Press Releases

Parents Resuscitate SB701 and Prepare for House Vote

Posted by · February 17, 2016 9:00 AM

(Richmond, VA) - Yesterday, the Virginia Senate by a vote of 37 to 2 passed SB701, a bill that would allow the production and manufacturing of cannabidiol (CBD) oil and THC-A oil in the state. For the past several weeks, patients, parents and advocates from across the state worked tirelessly to persuade members of the Senate to move forward on this issue, which until last year seemed out of reach for Virginia's conservative legislature.

Last year’s passage of SB1235 and HB1445 gave intractable epilepsy patients and their caregivers an affirmative defense for possession of two marijuana oils, THCa and CBD, used to treat seizures. However, the law provides no way for patients to obtain the oils without breaking federal and state laws. To help rectify this situation, Senator Marsden from Fairfax introduced SB701, which, if passed, will provide a mechanism for production in the state of these oils for patients with intractable epilepsy.

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UN Holds Stakeholder Meetings for Upcoming UN Special Session on Drug Policy

Posted by · February 10, 2016 1:55 PM

(New York, NY) – Today Executive Director of Americans for Safe Access (ASA), Steph Sherer, and Michael Krawitz, Executive Director, Veterans For Medical Cannabis Access will join organizations from across the globe at at the UN Headquarters to continue preparations for the United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS 2016) on drug policy to be held April 19th-21st    They will be providing input for Member States in the negotiations of the outcome document to be presented at UNGASS 2016 and will be urging that global policies on medical cannabis be included.

The last time the UN held a special session was in 1999, and its focus, guided by the US, was to eliminate illegal drugs and drug trafficking. Today, international leaders, drug policy reform groups, patients, and citizens are encouraging the UN to reform this outdated and ineffective approach to drug policy.  On  the agenda for UNGASS 2016 is a review of the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961, the Convention on Psychotropic Substances of 1971, and the United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances of 1988.

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TheAnswerPage Creates the "New York State Practitioner Education-Medical Use of Marijuana Course" for New York’s Department of Health

Posted by · February 04, 2016 1:38 PM

New York, NY - The Answer Page, Inc. in collaboration with the New York Department of Health created and launched the “New York State Practitioner Education-Medical Use of Marijuana Course" on www.TheAnswerPage.com.

TheAnswerPage is proud to offer the Medical Use of Marijuana Course created by Stephen B. Corn, MD and Meredith Fisher-Corn, MD with contributions from experts around the globe and approved by the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH). Physicians seeking to register with the NYSDOH to certify patients for medical marijuana must complete this course. Pharmacists working in dispensing facilities must take the four-hour course before they may counsel, or supervise another employee who may counsel, certified patients and designated caregivers on the use, administration, and risks associated with approved medical marijuana products. Any healthcare professionals interested in learning more about medical marijuana are also eligible to enroll. Upon successful completion of the program, those who complete the course will receive 4.5 AMA PRA Category 1 CME Credits.

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Patient Advocates Hope Report will Help State Legislators “Make the Grade” in 2016

Posted by · January 26, 2016 1:34 PM

(Washington, D.C.) – Americans for Safe Access (ASA) issued “Medical Marijuana Access in the US: A Patient-Focused Analysis of the Patchwork of State Laws,” today. The annual report evaluates the array of differing state medical cannabis programs across the country from a perspective often overlooked in policy debates: the patients’ and provides policy makers with model legislation and regulations. With dozens of states already seeing legislative and regulatory proposals in 2016, this  groundbreaking report will provide state lawmakers with timely tools they need to improve their medical cannabis programs to truly meet the needs of the patients they are meant to serve.

Eighty-one percent  of Americans favor the legalization of medical marijuana according to a May 7, 2015, Harris Poll.  This broad support has led to unprecedented progress in state medical marijuana programs in 2015.  Nineteen states introduced legislation to legalize medical marijuana during the year. In addition, many of the twenty three states with current medical marijuana laws passed legislation to expand or improve their programs in 2015, including New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Connecticut, Oregon, California, Washington, Maryland, Hawaii, Illinois, Delaware, and the District of Columbia. Other states, like Nevada and Vermont, expanded and improved their programs through new regulations.  

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The California Local Access Project provides resources and training for medical marijuana advocates

Posted by · December 22, 2015 6:00 PM

Sacramento, CA – A national medical marijuana advocacy organization published a memo and model ordinance on Monday for California cities and counties recommending that they regulate the cultivation of medical marijuana instead of banning it. The memo and model ordinance are part of project by Americans for Safe Access (ASA) to support patients and advocates fighting bans on cultivation and pushing for local licensing and regulation of medical marijuana businesses.

“Medical cannabis advocates need tools and training to talk with their local lawmakers about medical marijuana,” said ASA California Director Don Duncan. “This project is all about supporting and empowering those local advocates to make a difference in their hometown.” ASA’s new Local Access Project (LAP) is a web portal with links to documents and online training that medical marijuana supporters can use to talk with their representatives on the City Council or County Board of Supervisors. 

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US Medical Marijuana Advocacy Organization Launches International Research Center

Posted by · December 15, 2015 11:54 AM

Prague, Czech Republic – Today members of Americans for Safe Access (ASA), KOPAC and Dioscorides Global Holdings (DGH) were joined by the Minister of Health for the Czech Republic, Svatopluk Němeček to announce the establishment of a new research center, the International Cannabis and Cannabinoid Institute (ICCI) – intended to foster evidence-based exploration with a modern scientific approach to refine the therapeutic applicability of cannabis-based medicines in the Czech Republic.  ICCI will identify, coordinate and support global research priorities for the advancement of cannabis and cannabinoid treatments through a multidisciplinary evidence based approach that incorporates innovative tools and approaches.

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Medical Cannabis Patient Advocates to Address World Health Organization

Posted by · November 16, 2015 5:37 PM

GENEVA—Today medical cannabis patient advocates representing 27 countries will be addressing the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Expert Committee on Drug Dependence (ECDD) in Geneva, in hopes of reshaping international policies that affect the health and safety of millions of patients using cannabis and cannabis products worldwide. ECDD an important advisor to the United Nation’s (UN) Commission on Narcotic Drugs which sets international drug policies, such as the classification of drugs for international treaties, will be meeting from November 15-20 to discuss global drug policy issues, including cannabis. 

Although the ECDD meets yearly, this year is especially essential, as the UN prepares for the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on Drugs (UNGASS 2016) set for April 2016 in New York. The last special session on drugs was held in 1999, with a focus on global elimination of drugs and the next UNGASS on drugs was scheduled for 2019 to assess the progress towards the goals set in 2009. 

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Cannabis Chemistry Subdivision To Provide Dissemination of Research, Professional Training and Promote the Development of Effective and Precise Industry Standards

Posted by · October 28, 2015 12:04 PM

Washington, DC-  On October 8th, 2015 the Division of Chemical Health and Safety (CHAS) of the American Chemical Society voted to form the Cannabis Chemistry Subdivision (CANN). The CANN subdivision previously existed under the Small Chemical Business Division as the Cannabis Chemistry Committee, but will be located within CHAS following the expansion to official subdivision status. CHAS provides expertise in laboratory safety, chemical management and chemical safety practices.  The committee’s decision to form an official subdivision comes in response to substantial growth in the medical and commercial cannabis industries in recent years.

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Ruling Undermines Department of Justice Interpretation of Congressional Restrictions On Interference With State-Legal Medical Cannabis Programs

Posted by · October 20, 2015 5:19 PM

San Francisco- On Monday, U.S. District Court Judge Charles Breyer ruled that enforcement of the injunction against the Marin Alliance for Medical Marijuana (MAMM), which has prevented the medical cannabis dispensary from engaging in business, must be consistent with the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment and therefore, was only enforceable against activity that is not allowed within state law.

The ruling noted that a “plain reading of [the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment] forbids the Department of Justice (DOJ) from enforcing this injunction against MAMM to the extent that MAMM operates in compliance with state California law.” The ruling further noted that local officials considered MAMM to be a “model business in careful compliance” with local regulations.

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Patient Advocates Release Comprehensive Guide to Crafting Fair Rules to Create Local Medical Cannabis Access

Posted by · October 15, 2015 1:49 PM

Washington, DC- Today, Americans for Safe Access (ASA) released, “Where Will Patients Obtain Their Medicine?” a white paper on the impact of medical cannabis dispensaries on patients, teen cannabis use, crime and communities.  Since legal medical cannabis dispensaries first emerged following the creation of California’s medical cannabis program in 1996, the location of medical cannabis dispensaries has been a contentious issue. Although, critics have long suggested that medical cannabis dispensaries will worsen crime rates or otherwise undermine the communities that host them, empirical research shows that dispensaries bring economic development and provide patients with a physician-recommended medicine while not being associated with increased levels of crime or other social ills.  

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