Blog Voices from the Frontlines

Mar 282016

California Weekly Roundup: March 28, 2016 - Americans for Safe Access

The California Campaign for Safe Access (CCSA) is Americans for Safe Access’ oldest and largest state campaign. This California Weekly Roundup is your way to stay on top of medical cannabis news, events, action alerts, court support, and more.

Last week ASA…

  • Brought 300 patients, advocates, and other medical cannabis stakeholders to Washington, DC, for the 4th Annual Medical Cannabis Unity Conference and Citizen Lobby Day.
  • Helped to secure three new co-sponsors for the CARERS Act, which will finally end the state/federal conflict over medical cannabis. That brings the total to 31!
  • Worked with legislative offices and committees to oppose excessive taxation on medical cannabis.

This week…

  • ASA will be meeting with elected officials in Southern California to promote local licensing for medical cannabis businesses and organizations. 

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Mar 262016

Get Your Copy of ASA’s Historic Document Today! - Americans for Safe Access

International coalition handing off the UNGASS report ASA’s 4th Annual National Medical Cannabis Unity Conference ended on Tuesday in Washington, DC, and we have already seen results in the national and international arena. We are going to make 2016 a historic year for medical cannabis, and we need your help to do it.

One of the most exciting parts of the conference was the preparation of a report for the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND). Conference participants peer-reviewed the report on Sunday, and ASA submitted the 91-page report to CND on Monday morning. The report answers important scientific questions about medical cannabis, and outlines a pathway towards international reform.

Pictured: ASA Executive Director Steph Sherer and an international delegation from France, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, and Jamaica delivering the report in Washington, DC.

Mar 222016

Help lobby Congress for medical cannabis reform today - Americans for Safe Access

Hundreds of medical cannabis patients, researchers, advocates and other stakeholders are visiting lawmakers in Washington, DC, this morning to support the first comprehensive bipartisan federal medical cannabis reform bill ever introduced in the US Congress.

Participants in ASA’s National Medical Cannabis Unity Conference are on Capitol Hill to support the CARERS Act right now. Can you make three phone calls to help get that bill passed this year?

The Compassionate Access, Research Expansion, and Respect States (CARERS) Act is the most comprehensive piece of federal medical cannabis legislation that has ever been introduced in both the U.S. House and Senate. This bipartisan legislation would remedy the state/federal conflict over medical cannabis laws.

Mar 212016

California Weekly Roundup: March 21, 2016 - Americans for Safe Access

The California Campaign for Safe Access (CCSA) is Americans for Safe Access’ oldest and largest state campaign. This California Weekly Roundup is your way to stay on top of medical cannabis news, events, action alerts, court support, and more.

Last week ASA…

  • Scheduled meetings with Congressional offices for hundreds of conference participants
  • Prepared a report for the United Nations’ historic meeting on global on drug policy
  • Worked with legislative staff and other stakeholders in California on more than a dozen bills related to medical cannabis

This week…

  • ASA will take hundreds of patients, researchers, advocates, and other stakeholders to meet with Members of Congress and their staff to support federal medical cannabis reform

Get all the news, events, action alerts, & more...

  • News 
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  • ASA Website Spotlight  
  • Chapter & Affiliate Meetings 
Mar 172016

You Can Help Shape International Medical Cannabis Policy - Americans for Safe Access

Report cover pageYou have an important job to do, if you are attending ASA’s National Medical Cannabis Unity Conference, March 18-22, at the Lowes Madison Hotel in Washington, DC. We will be finalizing a document at the conference that will be submitted to the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND).  

The CND meeting in Vienna coincides with the ASA Unity Conference this year. Unity Conference participants will have the opportunity to weigh in on this review document on Sunday March 20th in special stakeholder meetings. Allies within the CND will be calling on the CND, WHO, and UNGASS to use this Critical Review Preparation Document as a stepping-stone to move international cannabis policy forward. 

Mar 162016

Grass for Everyone - Steph Sherer Featured in Newsweek - Americans for Safe Access

picture-mobil.pngASA’s Executive Director, Steph Sherer was recently featured in an article in the Czech edition of Newsweek.  The article documents Steph’s inspirational journey as a medical marijuana patient turned advocate.  The writer chronicles her founding of Americans for Safe Access, and her more recent international endeavors with the International Medical Cannabis Patient Coalition working on international cannabis rescheduling through meetings with the United Nations and her co-launching of the International Cannabis and Cannabinoid Institute (ICCI) in the Czech Republic.

This article has been translated into English, and it is well worth the read as it not only relates Steph’s accomplishments, but provides background to the 4th Annual National Medical Cannabis Unity Conference: A Conference on Harmonization of Global Cannabis Policy and Action, which is being held in DC March 18-22nd.  The conference truly is a culmination of all the efforts Steph has poured her energies into since founding ASA thirteen years ago.

Mar 142016

Attention Pennsylvanians: Take Action Today on SB 3! - Americans for Safe Access

6a00d8345165b769e200e551366f9b8833-800wi.jpgThere will finally be a vote on Pennsylvania SB 3 on the floor of the PA House of Representatives this Tuesday, March 15. While ASA is not completely happy with many of the limitations that have been included added to the bill in its current form, we are encouraging patient advocates to urge their state representatives to vote yes on SB 3.

As you are probably aware, it has been a very difficult process to get a piece of medical cannabis legislation this far in the Pennsylvania General Assembly. Despite the shortcomings in the bill, passage of SB 3 will enable the regulatory process to start as soon as possible, which is the one of the crucial components in making sure cultivators and dispensaries get licensed. Without these entities, there will be no medical cannabis access in Pennsylvania. It has taken anywhere between 18 and 36 months from passage a new state medical cannabis bill until dispensaries open up, therefore, get the process started is paramount. Other components of the program can be fixed with subsequent legislation while the regulatory and licensing process plays out.

Mar 142016

California Weekly Roundup: March 14, 2016 - Americans for Safe Access

The California Campaign for Safe Access (CCSA) is Americans for Safe Access’ oldest and largest state campaign. This California Weekly Roundup is your way to stay on top of medical cannabis news, events, action alerts, court support, and more.

Last week…

  • ASA met with City Council offices in four cities to promote local licensing for medical cannabis businesses.
  • ASA announced new support in Congress for legislation that will finally end the federal/state conflict over medical cannabis.
  • ASA gave twenty Californians $30,000 in scholarships for our annual conference in Washington, DC

This week…

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Mar 112016

Breaking News: Senator Lindsey Graham signs on to CARERS! - Americans for Safe Access

Lindsey Graham

US Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has just agreed to co-sponsor the CARERS Act. This is a big development and just days before Americans for Safe Access (ASA) brings hundreds of citizen advocates to the Capitol as part of our 4th Annual National Medical Cannabis Unity Conference. As a result, participants will have more momentum when asking their representatives in Congress to pass the CARERS Act, the first comprehensive medical cannabis reform bill in Congress.

The passage of the CARERS Act  would allow state medical marijuana programs to continue without federal interference, move marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule II of the Controlled Substance Schedule, remove the marijuana compound Cannabidiol (CBD) entirely from the schedule, create access to banking services for marijuana businesses in legal states, eliminate the DEA-mandated “NIDA-monopoly” that prevents researchers from obtaining marijuana for clinical studies, and allow Veterans Health Administration physicians to write recommendations in states that have established a medical marijuana program. 

Senator Graham’s support is a huge victory for patients and advocates and would not have happened without the tireless work of patient advocates like you! We need to build on this momentum and pass CARERS this year! 

Mar 102016

Stakeholders Help United Nations Prepare for General Assembly Special Session - Americans for Safe Access

On February 10, 2016 Executive Director of Americans for Safe Access (ASA), Steph Sherer, and Michael Krawitz, Executive Director, Veterans for Medical Cannabis Access [VMCA] joined organizations from across the globe at at the UN Headquarters to continue preparations for the United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS 2016) on drug policy to be held April 19th-21st.   This Informal, Interactive Stakeholder Consultation was held at the request of the President of the UN General Assembly. Krawitz and Sherer provided input for Member States. The outcome document from this event will be presented to member states in preparation for UNGASS 2016, urging that global policies on medical cannabis be included.

This unprecedented event represents a concerted commitment on behalf of interested signatory nations and the UN bureaucracy to engage non-governmental organizations [NGOs] around the world in an open dialog on drug issues. The last time the United Nations held a comprehensive drug summit was in 1998 and it would have been unimaginable having this dialog then. The slogan of that drug summit in 1998 was, “A Drug Free World, We Can Do It” with the goal of completely eliminating illegal drugs and drug trafficking. By contrast, this summit’s goals are focused more on reducing harm, minimizing risk, and maximizing medical access.