Blog Voices from the Frontlines
Although there are medical cannabis programs of some kind in 47 states, DC, Guam, and Puerto Rico, medical cannabis still remains a mystery to the vast majority of Americans today. Using medical cannabis is an approach that is supported by research and medical professionals, and has demonstrated positive public health outcomes. While it may feel like an overwhelming experience for many new patients, it does not have to be, to help new patients feel comfortable entering the world of medical cannabis, Americans for Safe Access (ASA), the country’s largest medical cannabis patient advocacy group created Cannabis Care Certification, a medical cannabis education program for patients and caregivers. To help you start out this process, here is a list of top 5 things that all patients should know when considering medical cannabis as part of their health care regime.
International Medical Cannabis Advocates Address WHO Committee to Reschedule Cannabis - Americans for Safe Access
This week medical cannabis patient advocacy groups from Argentina, Mexico, Uruguay, France, Germany, New Zealand, the Netherlands, South Africa, and the United States travelled to Geneva, Switzerland to present to world leaders their recommendations for rescheduling cannabis at the 40th meeting of the World Health Organization's (WHO) Expert Committee on Drug Dependence (ECDD).
The air was filled with excitement that the ECDD was finally beginning the process of looking at new information regarding cannabis as medicine. A process that has been long overdue considering the original scheduling of cannabis was created based on a report produced by the Health Committee of the League of Nations back in 1935. International bodies have been calling on the WHO to address the scheduling of cannabis for almost a decade, and the WHO finally listened.
ASA Submits Recommendations to FDA for International Rescheduling of Cannabis - Americans for Safe Access
This week, we submitted comments relating to the efficacy and medical usefulness of cannabis as a medical treatment. In early April, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a notice in the federal register asking for public comments on cannabis and its derivatives. These comments will help inform the response of the United States to the World Health Organization in potentially reclassifying cannabis.
House Budget include Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment!: Vote expected today! - Americans for Safe Access
After months of debate and continuing resolutions, the House of Representatives has finally unveiled its Appropriations package for the fiscal year of 2018. Unlike previous short term measures, this bill would fully fund the government through September 30, 2018. At over 2,200 pages the bill is a massive combination of funding outlays and policy. Due to the hard work of advocates like you, the bill includes the text of the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment!
This week the United Nations (UN) Committee on Narcotic Drugs (CND) has their annual meetings in Vienna. The CND is responsible for implementing international drug control treaties as well as the scheduling of drugs. The CND makes decisions about scheduling new substances as well as changing the scheduling. The CND base these decisions on recommendations from the World Health Organization (WHO). The WHO makes their recommendations on the scheduling of drugs only after the Expert Committee on Drug Dependence (ECDD) prepares a critical review document.
Today’s agenda for the CND delegation includes the “Implementation of the international drug control treaties,” where they will discuss “changes in the scope of controlled substances” and “international cooperation to ensure the availability of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances for medical and scientific purposes while preventing their diversion.”
This week Americans for Safe Access released “Medical Marijuana Access in the United States: A Patient-Focused Analysis of the Patchwork of State Laws.” The report examines the status of states that have passed some form of medical marijuana laws and grades them on a 500 point scale based on how well their current law and regulations accommodate patient needs. The report reviews existing laws and regulations and laws passed in between January 1, 2017 and December 31, 2017, giving states letter grades from “A” to “F.” Unlike previous versions of this report, states are urged to begin to use medical cannabis as a tool to fight the opioid crisis in the areas of improvement section.
On Monday, February 5th, with Americans for Safe Access (ASA) patients, families, and advocates watching in the gallery above, the Senate of the conservative Virginia General Assembly, passed SB726 40-0 after passing its companion bill through the House of Delegates 98-0. The bill allows all physicians to recommend Cannabidiol (CBD) and Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THC-A) oils to any patients for whom they feel the oils could help their conditions. Virginia’s Governor Ralph Northam has said that he will sign the legislation when it comes before him.
The medical cannabis community is mourning the death of medical cannabis pioneer Dennis Peron, who died on Saturday at the age of seventy-two. Dennis was the founder of the legendary San Francisco Cannabis Buyers Club in San Francisco and a crusader for the right to safe access to medical cannabis in California.
Called the “Father of Medical Marijuana,” he inspired the grassroots movement that adopted Proposition 215 legalizing medical cannabis in California in 1996.
The Congressional Research Service (CRS) released a memorandum analyzing the Justice Department’s Decision to rescind Obama-era guidance on federal cannabis policy including the Cole Memo, the Ogden Memos, the Wilkinson memo on cannabis on tribal lands and the FinCen guidance which created policies for financial institutions interacting with cannabis businesses. CRS is a non-partisan office in the Library of Congress that provides legislative advice and analysis to both parties in a neutral way.
In a 1755 letter to the Pennsylvania General Assembly Ben Franklin wrote “those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." However, while its original context, which related to tax policy, may not apply, the words lend themselves to a conversation that lawmakers should be having. How should our country address liberty, but also safety, when it comes to firearms and cannabis?