Pages tagged "arkansas"

  • Ask your US Representative to sign Rep. Blumenhauer's letter

    US Representative Earl Blumenhauer (D-OR) is sending a letter to President Obama asking him to follow his recent comments on cannabis and its classification under federal law with action. Will you call your US Representative today and ask him or her to support this effort by signing Representative Blumenhauer’s letter?

    Click here to find contact information for your US Representative and some talking points to help with the short phone call.

    President Obama told a reporter that cannabis was no more dangerous than alcohol on January 27. When asked about that comment by a CNN reporter a few days later, the President said it was up to Congress to decide which drugs belong on Schedule I – a classification reserved for dangerous drugs with no medical value. It is encouraging to hear the President taking a relatively enlightened view of the safety of cannabis and raising the question about its classification under federal law. But we need him to go further.

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  • Arkansans for Compassionate Care kicks off campaign with music festival on November 9th in Eldorado, AR

    Little Rock, AR -- Medical marijuana advocates Arkansans for Compassionate Care (ACC) and Americans for Safe Access (ASA) have joined forces to put an initiative on the 2014 ballot. The Arkansas Medical Cannabis Act (AMCA) is a comprehensive blueprint for establishing and regulating a medical marijuana program run by the Arkansas Department of Health. Advocates are launching their fundraising campaign at 2pm this Saturday, November 9th with an all-day concert at the Silverado Club, 1205 W. Hillsboro Street in El Dorado. 

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  • Help Bring Safe Access to Arkansas!

    I_love_AR.pngHelp ASA and Arkansans for Compassionate Care put medical cannabis on the 2014 ballot!

    Last November, over half a million Arkansans, nearly 49% of voters, said yes to safe access. Just 30,000 more votes and Arkansas would have been the first medical cannabis state in the south. A year later, the political climate is even better. Over 34% of Americans now live in medical marijuana states, and 8 out of 10 Americans say medical cannabis should be available to patients whose doctors recommend it. Now is our time to make safe access in Arkansas a reality.  But we need your help!

    The Arkansas Medical Cannabis Act (AMCA) is a comprehensive blueprint for establishing and regulating a medical cannabis program run by the Arkansas Department of Health. If passed, AMCA would allow Arkansas patients with a doctor’s recommendation to use medical cannabis for serious debilitating medical conditions. Patients would also be able to purchase their medicine at well-regulated, not-for-profit dispensaries.  To learn more, read the full voter initiative

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  • Arkansas Advocacy

    ASA relies on the strength of our grassroots activists to fight for medical cannabis at the local and state levels. The best way for new advocates to get involved is by joining or starting a chapter to work on local issues. If there are not any local resources near to you, consider starting your own official ASA Chapter or Action Group!


    Arkansans for Safe Access (Arkansans for Compassionate Care)

    Contact: Gary Fults, Chapter Chair
    Location: Arkansas State
    Mailing Address: PO Box 427, Hensley, AR 72065
    Email: [email protected]
    Join Arkansans for Safe Access on Facebook
    Meeting Info: TBD

  • Medical Marijuana Advocates Take Fight to DC

    As the Executive Director of Americans for Safe Access, it’s my privilege to meet and facilitate the work of medical cannabis advocates throughout the nation. In the week before yesterday’s election, I drove all over Arkansas, visiting counties to drop off signs and connect with activists. This is an amazing movement, made up of compassionate people and patients willing to fight for their health. Last night we learned of many victories for patients who can be helped by cannabis, at both the state and federal levels. Most directly, the voters of Massachusetts overwhelmingly supported a compassionate use law, bringing the total number of medical marijuana states to 18 (plus the District of Columbia)! The results for Congress were especially positive for our movement. 95% of our Congressional champions who ran were reelected. Patients and their supporters are excited to welcome medical cannabis supporters Elizabeth Warren and Tammy Baldwin to the Senate. Fresh faces in the House and Senate mean that new champions of the cause can emerge, and Americans for Safe Access and other organizations will be working hard to provide Congressmen and women with plenty of opportunities to stand up for patients. The lead-up to last night’s results was an exciting campaign season for medical marijuana patients and advocates. In response to President Obama’s crackdown on medical marijuana states, we organized voters throughout the nation with Camp WakeUpObama, bringing our message to Obama campaign headquarters and events in nationwide and local actions. In October, the Appeals Court heard our lawsuit challenging the federal government’s policy of marijuana as “without accepted medical use,” and the forthcoming court decision may set the agenda in the coming year. We’ve further deepened our relationships with the scientific and medical community. Superstring theorist Dr. John Schwarz wrote an op-ed in favor of treating the science of marijuana fairly, and medical associations have been increasingly outspoken in opposing laws against medical marijuana, with the California Medical Association recently calling on Governor Jerry Brown to support rescheduling the drug to make it more available. We now have a second term of the Obama Administration, led by a President that has publicly expressed support for state medical marijuana laws, yet overseen an unprecedented federal attack on them. We have new state legislators who will join the nation-wide conversation happening in state capitals from coast to coast. We have new Senators and Congressman who are empowered to end the federal state divide. And an additional state now recognizes the medical need for cannabis. Though the voters of Arkansas did not pass a medical marijuana initiative, organizers in the state are fired up and ready to take the issue up with their legislature. This movement is ready for the second Obama administration. We are ready for a House with an unchanged partisan dynamic, but many new faces, Republican and Democratic, who support medical cannabis. We are ready for a Senate that includes supporters of our cause. Because of these victories, Americans for Safe Access will start the new year with a strong focus on the federal government. In February, medical cannabis advocates, researchers, doctors and legal professionals will come to together to work to end the federal-state divide over cannabis access. Our National Medical Cannabis Unity Conference will bring the fight for access from the statehouses to the Capitol. The lawmakers elected yesterday will be the ones we will meet with, and we are eager to begin the dialogue. See you in February! Steph Sherer is the Executive Director of Americans for Safe Access. This was originally posted at the Huffington Post.
  • Voters in Arkansas, Massachusetts, and Montana to Decide on Safe Access

    On Election Day this year, voters may bring about the 18th and 19th medical cannabis states and preserve safe access in an existing medical cannabis state. Arkansas' Issue 5 and Massachusetts's' Question 3 would bring about a regulated medical cannabis system to each state. By contrast, voters in Montana are voting on whether to largely restore the original medical cannabis program approved by ballot measure approved by state voters back in 2004. This year's Montana referendum, IR-124 will determine whether or not the sharp restrictions on access approved by SB 423 (2011) will be upheld.

    Below is a brief rundown of each of the 2012 statewide medical cannabis ballot measures.

    Arkansas Medical Marijuana Act, "Issue 5"

    A "YES" vote will bring safe access to Arkansas. The AMMA was organized by Arkansans for Compassionate Care and would establish a system of up to 30 non-profit dispensaries throughout the state. Patients and their caregivers who get a recommendation from their doctor with whom they have a bonafide physician-patient relationship and then obtain a registration card from state Department of Health will be protected from arrest if they meet stay within the scope of law. Eligible conditions include: Cancer, Glaucoma, positive status for Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS), Hepatitis C, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Tourette’s Disease, Crohn’s Disease, ulcerative colitis, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Fibromyalgia, agitation of Alzheimer’s Disease or the treatment of chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or its treatment that produces one or more of the following: cachexia or Wasting Syndrome; peripheral neuropathy; intractable pain, which is pain that has not responded to ordinary medications, treatment or surgical measures for more than 6 months; severe nausea; seizures, including those characteristic of Epilepsy; or severe and persistent muscle spasms, including those characteristic of Multiple Sclerosis. Patients who live more than 5 miles away from a dispensary have the option to cultivate their own cannabis.

    If passed, the AMMA will allow patients to possess up to 2.5 ounces of usable medical cannabis, or it's equivalent in other prepared forms, such as edibles, tinctures and topicals. Patients and caregivers can purchase up to 2.5 ounces of medical within a 15-day period Stems, seeds, and non-cannabis ingredients in preparations do not count to the weight under this law. Dispensaries must operate in strict accordance with state regulation. Patients who live more than 5 miles from a dispensary may choose to cultivate their own medicine if they apply for designated status from the state. For those with designated cultivation statues, they may be in possession of up to 6 flowering cannabis plants, however, they are still subject to the limit of 2.5 ounces of usable medicine in their possession at any given time. Visiting patients who have legal status as a patient in their home state would be granted reciprocity for 30 days while visiting Arkansas.

    The AMMA contains provisions that prevent discrimination by employers, landlords, schools, as well protections for those on an organ transplant list. Physicians are also protected by the law and may be not be punished criminally or face professional sanction simply for recommending medical cannabis to their patients when appropriate. Physicians may recommend medical cannabis to patients under 18 years of age when their parent or legal guardian has been given informed consent and agrees to be their caregiver.

    Massachusetts Medical Marijuana Initiative, "Question 3"

    A "YES" vote will bring safe access to Massachusetts. Question 3 would allow qualifying patients and caregivers in Massachusetts who possess a valid state registration card to be protected from arrest if they are in possession of no more than 60-day supply of medicine. While a "60-day supply" is not determined by the law, the state Department of Public Health would be required to determine what a presumptive 60-day supply is within 4 months of passage of the initiative, however, patients who have a medical need for a greater 60-day supply than what the state declares for the presumptive minimum may possess whatever is medically necessary and is supported by evidence. While several conditions are specifically mentioned by the ballot language, the law would also permit for "other conditions as determined in writing by a qualifying patient’s physician," meaning doctors, not bureaucrats, will decide when cannabis is most appropriate for medical therapy.

    The measure would allow up 35 non-profit dispensaries in the state, with a minimum of 1 per county, and a max of 5 per county. Patients who can demonstrate hardship need, such as financial, physical incapacity, or lack of reasonable proximity to a dispensary may apply for the right to cultivate cannabis at their own residence.

    If a patient or caregiver engages in fraud by using their medical cannabis registration card, they are subject to a $500 fine and up to 6 months in a house of correction. However, if misuse of a card includes illegal distribution, it can carry a 5-year prison sentence.

    Montana Medical Marijuana Veto Referendum, "IR-124"

    This situation in Montana is a bit confusing, as a "NO" vote on IR-124 will help restore the greatest level of safe access in Montana. A "NO" vote on this statewide referendum would repeal SB 423 (2011), which stripped away I-148, the 2004 voter approved medical cannabis law which permitted dispensaries. Patients for Reform, Not Repeal are encouraging patients to vote "NO" on IR-124.

    Until recently, a court injunction upheld the 2004 voter approved law, however, since the September 11th state supreme court ruling, the state has begun to enforce certain aspect of SB 423. Most notably, the state has begun to sending letters to caregivers informing them that they may only cultivate medicine for 3 patients. Another damaging aspect of SB 423 is its heighten requirements for patients suffering from chronic pain, as they must jump through several additional and burdensome hoops to acquire and maintain legal status as medical cannabis patient. Moreover, the dispensary system is effectively shut down by SB 423, as no medical cannabis can be exhanged for anything of value. As if that weren't bad enough, SB 423 could result in a chilling effect for doctors who are willing to recommend medical cannabis, as they now are subject to investigation should they recommend cannabis to more than 25 of their patients.

    The two major gubernatorial candidates have weighed in on the IR-124 question. It has been reported that current Attorney General Steve Bullock will vote against IR-124 while his Republican challenger, Rick Hill plans to vote in favor of IR-124.

    In order to restore safe access in Montana, patients and their loved ones must remember that a "NO" vote is necessary on IR-124.

    Mike Liszewski is ASA's Policy Director.
  • Activists Engage at Camp Wakeupobama

    Greetings from Camp Wakeupobama!

    Our camper/activists have been hard at work so far this summer raising awareness all over the nation. Campers have been reaching out not just to Obama, but to their Congressmen and other elected representatives, telling them that medical cannabis patients are voters - and that access to medicine is a serious issue for the upcoming elections.

    Camp Wakeupobama isn’t just about talking to your elected officials, though. As your Camp Counselor, it's exciting to receive pictures of actions that campers have taken while earning their "merit badges" - all over the nation! Other fun activities include attending a protest, making a video testimonial, and organizing a flashmob!

    There are many ways to get involved when you sign up for Camp Wakeupobama, and if you do enough activities through the camp you can earn a T-shirt, sharable merit badges, or even a fully sponsored trip to DC in February!

    Sign up now to get involved with a planned protest in front of an Obama campaign headquarters near you on September 20th!

    Summer’s almost over but you can still participate in camp! This is such a fun and easy way to let your voice be heard before the elections in November. You can take a photo of yourself at a local landmark, like Misty in Hot Springs, Arkansas, above!

    Join other medical cannabis activists around the nation and let government know that we are patients AND voters and this issue matters to us!

    Stay safe and remember to wear sunscreen this summer!

    Counselor Hunter

    Hunter Holliman is ASA's Field Director.
  • Medical Cannabis News Roundup

    News about medical cannabis from around the nation - or, everything you missed if you were reading about the unjust federal action targeting Harborside Health Center.
    • Government-sponsored study destroys DEA’s classification of marijuana - The Raw Story
    • Visa and Mastercard Reject Medical Marijuana Purchases - Vibe
    • Oregon Kills Medical Marijuana deduction for food stamp applicants - The Oregonian
    • Does Medical Marijuana Increase Teen Pot Use? - Wall Street Journal
    • CO federal dispensary crackdown widens scope with subjectivities -
    • California pot research backs therapeutic claims - Sacramento Bee
    • Backers of Arkansas medical marijuana legalization need more signatures - The Republic
    • Owner Of First U.S. Marijuana Pharmacy Now Broke And Fighting IRS - Forbes
  • Medical Cannabis News

    News from around the nation about medical cannabis.