Blog Voices from the Frontlines
Lobbying in D.C. with Americans for Safe Access at the 2019 Unity Conference - Americans for Safe Access
The Americans for Safe Access 2019 Unity Conference, themed The Price of Being a Medical Cannabis Patient, featured over a hundred patients from all over America visiting their representatives in Congress and the Senate to promote the Medical Cannabis Control Act of 2019.
There are numerous legislative proposals in the current 116th Congress that seek to deschedule or reschedule cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act, but what happens after that? At least five federal agencies currently have juristiction when it comes to cannabis policy; The DOJ, the DEA, the FDA, the Office of National Drug Control Policy, and, the Department of Health and Human Services. What is going to happen when cannabis policy changes occur at the federal level? Which agency will have authority over medical cannabis policy? Will they all continue to play a role, as they have in the past?
This morning the World Health Organization (WHO) made an announcement that has the potential to change the status of medical cannabis globally. The WHO has determined that cannabis and cannabis resin should be removed from Schedule IV of the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs (which is different than the U.S. Controlled Substances Act scheduling) and divided into more specific categories in lower schedules. For, example compound pharmaceutical preparations containing THC would be placed in Schedule III and CBD preparations would be removed from scheduling entirely.
Trump Administration’s First National Drug Control Strategy Emphasizes Opioid Crisis, Makes No Mention of State-Legal Cannabis Regimes - Americans for Safe Access
The Trump Administration’s White House Office of Drug Control Policy released its first National Drug Control Strategy on Thursday, January 31, 2019. The document outlines President Trump’s priorities regarding drug trafficking and drug use and provides strategic direction to federal agencies involved in preventing initiates to illicit drug use, treating those suffering from substance abuse disorder, and enforcing laws regarding illicit drug production, trafficking, and distribution.
It has been an exciting year in the world of cannabis reform. From studies that underscore the therapeutic potential of cannabis to political changes that bode well for patients and consumers, there is much to celebrate. Before we close the books on 2018, let’s take a look back at ten of the most significant developments over the past year from ASA’s perspective and consider their impact.
If you have seen the news lately, you know that the possibility of a partial government shutdown is looming. Although Congress has passed funding extensions, the President is threatening to veto any appropriations packages that do not contain sufficient funding for border security. Without further action, much government funding will end at 11:59 PM on Friday, December 21, meaning that many non-essential government operations and agencies will be suspended until a budget is passed. This would NOT include operations at the Department of Justice (DOJ) as it is considered essential.
Despite the anticipation of a major announcement at the 61st Commission on Narcotic Drugs relating to the international scheduling of cannabis, no announcement came from the World Health Organization (WHO) today. Many expected the WHO to issue a recommendation on its findings of the first ever critical review of cannabis, however the WHO delayed its recommendation saying that it needed more time to review its findings.
This week has been big for cannabis in electoral politics. Thanks to Tuesday’s election, thirty-three states now have a comprehensive medical cannabis program. Ballot victories in Missouri and Utah transitioned these states’ low-THC CBD programs to significantly broader access. Voters in eleven Wisconsin counties and one city approved non-binding referendums supporting medical cannabis legislation. Michigan passed an initiative that legalized the adult use of cannabis.
From July 29 through August 2, Americans for Safe Access attended the annual National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL) in Los Angeles, California. We joined over 5,000 conference attendees (about 1,200 of which were state lawmakers or state legislative staff) to promote the goals of our End Pain, Not Lives Campaign.
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.