Pages tagged "AB 258"

  • Aspergillus and Organ Transplants

    AspergillusAspergillus is a common fungus found on plants, including herbs and food crops. It can be harmful if ingested, although toxic exposure is rare. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, “most people breathe in Aspergillus spores every day without getting sick.” Aspergillus can be found cannabis flowers that were improperly cured or stored while still damp. Cannabis that is properly cured and stored is unlikely to be contaminated.

    There is a single published case that links Aspergillus consumption with the death of a 34-year old bone marrow transplant patient. (Chest, Hamadeh, 988 Aug;94(2):432-3).  ASA California Director Don Duncan talked with the author of that report. Dr. Hamadeh, on the telephone in March of 2015. She said that Aspergillosis, a clinical infection resulting from exposure to the Aspergillus, is extremely rare, despite the fact that the fungus is ubiquitous.

    Numerous professional testing laboratories are now testing legal medical cannabis for contaminates, and routine screening for microorganisms would detect Aspergillus and a wide range of other natural contaminates. No unusual equipment or expertise is necessary to detect Aspergillus. Laboratories can and do screen for it today. Doctors can and should recommend that patients with an immune system compromised by illness or anti-rejection medication consume only laboratory tested medical cannabis.

    The risk of being denied a life-saving organ transplant far outweighs the remote risk associated with developing Aspergillosis. 

  • Grassroots action stopped a 10% excise tax on legal medicine

    Medical cannabis patients scored a huge victory in California last week, when the Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee rejected SB 987. That bill by Assembly Member Mike McGuire (D-Healdsburg) would have imposed a statewide excise tax of 10% on medical cannabis. The tax would have been in addition to existing sales tax, any new or existing taxes imposed by cities and counties, and any other taxes adopted by the state legislature.


    Americans for Safe Access (ASA) opposed SB 987 because it would have placed an unfair burden on legal medical cannabis patients. Thousands of ASA members sent emails, signed petitions, and made phone calls opposing the bill in response to our action alerts. Hundreds visited legislative offices in person to oppose the bill as part of our California Citizen Lobby Day in March. Those efforts paid off last Monday, when the committee voted 4 to 5 to kill SB 987.


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  • Effective grassroots advocacy gave a 51-year old mother and grandmother a chance to survive

    Tamara HowardUPDATE: ASA is happy to report that Tamra received her organ transplant in June and is currently recovering at home. Hers is the first life saved by AB 258, the Medical Cannabis Organ Transplant Act!

    Norman Smith died from inoperable liver cancer in 2011, after he was dropped from the organ transplant list for using legal medical cannabis to treat his debilitating symptoms. His tragic story and tireless advocacy for patients’ rights inspired members of Americans for Safe Access (ASA) to stand up for medical cannabis patients and demand legal protection.

    That work paid off when California Governor Jerry Brown signed the ASA-sponsored Medical Cannabis Organ Transplant Act, known as AB 258, in July. Authored by Assembly Member Marc Levine (D-San Rafael), the new law prevents anyone in the state from being denied an organ transplant just because they use legal medical cannabis.

    Pictured: Medical cannabis patient Tamra Howard, with a good reason to smile

    Norman was a vocal advocate for organ transplant patients who use medical cannabis, and his efforts led directly to the adoption of AB 258 this year. “It’s probably too late for me, but I hope it helps the next guy,” he said before his tragic and preventable death in 2011. Norman did do it for the next guy. ASA has just learned of the first medical cannabis patient to be re-added to the organ transplant waiting list after being denied a place based on her medical cannabis use. 

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  • California Legislative Roundup 2015

    CA Capitol BuildingThe California Legislature adjourned tonight, following a session that included more than a dozen bills concerning medical cannabis. Patients, providers, and other stakeholders scored some big victories in Sacramento this year, and now we have important work to do. ASA is committed to working hard to build on the momentum of the legislative session. We are going to be aggressively defending new rights won this year, helping write new regulations for commercial medical cannabis activity, acting as a watchdog on implementation, and more. We are going to need your help and support to get it done.

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  • Medical cannabis news and events from around the state

    CA Governor Jerry BrownThis may be your last chance to email Governor Brown and ask him to sign the Medical Cannabis Organ Transplant Act (AB 258). Patients who legally use medical cannabis in California are routinely denied a place on the national organ transplant wait list. Some have died as a result. AB 258 will end this discrimination and save lives. The Governor has until Wednesday to sign or veto the bill – so don’t wait. Speak up now!

    Are you one of the 900 people who have already signed the petition or sent a post card to the Governor? Thank you! Can you get someone else to sign today? Share the link with your email list and on social media.

    Check out the California Weekly Roundup for Monday, July 6, 2015, for medical cannabis news – including articles about how the media misunderstands (and misrepresents) medical cannabis research, the latest on cannabis cultivation and environmental damage, news on the raids in the Island Mountain area of the Emerald Triangle, and much more. And get all the details about four legislative hearings coming up in Sacramento this week. 

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  • California State Senate Passes AB 258 With Overwhelming Majority

    CA Asm. Marc LevineThe 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).

    “AB 258 is about fundamental fairness and compassion. Legal medical cannabis patients should never face a choice between their doctor-recommended medicine and a life-saving organ transplant,” said Don Duncan ASA’s California Director. “AB 258 will help the law catch up with science, which has shown that medical cannabis patients are just as likely to benefit from an organ transplant as other patients.”

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  • Tell Governor Brown to Sign AB 258

    CA Gov. BrownASA expects the California Senate to approve AB 258, the Medical Cannabis Organ Transplant Act, some time today. This ASA-sponsored legislation will prohibit discrimination against medical cannabis patients in the organ transplant process.

    The bill goes next to the Governor, who has twelve days to sign or veto the bill. You can send a message to Governor Brown asking him to sign the bill right now:

    ASA wants to say a special thank you to thousands of members and friends who made phone calls, sent emails, and signed a petition in support of the bill. We are especially grateful for 200 patients and advocates who visited Senate offices in support of AB 258 on Monday as part of the California Citizen Lobby Day. Well done!

    ASA will announce the outcome of the Senate vote on AB 258 as soon as we know. You can get all of the latest medical cannabis news in California on our email discussion list or Twitter feed.

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  • Support AB 258 in the California Senate

    CA Capitol BuildingHundreds of medical cannabis patients and advocates will be visiting the state Capitol this afternoon to talk with lawmakers about medical cannabis legislation. One of the most important bills on the table is AB 258, the Medical Cannabis Organ Transplant Act. This bill will prevent discrimination against medical cannabis patients who need organ transplants. It is a high priority for ASA, because medical cannabis patients have already died after being dropped from the organ transplant waiting list. Others are in danger right now.

    Take a minute right now to send an email to your California State Senator asking him or her to support AB 258.

    Don’t wait. The Senate could vote on the bill any time this week. Look for news from today’s California Citizen Lobby Day and the vote on AB 258 later this week. 

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  • AB 258 by CA Assembly Member Marc Levine (D-San Rafael)

    CA Assembly Member LevineLegislation sponsored by Americans for Safe Access (ASA) entered the home stretch on Wednesday when the California Senate Health Committee approved AB 258, the Medical Cannabis Organ Transplant Act. The bill by Assembly Member Marc Levine (D-San Rafael) will protect medical cannabis patients from discrimination in the organ transplant process. AB 258 must now be approved by the full Senate and signed by the Governor. A final vote is expected next week.

    Patients in California who test positive for cannabis use are routinely denied a place on the organ transplant waiting list – even if they are using legal medical cannabis. This widespread policy at hospitals and transplant centers is based on outdated policies that classify legal medical cannabis use as “drug abuse.” Patients have died after being denied an organ transplant based solely on their use of doctor-recommended medical cannabis, and others are at risk right now.


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  • Lobby day next week, live Google Hangout tomorrow, and the petition for AB 258 today…

    CA Lobby Day banner

    The California Citizen Lobby Day is just one week away! That means it is time for you to get signed up on the event web page at using your home address, so that we have time to schedule a meeting for you with your state Assembly Member and Senator. You will have a lot to talk to them about. There are bills on licensing, regulation, penalties for making concentrates, environmental standards for cultivation, and more.

    How will you get your medicine? Who will be allowed to grow it and where? Can you use a vape pen or concentrates? Will you face discrimination because of your medical cannabis use? Which bills pass or don’t pass will matter to every stakeholder – including you.

    Learn more about the California Citizen Lobby Day and why it matters in my live online broadcast at 7:00 PM on Tuesday, June 9. Log on to There are more details below.

    We are going to provide lobby day participants with a briefing and fact sheets on all the bills in Sacramento next Monday, but I need your help to protect medical cannabis patients from discrimination in the organ transplant process today. The Assembly Health Committee will hear testimony on AB 258, the Medical Cannabis Organ Transplant Act, on Wednesday. That’s when I will tell members how many people have signed the petition in support of the bill. If you have not done so, sign today. If you have, get someone else to join you -

    You will see in the news section below that it has been a busy week for medical cannabis. There was another big vote in the US House of Representatives, the bills are advancing in the California legislature, and cities and voters are making decisions about medical cannabis. Get medical cannabis news, events, court support dates, action alerts, and more in the California Weekly Roundup for Monday, June 8, 2015.

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