Press Releases

Medical Cannabis Patient Advocates Applaud Passage of Historic Legislation

Posted by · September 14, 2015 3:42 PM

Sacramento, CA- On September 11th, 2015 the California State Legislature passed a series of bills that would establish comprehensive regulation and licensing of medical cannabis.  Assembly Bills 243 and 266 as well as Senate Bill 643 were all approved and will delegate regulation of commercial medical cannabis cultivation, manufacturing, transportation, and distribution to various state agencies as well as create a state-level licensing system for the first time in the history of the state’s medical cannabis program. Governor Jerry Brown is widely expected to sign all three pieces of legislation.

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ASA to Work with Regulators to Ensure Highest Level of Industry Compliance

Posted by · September 02, 2015 12:42 PM

PFC logoAmericans for Safe Access (ASA) has been selected to provide training for compliance inspectors operating under the authority of the Natalie M. LaPrade Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission. The auditors are charged with ensuring members of the state’s new medical cannabis industry comply with all applicable regulations, which were finalized by the Commission in August. 

In addition to developing its own rigorous compliance protocols, Maryland has adopted the American Herbal Product Association’s (AHPA) Recommendations to Regulators in the areas of: cultivation, distribution and manufacturing. AHPA’s guidelines offer seed-to-consumption product safety and quality control measures that will ensure rigid oversight of the state’s medical cannabis industry.

Auditor training will be offered through the Patient Focused Certification (PFC) program, a project of ASA with extensive experience training members of the cannabis industry to meet strict regulatory compliance guidelines. PFC has trained thousands of employees of the medical cannabis industry and is currently under contract with the District of Columbia to train all medical cannabis staff to achieve comprehensive regulatory compliance.

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ASA Statement on DOJ Memorandum Regarding Guidance on Effect of Rohrabacher-Farr Medical Cannabis Amendment

Posted by · August 05, 2015 4:04 PM

Earlier today, press reports revealed a February 2015 memorandum from Department of Justice on the Rohrabacher-Farr Medical Cannabis Amendment’s impact on federal law enforcement actions related to the Controlled Substances Act. The memorandum argues that federal prosecutions against private citizens participating in state-level medical cannabis programs would not be impacted by the amendment.

ASA Government Affairs Director Mike Liszewski issued the following comment:

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New Campaign Aims to Deepen Public Knowledge about Medical Marijuana

Posted by · July 29, 2015 10:21 AM

Washington,  DC-  This morning Americans for Safe Access (ASA) launched the Truth About Medical Marijuana educational website and accompanying event series. The Truth About Medical Marijuana will focus on emerging issues in the area of medical marijuana, including understanding the research behind the medicine, emerging policies issues surrounding cannabidiol (CBD) and consumer safety issues. During each of the next three months, event hosts will focus on these issues and prepare attendees to share that information with politicians and key decision makers, as well as providing tools to counter misinformation in the media.

“With the majority of Americans living in states that allow at least some kind of medical marijuana it’s time to move beyond rhetoric and headlines and foster a genuine understanding of this too often misunderstood medicine,” said Steph Sherer ASA Executive Director.  “With the Truth About Medical Marijuana, we’re filling a void by giving people straightforward explanations of the science behind medical marijuana and explaining how medical marijuana relates to them and their families.”

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Top Experts to Testify on Federal Restrictions Holding Back Medical Marijuana Research

Posted by · July 21, 2015 4:51 PM

Washington,  DC-  On Thursday, July 23rd Americans for Safe Access (ASA) is hosting a Congressional Briefing with Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) on federal barriers faced by researchers working to understand the medical uses of marijuana.   The briefing will provide expert insights on how federal policy has undermined medical marijuana research, the state of  contemporary medical marijuana research and the impact of reform proposals.

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California Law Will End Discrimination Against Medical Cannabis Patients in the Organ Transplant Process

Posted by · July 06, 2015 5:22 PM

Sacramento, CA - Today Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 258, the Medical Cannabis Organ Transplant Act.  AB 258 prohibits discrimination against medical cannabis patients in the organ transplant process, unless a doctor has determined that medical cannabis use is clinically significant to the transplant process. Medical cannabis patients in California have been routinely removed from the organ transplant waiting list if they test positive for cannabis use – even legal doctor-recommended medical cannabis.  AB 258 was authored by Assemblymember Marc Levine (D-San Rafael) and sponsored by Americans for Safe Access (ASA).

“AB 258’s passage is the result of ASA’s membership tirelessly work for over two years,” said Don Duncan ASA’s California Director. “In California legal medical cannabis patients will never again face a choice between their doctor-recommended medicine and a life-saving organ transplant. Governor Brown deserves credit for protecting medical cannabis patients from this harmful discriminatory practice that has no bias in medical research.”

On June 15th over 200 patients and advocates participated in the ASA California Citizen Lobby Day, which focused on educating lawmakers about AB 258 and other medical cannabis legislation. During the lobby day ASA began a postcard campaign to encourage Governor Brown to support AB 258.  

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Drug Caucus Holds Hearing on Barriers to Cannabidiol Research

Posted by · June 24, 2015 1:36 PM

Washington, DC - Earlier today, the Senate International Narcotics Control Caucus held a hearing on facilitating cannabidiol (CBD) research. CBD is found in cannabis and has shown great potential to treat intractable epilepsy and numerous other therapeutic benefits. According to the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) CBD is considered a schedule I substance, despite the growing body of evidence indicating therapeutic benefits to patients suffering from dravet syndrome and other severe forms of epilepsy.  The hearing also focused on regulatory oversight and reforming the process for researchers to obtain cannabis.

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California State Senate Moves To End Discrimination Against Medical Cannabis Patients Seeking Organ Transplants

Posted by · June 22, 2015 9:20 PM

Sacramento, CA - The California Senate approved AB 258, the Medical Cannabis Organ Transplant Act, earlier today by a margin of 33-1.  AB 258 prohibits discrimination against medical cannabis patients in the organ transplant process, unless a doctor has determined that medical cannabis use is clinically significant to the transplant process. Medical cannabis patients in California are routinely removed from the organ transplant waiting list if they test positive for cannabis use – even legal doctor-recommended medical cannabis.  AB 258 was authored by Assemblymember Marc Levine (D-San Rafael) and sponsored by Americans for Safe Access (ASA).

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Decision Removes Unnecessary Burdens On Legitimate Scientific Inquiry

Posted by · June 22, 2015 3:11 PM

Washington, DC - Earlier today the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) announced they will lift the public health service (PHS) review on marijuana research projects not funded by the federal government. The PHS review process was established in 1999 following a 1998 Institute of Medicine report that called for more in depth scientific research on marijuana. While the process was intended to facilitate greater research today it is broadly recognized as undermining legitimate scientific inquiry.  

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Senate Appropriations Committee Approves Mikulski Medical Marijuana Amendment to CJS

Posted by · June 11, 2015 2:36 PM

Washington, DC-  Earlier today the United States Senate Appropriations Committee voted for the Mikulski medical cannabis (marijuana) amendment to the Commerce, Science, and Justice (CJS) Appropriations bill for fiscal year 2015 by a margin of 20-10.  Senator Barbara Mikulski ‘s (D-MD) amendment to the CJS appropriations bill mirrors the legislative language of the recently passed Rohrabacher-Farr medical cannabis amendment to the House of Representative CJS bill. The Rohrabacher-Farr amendment bans the Department of Justice from spending money to prevent the implementation of state-level medical cannabis programs, removing funding for federal medical cannabis raids, arrests and prosecutions in states where medical cannabis is legal. The Mikulski amendment passed with the bipartisan support of 13 Democrats and 7 Republicans. Today’s vote marks the first time the Senate has voted on state-level medical cannabis programs. 

“The success of the Mikulski medical cannabis amendment shows a growing acknowledgement that the federal government should not interfere with state medical cannabis programs,” said Steph Sherer Americans for Safe Access Executive Director. “The passage of the Mikulski medical cannabis amendment also shows that Senate support exists for the central elements of the CARERS Act. The CARERS Act would make the protections in Mikulski medical cannabis amendment permanent and create a much needed framework for research and federal and state cooperation.”

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