down opioid use in the country, according to Americans for Safe Access
A group dedicated to improving access to and the safety of medicinal cannabis in the US is offering its certification programme free of charge to cannabis testing labs to help fight the country’s opioid epidemic.
The Americans for Safe Access (ASA)’s Patient Focused Certification (PFC) programme is intended to be a mark of quality for cannabis testing labs, and to help them prepare for ISO 17025 accreditation – the main international standard for demonstrating the technical competence and accuracy of testing and calibration labs, says Jahan Marcu, director of the certification programme.
By Ray Stern for the Phoenix New Times
"But this is not to say if you could smoke cannabis it will cure your brain cancer. What we know is that, in animal studies, for rats and mice, we can cure cancer with cannabis or cannabis combined with chemotherapy." - Jahan Marcu
Reintroduced CARERS Act Would Protect States' Rights, Medical Marijuana Patients - Americans for Safe Access
By Thomas Mitchell for Westword
Days after a letter from Attorney General Jeff Sessions surfaced, asking congressional leaders to revoke federal protections for medical marijuana, senators have introduced a bill that would protect medical marijuana patients in states where it's legal while also removing cannabidiol (CBD) from the Controlled Substances Act and expanding research on marijuana.
By the Associated Press for WTOP
No other U.S. state is taking the research-before-legislation route because they realize it is futile, said Jahan Marcu of Americans for Safe Access, a national medical cannabis advocacy group.
“It’s never been shown to work in the past, so we are not confident that it’s going to serve the needs of patients,” he said of the process.
By Maui Now
Hawaiʻi Department of Health has received a “B” and was ranked the fifth highest in the nation for its medical marijuana program, based on a recent report card of new, regulated medical marijuana distribution programs issued by Americans for Safe Access.
The national organization’s mission is to reduce barriers to medical cannabis by creating policies to improve access for patients and researchers, using legislation, education, litigation, research and other means.
According to the report card, “Hawaiʻi is on track to become one of the best programs in the country if they continue with their timely implementation.”
By Steph Sherer for The Hill
The phrase “no news is good news” should mean an assurance that a situation is not dramatically worsening, and perhaps even improving. For the first 100 days of Trump’s Presidency, the lack of news surrounding medical cannabis has been, for the most part, good news for the status quo. However, this is not a comfort to medical cannabis patients for whom behind the scenes actions could upend, disrupt, or delay access to their medication.
By Francisco Alvarado for Vice
“Whether or not doctors or other health care professionals have any intention of recommending medical cannabis for patient care, they all need to be well educated in this clinical area because their patients will be seeking their expert advice and guidance for this medication,” noted Stephen B. Corn, MD, a specialist in anesthesiology, perioperative and pain medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Children’s Hospital, both in Boston. Since patients may already be using medical marijuana, clinicians “need to be aware of the physiological effects of cannabis as well as potential drug interactions and side effects,” Dr. Corn added, stressing that expertise in medical cannabis will be necessary for most doctors, pharmacists, nurses and other health care professionals.