Blog Voices from the Frontlines
DC Medical Marijuana Law Advances Toward Implementation with New Revised Regulations - Americans for Safe AccessD.C. medical marijuana patient advocates claimed partial victory, as a new set of revised rules and regulations were published by the District on Friday. The biggest achievement for patients, which was recently underscored by DCist.com, was wresting the licensing control from the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA) and placing it into the hands of more experienced healthcare providers. Although Americans for Safe Access (ASA) takes issue with other aspects of the regulations, such as the prohibition on patients cultivating their own medical marijuana, ASA intends to work with Mayor-elect Gray on reversing counter-productive and harmful provisions, building a strong and representative licensing board, and effectively meeting patients' needs. After voting for Initiative 59, the “Legalization of Marijuana for Medical Treatment Initiative of 1998,” more than 12 years ago, D.C. patients are ready to implement the law.
celebrating the results after ten days of uncertainty during which victory seemed to be slipping away. Patients and advocates deserve congratulations. Proposition 203 is an important step forward for Arizona and in the state-by-state march to bring safe access to patients nationwide. Adopting state initiatives and passing legislation is a crucial step, but we can see from our experience that state medical cannabis laws do not necessarily translate into support from the state’s Congressional delegation. In California, where medical cannabis has been legal since 1996, long-time Senators Feinstein and Boxer have yet to pick up the mantle of safe access. Control of the US House of Representatives has shifted from the Democrats to the Republicans. This will test the Obama Administration’s evolving policy on state-based answers for medical cannabis. It is more important than ever that Americans for Safe Access (ASA) bring an educated and empowered constituency with real solutions to the table. We have to show policymakers how to bridge the divide between federal and state laws regarding medical cannabis – and prove that there is a safe political space to make it happen. Let’s celebrate our victory in Arizona; and then get down to the hard work of moving Congress and changing federal law. We still have a lot of work to do in ending the arrests and prosecutions of patients, ending the ban on research, and creating an access plan for the entire nation. Suggested Action: Email the US Senate Judiciary Committee about confirmation hearings for DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart.
As of 2:34pm today, Ms. Harris held a lead of only 9,364 votes, down from estimates earlier in the day of under 14,000. Voting precincts across the state are scrambling to get all of these unprocessed ballots counted accurately. Stay tuned to ASA's blog, & check our website often for updates. We'll be sure to keep you in the loop. For more information about ASA's statewide push against Steve Cooley, check out http://NotCooley.com
Yesterday was a hard day for medical marijuana advocates across the country. We defeated several local initiatives banning dispensaries in California and Colorado and (fingers crossed) our "NotCooley"campaign provided the narrow margin necessary to ensure victory for California Attorney General-Elect Kamala Harris. But voters rejected statewide medical marijuana initiatives in Arizona, Oregon and South Dakota, while measures to increase taxes on medicine in California won. And of course, the US House of Representatives is now in the hands of dangerous politicians who do not share our vision of safe access.
We have never had so much to lose and our fight begins today! It is more important than ever that we work together to protect the gains we've made and fight even harder for what we know is possible. Americans for Safe Access (ASA) needs your support now more than ever.
The national landscape for medical marijuana has changed, but our course remains the same. Since 2006, Americans for Safe Access (ASA) has been working full time in Washington, DC to: 1) Put an end to federal interference with state medical marijuana laws, 2) End the ban on clinical research, and 3) Create a plan to guarantee safe access for the entire nation. That work is ongoing and we will not stop until all Americans have safe and legal access.
But we cannot do this alone. This year, I traveled all over the country to meet patients and advocates and I am deeply moved by your commitment to safe access. Unfortunately, I am also shocked by how few of you engage regularly with your federal representatives. If you are not meeting with them, then they are only hearing about medical cannabis from our opposition.
These election results mean we need to fight harder! With your help, ASA can be ready for new challenges and bigger victories. Together we can stand up to our opponents in Congress and prepare for 2012 and beyond. Can you make a contribution to ASA today, so that we can keep fighting?
We must be our own liberators; no one is going to do our work for us.
Republican Party control of the House of Representatives may make our work more difficult, and that’s why it is more important than ever that ASA bring an educated and empowered constituency with real solutions to the table. We have to show the new Congress that patients’ voices cannot be ignored! That is the only way we will get policymakers to bridge the divide between federal and state laws regarding medical marijuana.
ASA will continue to work on Capitol Hill and with the Administration to improve the federal government's understanding about medical marijuana, as well as both the immediate and long term needs of our members. We may have lost several battles yesterday, but we have not lost the fight by any means. We’ve become used to working hard to defy the odds, but we need your support right now to keep making a positive difference in the lives of patients. Join the fight today and help us make that difference!
Online news giant Huffington Post published an outstanding op-ed by ASA Executive Director Steph Sherer this election morning, helping to bring our “Not Cooley” message to millions of Americans. This is an important message in California, where ASA and allies are urging voters to defeat anti-medical cannabis candidate Steve Cooley in his bid to be Attorney General. But it is also important nationwide. Elected officials need to know that medical cannabis patients and supporters are a political force to be reckoned with. High-profile media is an important part of that effort. Having Steph’s op-ed on a web site with an online readership bigger than both the Los Angeles Times and the Washington Post is the way to get that coverage we need. Well done, Steph!
some states will be casting important ballots on medical cannabis today, while others will be deciding on the candidates that may one day support or oppose patients’ rights. There are important choices to make at the local, state, and federal level. Be sure to read ASA’s Voter Guides. Don’t miss your chance to shape the future. Get to the polls and make your voice heard!
New Website Tells Why Cooley Isn't Cool Enough to be CA’s Next Attorney General - Americans for Safe AccessASA, your leading medical marijuana patient advocacy group, stepped up our effort to oppose Steve Cooley in his bid to become California’s next Attorney General. Steph Sherer, ASA’s founder and executive director, has deemed the Attorney General’s race the most important race for medical marijuana advocates in California this November.
This week ASA re-launched the website www.NotCooley.com with new videos that highlight why Steve Cooley is bad for medical marijuana patients and their providers, bad for the environment, and bad for marriage equality. There is also a poster, and, believe it or not, the campaign has inspired this song!
Steve Cooley has long fought patient advocates on the issue of medical marijuana. As Los Angeles District Attorney, Cooley condoned dozens of SWAT-style raids on local dispensaries, aggressively prosecuted patients and their providers, and tried to criminalize the "sale" of medical marijuana. If elected, Cooley could kill many of the gains made by patients over the past 14 years.
Help us spread the word.
After all, friends don't let friends vote for Cooley!
On Facebook, Twitter or Other Social Networking Sites:
- Change your picture to the Not Cooley Campaign Poster:
- Share the Campaign Link www.notcooley.com
- Share Anti-Cooley YouTube Videos on your Wall
- Not Cooley on Medical Marijuana
- Not Cooley on Same Sex Marriage
- Not Cooley on Environment
- Friend's don't let Friends Vote for Cooley
the news? A Virginia-based political action group known as the Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC) has invested more than $1 million to fund negative ads against Democrat candidate for Attorney General, Kamala Harris. Here's the catch: more than half that dough came from American Crossroads. What's American Crossroads? Well, according to the Sacramento Bee:
The group's chairman is Ed Gillespie, who was counselor to President George W. Bush. Gillespie and Bush's chief political strategist, Karl Rove, helped create American Crossroads, which is spending millions to help Republicans take control of the House and Senate.You remember these guys; Karl Rove, Ed Gillespie and President George W. Bush! They were responsible for unleashing an unprecedented level of federal enforcement and prosecutions against individuals who were using or providing medical marijuana in strict compliance with state law. Now they want to help elect Steve Cooley to California's top law enforcement spot! California is leading the nation in adopting some of the coolest laws in the nation, like safe access to medical marijuana. But Steve Cooley wants to stop all that progress. Tell your friends and family in California to vote NOT COOLEY on Nov 2.
Access matters, and so does your vote!
The mid-term election is on Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2010, and the stakes are high for medical cannabis advocates across the nation! It is more important than ever that we go to the polls and vote for the candidates and ballot measures that will promote safe, legal, and affordable access to marijuana for therapeutic use and research.
Americans for Safe Access has released 2010 Election Voter Guides to help medical cannabis advocates make informed choices about the candidates and ballot measures that advance the safe access agenda.
Please VOTE! on Tues., November 2nd.