By Clara Geoghegan for Westword
Colorado's medical marijuana system still has room to improve, according to a report from a national cannabis advocacy group.
Americans for Safe Access annually grades every state's medical marijuana program on an "A" to "F" scale. Although Colorado continues to score low on patient rights and protections, the state still earned a "B-" thanks to high marks for patient access and functionality.
The ASA report cards, which began in 2015, assign scores to state policies on patient rights and civil protections, access to medicine, ease of navigation for application and renewal processes, medical marijuana functionality and consumer safety requirements, while a new section graded both medical marijuana accessibility and telemedicine options during the COVID-19 pandemic. And the ASA is a tough grader.
By Jack Queen for Law360
Law360 (September 8, 2020, 9:08 PM EDT) -- A trio of drug reform groups have urged the U.S. Supreme Court to take up a former NFL player's bid to decriminalize marijuana, saying a federal appeals court wrongly swept the lawsuit to a doomed administrative process within the Drug Enforcement Administration.
In an amicus brief Friday, Americans for Safe Access said the Second Circuit upended the principle that only courts can interpret constitutional claims by ruling that a group of patients challenging cannabis' status as a Schedule I controlled substance must first petition the DEA for rescheduling.
The group argued this "radical new approach" would relegate the patients, led by Super Bowl champion Marvin Washington, to a "long, frustrating, ill-fated and futile process."
"One rescheduling petition for cannabis took 22 years to resolve, with the petitioners bouncing back and forth between agency and judicial fora," it said. "Petitioners here risk the same fate of agency dilatoriness."
By Melissa Schiller and Patrick Williams for the Cannabis Business Times
“Americans for Safe Access applauds the new untethering law. Having access to multiple dispensaries means more access for patients traveling within the state and more options in terms of products. The quality and price points of cannabis products can vary from dispensary to dispensary, so this new law will allow patients to shop around for the best prices and the best selection of products.” - Debbie Churgai
By Hilary Corrigan for WeedWeek
Cannabis nonprofit Americans for Safe Access called for creating a new agency—the Office of Medical Cannabis Control—to oversee research program requirements and to set standards. This would potentially allow state-licensed cultivators to provide researchers with high quality cannabis. Unlike DEA, Safe Access noted, the proposed agency would have no history of prosecuting the activities DEA seeks to oversee.
By Brakkton Booker for National Public Radio
Cannabis advocates argue that marijuana — which some people take for seizures, pain and nausea — is unlike virtually any other therapeutic. And access to it, whether prescribed by a doctor or not, depends largely on where you live.
"This epidemic and the way the cannabis businesses are being run really highlights the need for federal oversight," said Debbie Churgai of Americans for Safe Access, which advocates for broader access to medical marijuana for therapy and research. "Every state is doing it a different way."
By A.J. Herrington for High Times
“We applaud these efforts at the state level and are honored to serve governments and medical cannabis stakeholders on behalf of patients.” - Steph Sherer
By Taylor Deville for the Baltimore Sun
“What this points out is why federal oversight is really needed. Even in this crisis, it shows we really do need something that gives medical cannabis patients consistent access to their ... medicine.”
From CBS Local DFW 21
One of the nation’s largest medical cannabis patient advocacy organizations, Americans for Safe Access is calling on the government to consider cannabis businesses and dispensaries “essential” during COVID-19-related closings.
By Graham Abbott for Ganjapreneur
In a letter addressed to governors and medical cannabis program directors throughout the country, Americans for Safe Access has called on officials to protect cannabis patients during the alarming spread of COVID-19, or the coronavirus.
The letter argues that special actions should be taken to protect cannabis patients, “who represent some of the states’ most vulnerable citizens.”
By A.J. Herrington for High Times
“In light of the current state of COVID-19 and the CDC’s actions, Americans for Safe Access has been monitoring the situation to make sure that medical cannabis patients are not forgotten. We want to ensure that dispensaries are seen as essential businesses that will remain open for patients. We applaud states that have already put emergency precautions into action.” - Steph Sherer