Blog Voices from the Frontlines

Mar 152017

Map: How do state medical marijuana laws compare? Advocates give report card - Americans for Safe Access

By Alicia Wallace and Polly Washburn for The Cannabist

The majority of U.S. states now have a medical marijuana law in place, but the laws don’t yet go far enough, a national medical marijuana patient advocacy group says.

Americans for Safe Access recently released the latest iteration of its “Medical Marijuana Access in the United States” annual report card, in which the organization conducts a state-by-state analysis of medical marijuana laws and programs.

Mar 152017

Medical Marijuana Group Responds to AG Sessions Comments - Americans for Safe Access

WASHINGTON DC -- Earlier today, Attorney General Jeff Sessions told reporters that “I think medical marijuana has been hyped, maybe too much.”

In reaction to Sessions’ comments, Steph Sherer, executive director of Americans for Safe Access, a national nonprofit dedicated to ensuring safe and legal access to medical cannabis for therapeutic use and research, issued the following statement:

More than 85% of the U.S. population live in states with medical cannabis laws, and over 2 million Americans are benefiting from its use. These laws address the healthcare needs of patients who benefit from cannabis-based treatments, often where conventional medications have failed. Patient populations include people living with or treating cancer, HIV/AIDS, Multiple Sclerosis, Crohn’s Disease, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), epilepsy, severe childhood epilepsy disorders such as Dravet Syndrome, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), chronic pain, and a myriad of other conditions.

Statements like these from the Attorney General are factually inaccurate - in January, the National Academies of Sciences, Medicine, and Engineering released a report that reviewed over 10,000 research articles, which states there is conclusive, moderate, and substantial evidence for benefits of cannabis in several conditions. Sessions needs to stop spreading unfounded, unscientific theories about medical marijuana and take the time to actually meet the millions of Americans that are benefitting from its use before making comments about it being over-hyped.

Mar 102017

NEW MEDICAL MARIJUANA REPORT: Americans for Safe Access Cites Widespread Improvement in State Marijuana Laws Nationwide - Americans for Safe Access

WASHINGTON, DC -- Today, Americans for Safe Access (ASA) released their annual report, Medical Marijuana Access in the United States: A Patient-Focused Analysis of the Patchwork of State Laws, in which U.S. states are assigned letter grades based on how well their medical cannabis program meets the needs of patients. Each state is graded according to a rubric of patient's rights, legal constraints, and overall accessibility to medical cannabis.

READ THE REPORT HERE: safeaccessnow.org/statesreport

Mar 102017

Medical pot group gives California ‘B+’ on access report card - Americans for Safe Access

By Todd R. Hansen for the Daily Republic

FAIRFIELD — California, one of the original eight states to legalize medical cannabis use, received a “B+” in the 2017 annual report by Americans for Safe Access.

Overall, the organization said there is still a lot of work to do, as none of the 44 states that allow medical marijuana use received an “A” grade. However, the number of states receiving a “B” or higher went from 11 to 19.

“Medical cannabis laws are moving in a positive direction, but only a handful of the 44 medical cannabis states are truly meeting the needs of patients, and there are still six states where cannabis remains completely illegal for patients,” Steph Sherer, executive director of Americans for Safe Access, said in a statement released with the annual report.

Mar 102017

Americans for Safe Access Grades State Medical Marijuana Laws - Americans for Safe Access

By Carl Wellstone for Weed News

Americans for Safe Access (ASA) have been at the forefront of the movement to implement sensible cannabis laws that benefit patients battling severe and debilitating medical conditions since the organization was founded in 2002. Led by a great advocate, Steph Sherer, ASA now has over 30,000 members in with chapters in forty different states. The Washington DC-based organization has been instrumental in progress we have seen at the federal level, such as the introduction of the bipartisan CARERS Act last session. With as much knowledge on medical cannabis policy as any group, ASA has just released its report of state medical marijuana laws and it is an interesting read that illustrates the patchwork of laws across the nation and provides a grade based upon a variety of factors.

Mar 032017

Cannabidiol (CBD) and Epilepsy - Americans for Safe Access

This blog was originally published 10/31/13.

Cannabis and its derivatives have been documented for anti-epileptic effects since 1881. Today, the promise of cannabidiol (CBD) as an anti-epileptic treatment is prompting people to move to states that have safe access to medicinal products containing this compound. There are increasing reports of CBD being used by parents to treat seizure disorders in their children. This use of a cannabinoid to treat seizures is not unfounded, the ever-popular THC molecule has been studied in children with seizure disorders. The results of early cannabinoid clinical studies and anecdotal findings for epilepsy are promising.

Mar 012017

Higher Ground: Pot and post-fact - Americans for Safe Access

By Larry Gabriel for the Detroit Metro Times

Recently, in this era of so-called fake news and alternative facts, the organization Americans for Safe Access (ASA) struck a blow for truth in the Drug Enforcement Administration's information about marijuana.

Feb 282017

Sessions reviewing possible crackdown on marijuana - Americans for Safe Access

By NBCnews for WMGT 41

Mike Liszewski, director of government affairs for the medical marijuana advocacy group Americans for Safe Access, said the reassurances “provided little comfort.” “Sessions has yet to make such a commitment to respect state medical cannabis laws,”
Liszewski said in a statement.

Feb 282017

Maryland marijuana dispensaries learn how to do business - Americans for Safe Access

By George Lettis for WBAL-TV 11 Baltimore

From the complicated science of cannabis to the practical issues of a business, Americans for Safe Access also trains people to deal with the legal limbo of medical marijuana.

Feb 242017

Sean Spicer Wrongly Links Recreational Marijuana With Opioid Crisis - Americans for Safe Access

By Debra Borchardt for Forbes

We prepared this document to help inform Congress about four important changes in the DEA’s positions on medical cannabis that could have an impact on their policy making decisions this session: cannabis is not a 'gateway drug' and it does not cause cognitive decline, psychosis or lung cancer. - Beth Collins