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We are happy to announce that last week ASA released its 2016 report on “Medical Marijuana Access in the US: A Patient-Focused Analysis of the Patchwork of State Laws”. This annual report evaluates the array of differing laws across the country from a patient's perspective, using a point system to grade each medical marijuana law on: 1) patients' rights and protection from discrimination, 2) access to medicine, 3) ease of navigation, 4) functionality, and 5) product safety protocols.
The Good News:
- More states are adopting at least some level of legal protections
- There have been tremendous advancements in product safety regulations
- State program administrators have demonstrated a commitment to making their medical cannabis programs work best for their state
The Bad News:
Even with improvements in 2015, none of the state laws adopted thus far can be considered ideal from a patient’s standpoint. Only a minority of states currently include the entire range of protections and rights that should be afforded to patients under the law, with some lagging far behind others. Therefore, the laws do not function equitably and are often poorly designed, implemented, or both.
What Can You Do?
Nearly every positive advancement toward changing medical cannabis laws has been a result of citizen advocates, organizing and petitioning legislators to provide safe and legal access to the medicine that patients so desperately need. Help us continue this momentum by emailing your Representatives a copy of your state report card. By taking action, you will help us continue pressuring lawmakers, regulators, and officials to make the needed changes outlined in this report.
Want to learn more about the report and how to utilize this valuable tool? Join us tonight at 6:00pm ET, for a LIVE Google Hangout as we discuss how our latest report evaluates state medical cannabis programs, as well as what’s working and what's not working in other states. At the end, you will be able to walk away with the resources and the confidence to have productive conversations with elected officials, to set up or improve your state’s medical cannabis program.
Together we can make the difference in 2016. See you tonight!