Blog Voices from the Frontlines

Nov 232015

California Weekly Roundup: November 23, 2015 - Americans for Safe Access

ASA California Weekly Roundup: November 23, 2015 

The California Roundup a project of the California Campaign for Safe Access, is your way to stay connected to on the latest events and news on medical cannabis in California. The California Campaign for Safe Access is ASA's oldest state campaign. There are more legal patients, providers, and recommending physicians in California than any other state. More than 1.4 million patients have safe, reliable, and dignified access to medicine in the state, but significant challenges remain. 

Click on the links on below or scroll through the entire email to learn more about what is happening in California and how you can participate.

Nov 172015

California Weekly Roundup: November 16, 2015 - Americans for Safe Access

ASA California Weekly Roundup: November 16, 2015 

The California Roundup a project of the California Campaign for Safe Access, is your way to stay connected to on the latest events and news on medical cannabis in California. The California Campaign for Safe Access is ASA's oldest state campaign. There are more legal patients, providers, and recommending physicians in California than any other state. More than 1.4 million patients have safe, reliable, and dignified access to medicine in the state, but significant challenges remain. 

Click on the links on below or scroll through the entire email to learn more about what is happening in California and how you can participate.

News 

  • National 
  • California
  • Local

Events 

  • November 20-21, 2015 - New West Summit (San Francisco)… 50% Off for ASA Members!
  • March 18-22, 2016 –National Medical Cannabis Unity Conference (Washington, DC)

Court Support 

  • November 19, 2015 - Free Baby Peter (Riverside)
  • November 19, 2015 - Court Support for Pure Life (Placerville)
  • More

Take Action Now 

  • Call your Members of Congress to Support the CARERS Act! (National)
  • Join ASA Today! (National)

ASA Website Spotlight 

  • Blog: DEA Chief Shows Yet Again He Has No Clue About Marijuana
  • Know the Rules of Engagement: Civics 101

Chapter & Affiliate Meetings 

  • November 17, 2015 - San Francisco ASA (San Francisco)
  • November 18, 2015 - Lake County ASA (Clearlake Oaks)
  • November 18, 2015 - East Bay ASA (Berkeley)
  • November 22, 2015 - Nevada County ASA (North San Juan)

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Nov 112015

Senate Approves Veterans Medical Cannabis Access, but no Policy Change Yet - Americans for Safe Access

On Tuesday, the Senate approved the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies (MilCon-VA) Appropriations Act for fiscal year 2016 which contained the Veterans Equal Access Amendment. If signed into law, the amendment would forbid the Veterans Administration from punishing V.A. doctors who write medical cannabis recommendations in states where it is legal to do so. However, the current "gag order" policy forbidding V.A. physicians from writing medical cannabis recommendations or even discussing the benefits of medical cannabis therapy, known as VHA Directive 2011-004, remains in place for the time being.

Changing the policy could take place through some combination of Congressional action and/or revising the policy internally at the V.A. It's important to note from the outset that Directive 2011-004 is set to expire at the end of 2015. At that point, the V.A. could reissue the directive, issue a new directive with a different policy on medical cannabis, or (however unlikely) simply let it expire without a replacement policy. The most likely outcome seems to be a revised policy. In spite of the "gag order" nature of Directive 2011-004, it was actually an improvement upon the previous policy which allowed the Administration to deny health care to veterans enrolled in state medical cannabis programs. Despite this improvement from the pre-2011 policy, the current directive still puts veterans at a disadvantage by having to go out of network and out of pocket to see a doctor if they require medical cannabis therapy. Of course, any change in policy would have to conform to whatever budget riders are attached the MilCon-VA Appropriations bill, but the likelihood of the amendment language becoming law is slim.

Nov 092015

DEA Chief Shows Yet Again He Has No Clue About Marijuana - Americans for Safe Access

Sign_Petition_to_Fire_Chuck_Rosenberg.jpgDEA Chief Administrator Chuck Rosenberg has once again managed to stick his foot in his mouth about cannabis. Earlier this week, Rosenberg stated that the notion of patients finding therapeutic relief from cannabis bothered him, going on to say "don't call it medicine -- that is a joke." 

The statement comes just a couple of months after the newly appointed DEA chief admitted that he was "not an expert" on marijuana, and had difficulty stating with certainty whether marijuana was more or less dangerous than heroin. After a week of what must have been intense internal deliberation, Rosenberg later clarified his position, but the embarrassment of nation's top drug enforcement agent's inability to assert the relative harms of substances was already done. 

Nov 092015

California Weekly Roundup: November 9, 2015 - Americans for Safe Access

CA Weekly RoundupContents (Scroll down for details and links):

News

  • National
  • California
  • Local

Events

  • November 13, 2015 - Tri-County Cannabis Policy Summit (Petaluma)
  • November 20-21, 2015 - New West Summit (San Francisco)
  • March 18-22, 2016 –National Medical Cannabis Unity Conference (Washington, DC)

Court Support

  • November 10, 2015 - Court Support for Pure Life (Placerville)
  • More

Take Action Now

  • Pardon the Kettle Falls Five (National)
  • Call your Members of Congress to Support the CARERS Act! (National)

ASA Website Spotlight

  • ASA Condition-based Booklets
  • The Informed Advocate

Chapter & Affiliate Meetings

  • November 12, 2015 - Brownie Mary Club of San Francisco (San Francisco)
Nov 062015

Was Anchoring Medical to Recreational in Ohio Bad for Patients? - Americans for Safe Access

responsibleohio-marijuana-mascot-buddie-facebook-560x353.jpgBy now, everyone in the medical marijuana reform movement has seen the results in Ohio, where the commingled recreational and medical cannabis voter initiative (Issue 3) put forth by ResponsibleOhio was defeated at the polls by a nearly 2:1 margin. Aside from sanctimonious hand wringing from recreational proponents treating patient access as a political weapon against those who had concerns with the implications of Issue 3's licensing structure (which has been talked about ad nauseam and won't be discussed in detail here), nobody has yet asked the question, "is it fair to patients to anchor their safe and legal access to a measure that also includes non-medical use?" Given the 2:1 failure of recreational couple with the fact that support for medical-only was 84% in at least one recent state poll (28 points higher than Issue 3 in the same poll), it seems like safe access was doomed more by the anchoring to recreational than the non-merit based oligopoly.  

ASA has long maintained a position of neutrality on the issue on recreational cannabis reform, and only evaluates them based on their impact upon patients. As an organization, ASA did not come out for or against Issue 3 based largely on its recreational focus, but looking at the polling data, it seems extremely likely that the commingling of recreation held medical back from passing.

Nov 032015

Attention New Yorkers Urge Governor Cuomo Pass Emergency Access Bill to Medical Cannabis - Americans for Safe Access

New_York_Action_Alert_11-02-15.jpgOn Friday, the New York State Assembly delivered a bill to Governor Cuomo to give critically ill patients emergency access to medical marijuana before it’s planned to become available statewide in January. The governor has until Nov. 11 to sign or veto bill A.7060/ S.5086, which passed with overwhelming bipartisan support in both houses of the legislature in June.

The bill, introduced by Assembly Health Committee Chair Richard N. Gottfried and Assembly Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb, comes 298 days after Governor Cuomo signed the medical marijuana bill into law on July 5, and nine months after the Governor urged the Health Commissioner to do everything in his power to get medical marijuana to children suffering from life-threatening forms of epilepsy. Not one patient has been able to benefit from these laws yet.

Will you please take 5 minutes to send this pre-written email to Governor Cuomo to urge him to support A.7060/ S.5086?

Nov 022015

California Weekly Roundup: November 2, 2015 - Americans for Safe Access

CA Weekly RoundupContents (Scroll down for details and links):

News

  • National
  • California
  • Local

Events

  • November 5, 2015 – CannTalk: Cannabis Science, Research, and Business (Santa Cruz)
  • November 6, 2015 - Medical Cannabis Industry Telephone Townhall (Los Angeles)
  • November 7-8, 2015 – MAPP and BMDC at Palm Springs Gay Pride Festival & Parade (Palm Springs)
  • March 18-22, 2016 –National Medical Cannabis Unity Conference (Washington, DC)

Court Support

  • No court support requests this week

Take Action Now

  • Pardon the Kettle Falls Five (National)

ASA Website Spotlight

  • Blog: New House Speaker Paul Ryan's Mixed Views on Medical Cannabis

Chapter & Affiliate Meetings

  • November 3, 2015 - San Francisco ASA (San Francisco)
  • November 4, 2015 – Brownie Mary Democratic Club Meeting (Riverside)
  • November 5, 2015 - Sonoma ASA (Santa Rosa)
Oct 292015

New House Speaker Paul Ryan's Mixed Views on Medical Cannabis - Americans for Safe Access

paul-ryan-house-speaker-.jpgWisconsin Congressman and former Vice Presidential Candidate, Paul Ryan, was elected today as the 54th Speaker of U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday. The question that may be on the minds of patient activists is how the new Speaker will act on the issue of medical cannabis. Outgoing Speaker John Boehner may not have been a genuine champion, but his relative indifference to the subject was helpful in the successful budget of several amendment votes on medical cannabis over the past two years. Ryan's record on the subject is cause for concern and guarded optimism, as he has taken multiple stances on medical cannabis over the years.

First, let's examine his voting record on medical cannabis. Simply put, it's bad. Since 2012, Ryan has voted against medical cannabis patients during every budget amendment vote on the subject. While there are some medical cannabis supporters in the House, such as Representative Morgan Griffith (R-VA), who have voted against the budget amendment approach due to technical or philosophical reasons, Ryan has not cosponsored any medical cannabis legislation, such as Griffith's Legitimate Use of Medicinal Marijuana Act (H.R. 2373) or the bipartisan CARERS Act (H.R. 1538).

Oct 262015

California Weekly Roundup: October 26, 2015 - Americans for Safe Access

ASA California Weekly Roundup: October 26, 2015 

The California Roundup a project of the California Campaign for Safe Access, is your way to stay connected to on the latest events and news on medical cannabis in California. The California Campaign for Safe Access is ASA's oldest state campaign. There are more legal patients, providers, and recommending physicians in California than any other state. More than 1.4 million patients have safe, reliable, and dignified access to medicine in the state, but significant challenges remain. 

Click on the links on below or scroll through the entire email to learn more about what is happening in California and how you can participate.

    1. November 5, 2015 – CannTalk: Cannabis Science, Research, and Business (Santa Cruz)
    2. March 18-22, 2016 –National Medical Cannabis Unity Conference (Washington, DC)
    1. October 27, 2015 - Fresno County Ban Appeal Hearings (Fresno)
    2. October 28, 2015 – Court Support for Robert Orlosky (San Diego)
    3. More
    1. Pardon the Kettle Falls Five (National)
    2. Save Medical Marijuana in Fresno County (California)
    1. Patient Focused Certification
    1. October 27, 2015 - San Diego ASA (San Diego)

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