Lobbying in D.C. with Americans for Safe Access at the 2019 Unity Conference

April 02, 2019 | Timothy Smale

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?

The Medical Cannabis Control Act of 2019 seeks to consolidate authority on medical cannabis into one agency that allows for R&D oversight, thereby ending the NIDA monopoly on research that seeks only studies relating to potential harm from cannabis. The Medical Cannabis Control Act of 2019 would draw from the USDA's plans to develop cultivation standards for industrial hemp and create best practices and standards regarding pesticide use and organic methods, including allowing medical cannabis growers access to farming subsidies and crop insurance.

The Medical Cannabis Control Act of 2019 would integrate with state and local licensing and regulatory protocols, and most importantly provide a pathway away from current medical cannabis discriminatory practices.

One of the most important messages that I personally delivered during my time with my Congressional representatives and Senators was simply this; well over 90% of Americans support medical cannabis policy changes at the federal level. Lives are at risk. Some of us are running out of time. Millions have suffered needlessly for far too many years to wait and see what happens. What have you got to lose?

What they have to lose is their jobs, because America clearly wants medical cannabis policy change at the federal level.

I'm curious what you think. Write me at smale.tim@gmail.com and let me know your thoughts.

For more information, go to www.safeaccessnow.org or contact David Mangone, Director of Government Affairs with Americans for Safe Access, at david@safeaccessnow.org or by calling him at (202) 857-4272 X 5. Please consider joining ASA for as little as $10, or donate. Americans for Safe Access is an association of over 100,000 medical cannabis patients across America and outside of the USA.



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