Pages tagged "California Weekly Roundup"

  • Do you want to talk about medical cannabis in CA?

    People talking graphicDo you want to talk to other patients, advocates, and professionals about medical cannabis in California? There is a lot to talk about! The campaign to pass the Medical Cannabis Organ Transplant Act is underway, and lawmakers in Sacramento have introduced eleven other bills related to cannabis and medical cannabis this year. There are bills to regulate and license commercial medical cannabis activity, increase penalties against cultivators, regulate vape pens, and more. And that is not including local efforts to regulate or ban medical cannabis.

    Join the ASA California Campaign for Safe Access (CCSA) email discussion list to be a part of the important conversation about medical cannabis issues at the local, state, and federal level.

    The ASA-CCSA mailing list is a members-only discussion list where you can share your thoughts on medical cannabis and hear from leading advocates, grassroots volunteers, doctors, lobbyists, patients, and industry workers. The list is moderated to prevent spam. You can decide how often you get messages from ASA-CCSA, or just go online to read messages at your convenience. Join the conversation today!

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  • Sign the petition for AB 258 and send it to your friends

    Hand signing petitionI need your help to make sure that the state legislature passes AB 258, the Medical Cannabis Organ Transplant Act, this year. Can you sign ASA’s online petition in support if the bill, and then ask your friends and loved ones to do the same? Our goal is to have more than 1,000 signatures before AB 258 is heard in the Assembly Health Committee as soon as next month.

    AB 258 will save lives by preventing discrimination against medical cannabis patients in the organ transplant process. Patients are routinely denied a place on the national organ transplant wait list if they test positive for cannabis use – even doctor-recommended medical cannabis. Legal patients have died after being denied a place on the list and others are in jeopardy right now. AB 258 will prevent unnecessary suffering and avoidable deaths by protecting legal patients.

    Thanks for signing and asking your friends and loved ones to do the same. Don’t forget to share this link with your email list and on social media sites:

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  • Important developments in the federal courts and the state legislature

    Steph ShererASA Executive Director Steph Sherer visited six cities in California last week to talk about local and state medical cannabis policies. ASA will be reporting back on what she heard from members about our proposed “Points of Unity” for commercial medical cannabis regulations in the state and other issues soon.  

    A federal judge in Sacramento said last week that she was “very seriously” considering whether or not medical cannabis is misclassified by the federal government. Her ruling will affect nine defendants in federal court, but it may also have national implications. In a separate case, a judge granted the Berkeley Patients Group a temporary reprieve in a federal civil asset forfeiture case.

    Assembly Member Marc Levine (D-San Rafael) introduced ASA-sponsored legislation to protect medical cannabis patients who need an organ transplant. Meanwhile, lawmakers have started the controversial debate about regulating commercial medical cannabis activity in the state. Read about a new law enforcement-sponsored bill to license medical cannabis business and another measure to prevent negative environmental impact associated with medical cannabis growing below. These are just two of the growing number of medical cannabis bills on the table in Sacramento this year.

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  • ASA's organ transplant bill introduced, Steph Sherer tours CA

    CA Assembly Member Marc LevineCalifornia Assembly Member Marc Levin (D-San Rafael) has just introduced ASA-sponsored legislation to protect medical cannabis patients who need an organ transplant from life-threatening discrimination. Legal patients can be denied an organ transplant right now based solely on their status as a medical cannabis patient, but AB 258 will protect patients and save lives. 

    Click here to read more about AB 258 and see a new video about the bill.

    Do you have questions or input about AB 258, state regulation and licensing, or local medical cannabis issues? ASA Executive Director Steph Sherer is in town this week, and she wants to talk to you. Steph is talking to medical cannabis patients and other stakeholders about their role in local and state politics in a series of events entitled “Our Health Is In Our Hands.” Look for appearances in San Diego, West Hollywood, San Francisco, Sacramento, and Santa Rosa this week in the Events section of this message. 

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  • Our Health Is In Our Hands

    ASA Executive Director Steph Sherer will be touring California between February 8th and 15th to talk to patients and other stakeholders about the local and state work that needs to get done on medical cannabis between now and November of 2016, when voters are likely to decide on an adult use ballot measure. A lot is up in the air between now and then.

    Will regulations for commercial medical cannabis be good, bad, or both? Will the state legislature finally protect legal patients from discrimination? Will cities and counties ban distribution and cultivation, or keep moving forward with regulations allowing local access?

    The answer to each question is that it is up to us. Steph’s talk is entitled “Our Health Is In Our Hands,” because responsibility for making sure that patients’ needs are met and rights are respected lies with us – the grassroots medical cannabis community. If we don’t take our message and vision to City Councils, Boards of Supervisors, and state lawmakers; no one else will. Don’t miss a chance to be a part of this important conversation about your community and state. Check the Events section for a list of talks statewide.

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  • Complete the CA Discrimination Survey for Medical Cannabis Patients

    People in a groupAlthough medical cannabis has been legal in California for more than eighteen years, legal patients still face pervasive discrimination. I hear from patients facing discrimination in employment, housing, parental rights, or access to health care every week. This discrimination can have serious consequences for patients – sometime even lethal consequences. ASA is sponsoring legislation this year to prevent discrimination against legal patients who need organ transplants, in part, because at least one member has already died after being denied a place on the organ transplant waiting list due to his medical cannabis use.

    Do you face discrimination as a medical cannabis patient? Are you a victim or workplace drug testing? Have you been denied prescription pain medication because you use medical cannabis? Have your parental or custody rights been infringed? ASA needs to hear from you. Our 26-question CA Discrimination Survey will help us talk to lawmakers, the media, and others about the very real discrimination faced by medical cannabis patients in California today.

    The survey data could lead to better laws, court decisions, and untimely, less stigma about medical cannabis use. Please take a couple of minutes to complete the mostly yes-or-no questions, and then forward the link to others who might have useful input –

    Thanks for helping!

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  • Happy MLK Day, California!

    Town Hall pictureHappy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, California! I hope you are all having a safe and healthy holiday. There is good news and bad news at the local level in this week’s California Weekly Roundup. The good news is that the Pinoleville Pomo Nation, a Native American tribe in Mendocino County, will soon start cultivating medical cannabis on tribal land. And I am also happy to see the City of San Diego continuing its march towards safe and legal access in Southern California.

    Unfortunately, there is bad news for patients in other communities. The City of Vallejo just voted to close all of the patients’ collectives there, and Kern County is suing local providers. You will also see a short piece this week about plans to ban outdoor cultivation in Redding.

    While the prospects for medical cannabis look good for the state on the long term, patients and providers are still stuck in crosscurrents at the city and county level. Local advocacy is still important, and I want to help you succeed in your hometown. You can use ASA’s free online Medical Cannabis Advocates Training Center to learn advocacy skills, craft a strategy, and build a coalition. You can also use this weekly email blast to let others know about community meetings, city council meetings, and other important events. Just send an email to [email protected] before 12:00 PM on Friday to be included in Monday's distribution.

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  • Get ready to speak up, California

    CA Capitol BuildingThe California legislature is back in session, and you can expect a lot of activity around medical cannabis. Assembly Member Jones-Sawyer (D-Santee) has introduced AB 26and Assembly Member Rob Bonta (D-Oakland) introduced AB 34. Both bills will seek to regulate and license commercial medical cannabis activity, but neither is in its final form yet. That means there is still time to speak up about what you want to see in state legislation.

    ASA will be sponsoring legislation this year to protect legal medical cannabis patients who need organ transplants from discrimination. You can read more about the Medical Marijuana Organ Transplant Act online. You can sign a petition supporting the legislation in the Take Action Now section of this message.

    You can use the tools and strategies in ASA’s free Medical Cannabis Advocacy Training Center to help you participate in the legislative process this year. Read more about the online resource in the ASA Website Spotlight section of this message.

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  • Why I Am Going

    Airplane sunsetI will be joining hundreds of other medical cannabis advocates in Washington, DC, March 27-31 for ASA’s third annual National Medical Cannabis Unity Conference and Citizen Lobby Day. I am going because, in the wake of last year’s historic vote to end funding for federal interference, there has never been this much momentum for a comprehensive national medical cannabis policy. I am excited to talk with patients, researchers, industry leaders, and other advocates about what is on the horizon for medical cannabis. But I am even more excited to talk face-to-face with members of Congress about what we want to see in a bill this year!

    I want to see as many Californians in DC as possible. What Congress does with medical cannabis will have a big impact on patients and the industry that serves them. We know the best outcomes for stakeholder come when they have a seat at the table. Your voice really matters. Research shows that visits from ordinary citizens are six times more likely to influence lawmakers than visits from a paid lobbyist!

    If you have not done so already, get registered and make your travel arrangements now. Have a look at the “ASA Website Spotlight” section of this message to learn about a free tool ASA has designed to help you raise money to be a part of this important event.

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  • Happy New Year, California!

    Happy New YearContents:

    • Message from the CA Director: Happy New Year, California!

    • News: National, California, Humboldt County, Los Angeles, Oceanside

    • Public Meetings & Events: Oakland, Santa Cruz, Los Angeles, San Diego, Washington DC

    • Court Support: Redding

    • Take Action Now: Support the Medical Marijuana Organ Transplant Act, Join the ASA-CCSA Discussion List, Expand the Green Zone

    • ASA Website Spotlight: National Medical Cannabis Unity Conference 2015

    • Chapter & Affiliate Meetings: None this week

    Happy New Year, California! We had a big year in 2014, and are looking to accomplish even more in 2015. Just consider some of what you helped ASA achieve this year…

    • We scored a huge victory when Congress finally adopted an amendment to the omnibus budget bill that removes funding for federal interference and intimidation in California and other medical cannabis states.
    • Californians re-elected all of our supporters in the legislature in the midterm elections.
    • Voters in Santa Ana approved new medical cannabis regulations that will provide safe and legal access for patients in that community.
    • ASA certified the first patients’ cooperatives and collectives in San Francisco and Berkeley under our new Patient Focused Certification program, which endures quality and integrity in the medical cannabis industry. Congratulations, SPARC and Berkeley Patients Group!
    • ASA members helped persuade the influential California Medical Association to oppose the practice of denying organ transplants to cannabis users
    • ASA helped to improve two major legislative proposals regarding commercial medical cannabis regulations in California by successfully amending legislation more than a dozen times. ASA also helped stop a bill in the state legislature that would have established unscientific DUI limits for legal patients.
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