ASA in the News
By Taryn Luna for The Sacramento Bee
There's a problem with access to legal weed in California, and a Senate bill may help solve it.
A 2016 voter-approved measure to legalize marijuana in the state gave cities and counties the authority to pass regulations outlining the types of weed businesses that can operate within their borders. With limited time to craft rules before the law took effect at the start of the year, many towns approved outright bans of all marijuana businesses.
By Jon O'Connell for The Citizens' Voice
Pennsylvania’s newest industry comes with a learning curve.
More than 7,000 people now carry medical marijuana ID cards to treat illness with cannabis, and thousands more seek them. However, it remains a legal conundrum when it comes to federal law, and it’s still disparaged as weak science by some physicians. Uninformed patients risk getting frustrated or giving up without the right resources.
During the first hour of the Cannabis Learn conference Monday in Philadelphia, Jahan Marcu, Ph.D., chief scientific officer with Americans for Safe Access, and the organization’s associate director, Debbe Churgai, offered some starting guidelines for patients and their caregivers considering cannabis as a treatment option.
Protections Proposed for Vermont Medical Marijuana Users Who Need an Organ Transplant - Americans for Safe Access
By Sasha Goldstein for Seven Days
"There's always the concern that, if there's not a specific statute or guideline [granting protections], then the risk [of discrimination] remains," said David Mangone, legislative counsel at Americans for Safe Access, a Washington, D.C.-based organization that advocates for access to medical cannabis. The group recently graded every state's medical marijuana program and gave Vermont's a zero out of five for its organ transplant protections.
By Graham Averill for Outside
“There is overwhelming evidence that CBD can be effective for mitigating pain,” says Jahan Marcu, chief science officer with Americans for Safe Access, which works to legalize medical marijuana. “But we haven’t seen the full clinical trials necessary to understand exactly how it works.”
By Kyle Jaeger for High Times
In a statement Friday, Steph Sherer, executive director of Americans for Safe Access, noted the “tremendous amount of uncertainty from this administration regarding cannabis and how federal laws would be enforced against states that have lawful medical cannabis programs.”
But Sherer continued: “If the President intends to support a federalism-based solution, we are ready and willing to continue our efforts of ensuring that patients can access the medicine they need through robust state programs.”
By Maranda Whittington for KPLC 7
Landry obtained a scholarship that will allow him to head to Washington D.C. next month to attend a unity conference with Americans for Safe Access.
He plans to march with other veterans supporting medical marijuana there as well.
By Kathleen Richards for East Bay Express
So how can consumers stay safe? [Dr. Jahan] Marcu recommends looking for a third-party seal of approval on products (such as PFC, or Patient Focused Certification, of which he is the director), critically reviewing the label (beware of propylene glycol), and not being afraid to ask the company questions about its ingredients and testing. Also, don't buy any product that doesn't come with storage and usage guidelines. And when it comes to using the device, don't inhale or hold down the button for too long because you may be smoking the concentrate. All that said, "true vaporizers are absolutely safe," he noted.
By Gillian Jalimnson for Hemp Gazette
46 U.S. states and three territories now have medical cannabis laws – and they vary greatly. In what must have been a monumental effort, Americans for Safe Access recently graded them all on a 500-point scale.
The states and territories were graded on five general categories, each worth 100 points:
- Patient Rights and Civil Protection
- Access to Medicine
- Ease of Navigation
- Consumer Safety and Provider Requirements
Criteria for scoring was based on a series of more than 100 public meetings across the U.S. as well as surveys of ASA’s 100,000+ members.
By Terry Hacienda for The Fresh Toast
Seven states receive a B+ and 16 states (mostly from the South) flunk.
In a comprehensive, 187-page report on the status of access for medical marijuana patients in the US, seven states received a grade of B+, the highest score given this year.
California, Hawaii, Illinois, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio and Oregon were recognized as the best states for patients. Californi, Michigan and Illinois were repeat winners from last year.
The report, “Medical Marijuana Access in the United States,” was released by Americans For Safe Access, a 15-year-old organization whose mission is to “ensure safe and legal access to cannabis for therapeutic use and research.”
Patient-focused report graded medical marijuana programs. No states received an A. - Americans for Safe Access
By Bruce Kennedy for The Cannabist
Americans for Safe Access issues its annual state-by-state grades on medical cannabis laws and also calls on states to help combat the growing opioid crisis
None of the state medical marijuana laws adopted thus far in the U.S. can be considered ideal from a patient’s standpoint, and because of their patchwork nature, those laws do not function equitably and are often poorly designed, according to a new report by Americans for Safe Access.
The advocacy group’s new 2018 annual report, “Marijuana Access in the United States, A Patient-Focused Analysis of the Patchwork of State Laws,” evaluates every state with any medical marijuana laws on a 500-point scale.
Of the 46 states and three U.S. territories with some form of a medical marijuana program — covering about 95 percent of the country’s population — none received an “A” rating.