Media Advisory for: March 22, 2018
Contact: David Mangone | [email protected] | 202-618-6975
House Passes Budget with Medical Cannabis Protection Amendment
Rohrabacher-Blumenauer Amendment will Protect Patients from AG Sessions until September
Washington, D.C. — Today, after months of debate and continuing resolutions, the House of Representatives passed its Appropriations package for the fiscal year of 2018. Unlike previous short term measures, this bill will fully fund the government through September 30, 2018. At over 2,200 pages the bill is a massive combination of funding outlays and policy. Due to the hard work of advocates the bill includes the text of the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment.
WASHINGTON, DC — February 28, 2018 — Today the medical cannabis advocacy organization, Americans for Safe Access, released its annual report entitled “Medical Marijuana Access in the United States: A Patient-Focused Analysis of the Patchwork of State Laws.” The report examines the status of states that have passed medical marijuana laws and grades them on a 500 point scale. Forty-six states and three territories have some form of medical cannabis program, meaning approximately 95% of the American population lives in a state with some form of medical cannabis law.
Washington, D.C. - February 21, 2018 -- Today, Americans for Safe Access (ASA), a non-profit organization promoting safe and legal access to medical cannabis since 2002, and Releaf App, an experience tracking tool for cannabis patients, officially announced their partnership to empower medical cannabis patients and establish a new class of like-minded U.S. medical cannabis dispensaries.
Americans for Safe Access Applauds Action and Calls Upon Congress to Take Note
WASHINGTON, DC — In a letter dated January 26th, Americans for Safe Access (ASA), a national nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring safe and legal access to medical cannabis for therapeutic use and research, learned that the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) denied their Information Quality Act (IQA) petition requesting the correction of misinformation disseminated on the DEA website on the health effects of medical cannabis, originally filed more than a year ago. However, the letter also pointed out that, through a “regular review process,” the DEA had removed certain documents and updated much of the information on the DEA website that ASA’s IQA petition addressed.
Bill Allowing All Physicians to Recommend Cannabis Oils Passes House and Senate
Richmond VA — Today, the Virginia General Assembly Senate passed SB726 by a vote of 40 to 0. Last week, the companion bill passed the House of Delegates unanimously by a vote of 98-0. The bill will allow physicians to recommend cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THC-A) oils to any patients for whom they feel the oils could help their conditions. Last year, the General Assembly passed legislation permitting the cultivation and manufacturing of cannabis oils for up to five processors in the state, but the only condition permitted was intractable epilepsy.
Still Protected by the CJS Amendment, Patients Prepare for A Return to Pre-Cole World
Washington D.C. — As first reported by the Associated Press, Attorney General Jeff Sessions is planning on rescinding the 2013 memo created by then Deputy Attorney General James Cole. The Cole Memorandum highlighted eight priorities when it came to the federal enforcement of medical and recreational cannabis laws including preventing the distribution of marijuana to minors and preventing diversion.
A recission of the Cole Memorandum, which deprioritized prosecution of marijuana-related cases allows U.S. Attorneys to use discretion in the cases they prosecute. Sessions, an ardent critic of all forms of marijuana has repeatedly called on Congress to not extend the Commerce, Justice, and Science (CJS) Budget Amendment that provides protections to medical cannabis providers and individuals complying with state law by blocking Department of Justice funds.
“The Attorney General’s decision to rescind the Cole Memo shows his true intentions on cannabis ” said Steph Sherer, Executive Director for Americans for Safe Access.“While the Cole Memo was not perfect, it created a workable framework for states to regulate cannabis. States work within the Cole Memo, not against it. However, it is important to remember that this memo is not what provides protection to patients and providers. They are protected by the CJS Medical Marijuana amendment and it is more important than ever for Congress to renew these protections in the FY2018 Budget.”
Washington D.C. — On December 8, 2017, the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) quietly updated their policy in regards to VA doctors having discussions with veterans about medical cannabis, and clarified VA policy regarding access to Veterans Health Administration (VHA) clinical programs for veterans participating in state approved medical cannabis programs. VHA Directive 2017-1315 replaces an existing directive issued by the VA in 2011 (VHA 2011-004). The 2011 directive technically expired in 2016, but as no new policy had been put in place, VHA 2011-004 remained department policy until the new directive was issued. Most significantly, the new directive emphasizes “[v]eterans must not be denied VHA services solely because they are participating in state-approved marijuana programs.”
WASHINGTON, DC — On November 9, Americans for Safe Access, filed two requests under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) for information on any discussions the Commission had about medical cannabis and specifically the only cannabis study referenced in the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis draft final report .
Americans for Safe Access Co-Author’s Study in JAMA on Cannabidiol Products
Washington, DC - A new study published this week in JAMA found that nearly 70 percent of all cannabidiol (CBD) products sold online are either over or under labeled, causing potential serious harm to its consumers. The study, co-authored by Jahan Marcu, Ph.D, American’s for Safe Access’ (ASA) Chief Science Officer and Director of Patient Focused Certification (PFC), analyzed 84 CBD products available online from 31 companies.
“This is a wake up call for the CBD industry to standardize their products,” said Dr. Marcu, “CBD product manufacturers need to adopt best practices and accept guidance from AHPA and other groups to improve consistency and safety for consumers. Reaching compliance with existing standards for cannabis-products could help address this issue.”