By Lindsey Getz for CRx Magazine
In the not-so-distant past, the use of medical cannabis was not only socially unacceptable but also thoroughly illegal. In those early days, the need for patient advocacy was vital, and Americans for Safe Access (ASA) was among the most outspoken advocates. The conversation has evolved rapidly in the past decade and beyond, but because there’s a lingering stigma that affects access, ASA continues to be one of the loudest voices speaking out for patients’ rights.
By Todd Runestad for New Hope Network
“We cover all aspects of cannabis hemp cultivation and processing. People are like, ‘Who says you are doing it the right way?’ To answer that question, we are getting our ISO-17065 standard. We are doing it the right way.” - Heather Despres, director of the Patient Focused Certification for Americans for Safe Access
By Kimberly Haynes Taylor for Weedmaps News
“You're going to see a fadeout of these pre-employment employment drug screening tests as a requirement for employment with many of these larger companies.”
- David Mangone
By David Hurst for the Daily Iowegian
"With the rise of recreational shops, processors are turning their attention to products that have wider appeal. They have to make the most popular products to compete. And suddenly, specialized concentrates that some patients rely on are getting pulled off the shelves." - David Mangone
By Jean Lotus for UPI
"We're excited that universities are finally taking the steps to teach the medical profession about medical cannabis. Whether it's in the lab or manufacturing, cultivation or at a dispensary, it's so important to understand how to work safely in the cannabis business, especially if you're producing medicine." - Debbie Churgai
By Alex Smith for KCUR 89.3
“It is a huge burden on patients,” said Debbie Churgai, interim director of Americans for Safe Access, a medical marijuana patient advocacy group based in Washington, D.C.
A survey conducted by Americans for Safe Access found that nearly a third of patients across the country pay more than $500 a month for cannabis.
For many, the costs are simply too much. Churgai said that, after getting a green card, some patients end up buying marijuana on the black market, where it’s cheaper than in dispensaries. But it doesn’t undergo the careful testing that medical marijuana receives.
By Medical Cannabis Network
A new medical cannabis travel guide has been launched for patients who use cannabis in the United States.
The Medical Cannabis Patient’s Guide for US Travel has been launched by medical cannabis campaign group Americans for Safe Access. The guide intends to help travelling patients understand the laws regarding access to cannabis in the states and territories that extend reciprocity to patients from other jurisdictions or permit the adult use of cannabis.
The guide provides patients with a clear sense of how to obtain medical cannabis while travelling outside of their home jurisdictions, as well as containing helpful tips for patients to regarding cannabis and different American states.
By Jean Lotus for UPI
Medical marijuana has been legalized in 33 U.S. states, but for the almost 3 million patients who want to travel outside of their home state, laws elsewhere can be a confusing patchwork of differing rules.
To help clarify those rules, Americans for Safe Access, a medical marijuana patient advocacy group, has released an interactive safe travel guide for patients who want to acquire medicinal pot in different states across the country.
"The laws change so frequently that it's really important. if you're going to visit another state, to look up what the laws are for that state," said Debbie Churgai, the organization's interim director. For medical marijuana patients, "traveling can be a difficult undertaking," she said.
By Thomas Mitchell for Westword
“Most people take for granted the ability to travel across state lines during a long holiday weekend. But for almost 3 million medical cannabis patients across the country, traveling can be a difficult undertaking,” she says. “Many patients rely on their medicine every day, and since traveling across state lines with cannabis is a federal offense, patients need to plan ahead in order to know where they will be able to find medicine safely and legally.”
To help you tokers, jokers and medical patients stay safe during this holiday weekend, ASA created a handy travel guide with helpful tips and legal guidance about cannabis laws around the country. The guide offers tidbits on legal rights, proper pot storage and airline rules for medical marijuana patients and cannabis users — because nobody wants to end up in handcuffs while heading off on a final vacation of the season.
Here are a few highlights from ASA's recommendations: