Washington, DC -- The U.S. Justice Department issued a press release earlier today, announcing a memorandum from Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole that detailed a similar policy on recently adopted laws in the States of Washington and Colorado as it previously indicated for medical marijuana states. To the extent this new memorandum affects medical marijuana patients in Washington, Colorado and other states, advocates are taking a "wait and see" approach.
Chicago, IL -- Medical marijuana advocates will hold a 4-hour conference this Thursday from 1pm-5pm to discuss implementation of HB1, the Illinois medical marijuana law that was signed by Governor Quinn earlier this month. Thursday's conference is being sponsored by Americans for Safe Access (ASA) and Local 881 of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) and will not only review aspects of the new law, including the rights and responsibilities it establishes, but also bring together patients, caregivers, cultivators, lab experts, dispensary operators, and their workers in order to ensure that law will protect and benefit Illinois patients. The conference is free and open to the public.
Seattle, WA -- Medical marijuana patients across Washington have begun a campaign called "Health Before Happy Hour" to educate the Washington State Legislature and Governor Jay Inslee that the needs of patients are much different from those of recreational marijuana users, and they will not be easily brushed aside. With the help of national patient advocacy group Americans for Safe Access (ASA), the medical marijuana community in Washington will be taking their issues to lawmakers over the coming weeks.
San Francisco, CA -- U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder delivered a speech today to the annual meeting of the American Bar Association in which he outlined a new sentencing and enforcement strategy as America enters the fifth decade of the so-called "War on Drugs." Medical marijuana advocates are cautiously optimistic that the announcement will bring about the compassionate release of federal medical marijuana prisoners.
Find Out More About What Changed CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta's Mind on Medical Marijuana - Americans for Safe Access
Washington, DC -- Ahead of a widely publicized CNN documentary on medical marijuana this Sunday at 8pm ET, Dr. Sanjay Gupta has spoken out on the news magazine circuit to humbly apologize for misleading the American public on the issue. Calling the federal government's policy on medical marijuana "hypocritical," Dr. Gupta interviews physicians and medical marijuana patients, and even travels to Israel in order to let the public know about this important therapy.
Medical Marijuana Advocates Partner with Massachusetts Medical Society-Accredited TheAnswerPage.com - Americans for Safe Access
Boston, MA -- The advocacy group Americans for Safe Access (ASA) launched a new educational tool today called "Wake & Learn," aimed at better informing patients, doctors and the public about medical marijuana. Utilizing TheAnswerPage.com, an online educational website for physicians, healthcare professionals and others, ASA is encouraging patients to participate in a daily Q&A at 10am via Facebook and Twitter, as well as a weekly interactive crossword puzzle featured every Saturday on the ASA blog, Voices from the Frontlines.
Advocates Appeal Marijuana's Federal Status as a Dangerous Drug with No Medical Value to U.S. Supreme Court - Americans for Safe Access
Washington, DC -- Medical marijuana patient advocacy group Americans for Safe Access (ASA) filed a petition for writ of certiorari today with the U.S. Supreme Court to appeal a January Circuit Court decision that maintained marijuana's current federal status as one of the most dangerous drugs with no medical value. In the widely watched case ASA v. Drug Enforcement Administration, petitioners are challenging an unreasonable and unprecedented standard set by the District of Columbia Circuit, which also creates a federal appellate split on what constitutes proof of medical efficacy.
U.S. Mayors Demand Change to Federal Policy, End to Crackdown on Medical Marijuana in Their Cities - Americans for Safe Access
Las Vegas, NV -- As mayors from across the country gather today in Las Vegas for the 81st annual U.S. Conference of Mayors, the federal government's crackdown on medical marijuana is expected to be discussed and debated over the weekend. A resolution "in support of states setting their own marijuana policies without federal interference" was introduced in advance of the conference by San Diego Mayor Bob Filner and co-sponsored by eight other mayors from across the country. Deliberation on the resolution comes days after medical marijuana advocates issued an alarming report detailing how the Obama Justice Department has spent nearly $300 million to undermine medical marijuana laws in the U.S.
Report: Obama Justice Department Has Spent Nearly $300 Million on Aggressive Medical Marijuana Enforcement - Americans for Safe Access
Washington, DC -- Medical marijuana advocacy group Americans for Safe Access (ASA) issued a report today, detailing the costs associated with the federal government's years-long enforcement effort in states that have adopted medical marijuana laws. Notably, the report, which is entitled "What's the Cost?" states that since 1996 nearly half a billion dollars ($500 million) has been spent by the Justice Department -- over three presidential administrations -- to investigate, raid, arrest, prosecute, and imprison hundreds of medical marijuana patients and their providers. The report is intended for Congressional legislators in an effort to lobby for federal policy reforms, and is part of the Peace for Patients campaign recently launched by ASA.