Blog Voices from the Frontlines
One of Florida’s largest medical marijuana businesses forced to stop processing pot - Americans for Safe Access
By Elizabeth Koh for the Tampa Bay Times
"Surterra will comply with all of the regulations set forth by the Department of Health in order to ensure that Floridians continue to receive the safest, most naturally derived treatments to enable health and well-being, as recommended by a doctor," said company spokeswoman Kim Hawkes in a statement. "We are going above and beyond simply ensuring good manufacturing practices and are pursuing American's For Safe Access' [ASA] Patient Focused Certification Program, which is a standard that is superior to what is currently required by Florida statute."
In the July 2018 Issue:
- FDA Approves First Medicine Derived from Cannabis
- World Health Organization Takes First Steps to Reschedule Cannabis
- New Bipartisan Congressional Bill to Respect State Cannabis Laws
- Oklahoma Voters Pass Robust Medical Cannabis Initiative
- Activist Profile: Christy and Mark Zartler, ASA 2018 Courage Award
- ACTION ALERT: Urge Congress to Pass the STATES Act
Oklahoma Legalized Medical Marijuana, to the Likely Dismay of Scott Pruitt - Americans for Safe Access
By Thomas Mitchell for Westword
"Question 788 is a tremendous victory for patients and for access to medical cannabis. We hope we can replicate this success in Utah and Missouri this November when those states will vote on improving their medical cannabis programs,"- David Mangone
Washington, DC — The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a drug that contains an active ingredient derived from the cannabis plant. The drug, Epidiolex, an oral solution containing cannabidiol (CBD), will be the first and only FDA-approved CBD drug on the market. The FDA has approved Epidiolex for use only in the treatment of two rare seizure disorders (Dravet Syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome), and is the first FDA-approved treatment for patients suffering from Dravet syndrome. While there have been other medications that mimic the natural cannabinoids found in cannabis that have received FDA approval, Epidiolex is the first non-synthetic medication to be derived directly from the cannabis plant. The FDA’s approval of Epidiolex shows that it is possible to make medications from complex plant extracts.
Thanks to the results from recently-permitted scientific studies and the untiring work of cannabis activist groups, more and more people are beginning to accept that cannabis is a successful form of treatment for certain medical conditions. Despite this, many patients out there are still hesitant to try it. Their reasoning may stem from religious beliefs, or perhaps because they’re fearful of losing their job. Oftentimes, however, patients are wary of things that seem to be outside of the current medical system and choose not to explore the benefits of medical cannabis.
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.
Don’t Call it a Dispensary- Why Michigan Takes Marijuana Semantics Seriously - Americans for Safe Access
By Lauren Williams for Marijuana.com
“… It is critical that patients have clarity as to where they can obtain medicine,” said David Mangone, director of governmental affairs and counsel for the non-profit Americans for Safe Access. “It is too early to tell if this will adversely affect patient access. However, banning terms like prescription is good policy, because doctors can’t actually write prescriptions for medical cannabis under federal law, only provide recommendations.”
UN Drug Committee Declares Cannabis Is An Effective, ‘Relatively Safe Drug’ - Americans for Safe Access
By Steve Elliott for Herb
“The current international policies on cannabis use are outdated and are having a detrimental impact on patients in the US and worldwide,” said Steph Sherer, executive director of Americans for Safe Access (ASA). “These policies do not reflect the reality of over 30 countries globally that have passed medical cannabis laws.”
The STATES Act puts cannabis policy where it belongs; with the individual states rather than with the federal government. Since 1996, states have defied the federal government and created medical cannabis programs to help patients. The STATES Act allows states to set their own policies for patients without federal interference.
The STATES Act allows each state, the District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto Rico, as well as several tribal governments, to determine their own policy when it comes to cannabis laws without interference from the Department of Justice or other federal agencies. This bill does not legalize cannabis at the federal level but rather allows states the power to set policies approving or prohibiting cannabis. The STATES Act also resolves many of the issues of taxes and banking that have hindered the medical cannabis industry.