ASA in the News
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.
Sweet Releaf: The Latest Cannabis App Is Changing How Patients Receive Their Plant Knowledge - Americans for Safe Access
By Kelly Johnson for Big Buds
It’s amazing what can happen in just two years. The recent partnership announced between the cannabis app Releaf and the nonprofit Americans for Safe Access (ASA) is proof that patience, and dedication to the consumer, is a virtue in the green space.
“Americans for Safe Access has been an important champion for cannabis patients since 2002. [Releaf is] very excited to work with such a well-respected organization, and we’re honored that they recognize our sincere passion for empowering patients,” says Franco Brockelman, CEO and founder of Releaf.
The joint venture between the Washington, D.C.-based app and the longtime cannabis patient nonprofit organization will improve how users and dispensaries share cannabis knowledge, as well as the quality of medical data for researchers across America.
By Thomas Mitchell for Westword
Colorado used to to be one of the few states in the country with legal medical marijuana. But that has changed rapidly, with the majority of the states in the United States offering some kind of access to medical marijuana. According to a prominent advocacy group, however, many of those states put severe restrictions on MMJ, making Colorado's program look robust in comparison.
In Virginia, cannabis oils – often referred to as medical marijuana – are only legal for those with epilepsy.
Even that legislation is relatively new – just a few years old. Advocates like Beth Collins with Americans for Safe Access and her 18-year-old daughter Jennifer are a major reason why the oils are even legal at all.
“I’m incredibly proud of the advocacy efforts of my daughter. Couldn’t be prouder.”
Jennifer has epilepsy. She and her mom moved to Colorado so she could experiment with alternative treatments for her illness.
She tried CBD oil, but that didn’t work, but then she tried THC-A oil, and it did.
“It’s great, you know. I’ve got my life back.”
By Sam Stockard for the Memphis Daily News
David Hairston, of [Safe Access Tennessee], said a number of mothers on his board of directors also have epileptic children and face the same situation.
“We do have some very limited access if you have the diagnosis of epilepsy. But there are still restraints on the amount of THC, that as a child grows further into maturity, particularly into their teenage years, that are not adequate to serve the needs of these babies,” Hairston said.
He points out Tennessee has 5,000 children and 70,000 adults stricken with epilepsy, 300,000 cancer victims, 100,000 people with Alzheimer’s and 100,000 with ALS.
“These are just desperately debilitating diseases, and we’re just looking for some relief,” Hairston said.
By Julie Johnson for The Press Democrat
The backlog of appointments is troubling for people with medical conditions who rely on marijuana because they are the least likely to be able to afford the new slew of state and local taxes associated with new regulations, said Sarah Shrader, chair of the Sonoma County chapter of Americans for Safe Access.
“That means that patients cannot afford their medicine anymore, and they’re looking for any discount they can get,” Shrader said.
“I’m not giving up until everybody has what they need,” - Beth Collins
Valley delegate introduces bill expanding the uses of medical cannabis oil - Americans for Safe Access
By Marina Barnett for WHSV3
Beth Collins, who is a Senior Director of Government Relations and External Affairs at Americans for Safe Access, said cannabis oil was the last option for her daughter, who suffers from epilepsy. She wants this bill to help other patients who are struggling with symptoms to get the help they need as well. The new bill lets doctors make that decision, instead of lawmakers.
"We just don't think that's a good approach for anybody, or fair, so we wanted to let doctors decide and Senator Dunnavant agreed to submit the bill," said Collins.