ASA in the News
By Bill Barlow for Weedmaps News
David Mangone, the director of legislative affairs for the advocacy group Americans for Safe Access, added that affordability remains an issue, and proposed that insurance companies reimburse patients for medicinal cannabis to avoid costs that approach $400 an ounce.
By Josh Jardine for The Stranger
I wish we could sway federal policy with patient stories—and, to a degree, we can on Capitol Hill—but with a regulatory body like the FDA, they’re looking for very specific answers to very specific questions. It’s not like an up/down vote on how many comments in favor and how many comments against [CBD products]. It’s based off the quality and content of the comments.” -David Mangone
Lara McCaffrey for San Diego City Beat
Terrie Best, San Diego chapter chair of Americans for Safe Access (which works to ensure safe and legal access to cannabis), notes there aren’t any legal dispensaries in communities where residents have been most affected by the war on drugs. This includes District 4, the area encompassing Rolando Park to Paradise Hills and Lincoln Park to Greater Skyline Hills.
“These people can’t even get safe access in their own neighborhoods,” says Best. “As far as funneling money into neighborhoods, and equity and education programs, for folks who have suffered from drug war harm, I would say that’s warranted and will only make us a stronger and a better community and city.”
By Johnny Green for Weed News
On March 28, the House Financial Services Committee voted in favor of the Secure And Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act of 2019. The bill would create protections for depository institutions that provide financial services to legitimate cannabis-related businesses, their service providers, and some ancillary businesses, thereby granting state-legal cannabis-related businesses access to the same financial institutions and services upon which other types of business rely. “A vote in the full House has yet to be scheduled, but it is our hope that the bill will make it to the floor relatively quickly,” said Americans for Safe Access (ASA) President and Founder Steph Sherer. Earlier this week, Rep. James McGovern (D-MA), chair of the House Rules Committee, stated “We will guide it to the House floor for a vote, which I think it will pass with an overwhelming vote — Democrats and a lot of Republicans as well. […] I think if we have a strong bipartisan vote, that’ll increase the pressure on the Senate to do something.”
Alabama medical marijuana bill would allow cannabis treatment for 33 conditions - Americans for Safe Access
By Brian Lyman for the Montgomery Advertiser
"I think states in the Southeast are starting to understand this is not an east coast/west coast issue, but are adapting the issue to policies and realities in their particular states.” - David Mangone
By Zac Anderson for the Sarasota Herald-Tribune
Her confidence and persistence are big reasons patients can now smoke cannabis.
Cathy Jordan had just finished dinner and was sitting in her Parrish home one evening last week when her attorney called.
“He said: ‘Well, Cathy, the governor signed the bill. We won,’” Jordan said as she recounted how she learned that smoking medical marijuana was legal in Florida.
After 22 years as one of the leading advocates for medical marijuana in Florida, Jordan finally could claim victory. She never doubted the day would come.
“I always knew we were going to win,” she said.
'Good, bad, crazy,' Medical marijuana takes center stage in Cheatham forum - Americans for Safe Access
By Kelly Fisher for the Nashville Tennessean
Mathew Binkley said a year and a half ago, it would have been “crazy” to think of himself going before a crowd and promoting medical marijuana.
Binkley, a senior systems administrator at the Vanderbilt Advanced Computing Center, attended Pleasant View Christian School for 12 years and served on its board of directors. He learned, “drugs are drugs, and drugs are bad, and that was all there was to it.”
But on Dec. 12, 2017, Binkley’s brother had a seizure and was diagnosed with brain cancer. Binkley said he went into “scientist mode” and started researching ways to help. Repeatedly, he found that medical marijuana showed “extraordinary” effects against brain cancer. But it’s not available in Tennessee.
“Eighty-one percent of Tennesseans support medical marijuana,” Binkley said. “Eighty-one percent of Tennesseans consider themselves Christian. So, supporting medical marijuana is about as politically risky as supporting church attendance. And yet, our legislature refuses to pass it.”
Representatives Gabbard and Young introduce legislation on marijuana reform - Americans for Safe Access
Via Hawaii 24/7
“The Marijuana Data Collection Act represents a critical foundation to larger cannabis reform. Without quality data, it is impossible to move policy forward. The National Academies has already recognized the therapeutic potential of cannabis, and we trust that the data obtained by this bill will show that opponents of medical cannabis have been hiding behind weak science and even weaker talking points.” - David Mangone
By Sonja Soderlund for CBD Hacker
“It is incumbent upon consumers to look into the products that they are purchasing and ask questions about the product. Has the cannabinoid content been verified by an independent testing lab? Has the product been tested for other contaminants such as microbes and pesticides?” - Heather Despres
By Robert Iafolla for Bloomberg Law
Early medical marijuana laws focused on compassionate use for terminal patients, but over time laws have shifted to broaden the conditions eligible for a prescription, allowing people to manage symptoms and remain in the workforce, said David Mangone, director of government affairs for Americans for Safe Access, a pro-cannabis advocacy group.
Still, the legal protections are “somewhat limited,” Mangone told Bloomberg Law. Employers are still free to set up drug testing programs, and patients aren’t allowed to medicate on the job even if it doesn’t impair their performance, he said.