Happy Birthday, ASA

Ten years ago today, I stood below the biggest free-standing billboard in San Francisco and watched volunteers drop a huge banner that said “No War on Patients!” right next to one of the busiest freeways in the city. It was the beginning of a series of actions and media work in response to former Drug Czar Asa Hutchinson’s visit to the Bay Area. He was coming to town to gloat about raids at medical cannabis dispensaries and gardens, and we were determined to tell a different story. That’s how the nation’s largest medical cannabis patients’ advocacy organization got its name – Americans for Safe Access v. Asa Hutchison or “ASA v. Asa.”

Americans for Safe Access (ASA) is ten years old today. Your support and participation have helped us score many victories since those early days. We have provided legal support to tens of thousands of patients, promoted more compassionate laws nationwide, and helped to end media bias and public ambivalence on this issue. Your participation and support have helped make it happen. Can you help us celebrate? We are asking members and friends to send us pictures and videos of ASA-related activities or experiences that we can share at anniversary celebrations and other events this year. You can email your picture or video to [email protected] or upload it using our new iPhone app.

Can you remember when there were only a handful of patients and dispensaries in the San Francisco Bay Area? Now there are legal patients in sixteen states and the District of Columbia. You have helped ASA bring patients’ voices to the table in the local, state, and federal campaign for safe access to medical cannabis. We want your stories to be a part of the celebration this year.

Thank you for supporting ASA. I look forward to seeing you at anniversary celebrations all year!