Pages tagged "Election"


Voters approve taxes, but are reluctant to repeal bans or adopt regulations

Group of peopleElection Day was good for medical cannabis patients on the national level. All of our champions in Congress were reelected, paving the way for more progress in Washington, DC, in 2015 and 2016 – despite the Republican gains in both Houses. Guam became the first US Territory to legalize medical cannabis, and 58% of voters in Florida supported the state’s medical cannabis amendment (it needed 60% to be adopted). Successful legalization votes in Washington, DC, Oregon, and Alaska are likely to reinforce the increasingly mainstream nature of medical cannabis nationwide. 

Things did not go so well here in California. Voters decided on a total of nineteen local ballot measures last week, and the outcomes may be challenging for patients moving forward. Voters seem keen on imposing new taxes on medical cannabis, but reluctant to repeal bans on cultivation and distribution or to reform onerous local regulations. That tendency may cast a shadow over the debate about regulating commercial medical cannabis activity in the California legislature next year. State lawmakers may be less inclined to be accommodating towards the emerging medical cannabis industry absent a mandate from voters in local races like these.

Click here to see the final vote counts on all nineteen local ballot measures.

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California has a lot on the line tomorrow

Contents:

  • Message from the CA Director: California has a lot on the line tomorrow
  • State & Local News: California, Lake County, San Diego, Humboldt County, Nevada County, Del Rey Oaks, Oceanside, Santa Cruz, San Jose, Malibu
  • Public Meetings & Events: Berkeley, Online, Washington DC
  • Court Support: Redding, Norwalk, and more
  • Take Action Now: Pardon Dr. Mollie Fry, Support the Medical Marijuana Organ Transplant Act, and more
  • ASA Website Spotlight: Vote Medical Marijuana 2014
  • Chapter & Affiliate Meetings: San Francisco, Yuba County, Sonoma County, Sacramento

Tomorrow is Election Day, and there is a lot on the line in California. We will elect 53 members to the US House of Representatives, 80 State Assembly Members, 20 State Senators, 8 Statewide Officers, and numerous city and county officials. Voters in 10 different cities and counties will also decide on 12 different medical cannabis ballot measures that will affect if and how legal patients get their medicine.  Locate your polling place and help make a difference by casting a ballot tomorrow between 7:00 AM and 8:00 PM. 

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So much to do before Tuesday!

Ballot measures are not the only time you cast a vote for medical marijuana. But very vote you will cast this election, will be a vote in favor or against. From the floor of Congress, to your State house to City Hall, politicians are making decisions on medical marijuana policy on your behalf everyday.  

Check out ASA's new video on how to use VoteMedicalMarijuana.org to be an informed voter!

This month we revamped VoteMedicalMarijuana.org to educate the public and help voters choose the candidates who best represent their interests. The multi-pronged campaign includes television and web adssurveys distributed to candidates to gauge their support or opposition to sensible cannabis regulations, and a new Election Center, where voters can see the records of incumbents and the positions of candidates from all U.S. House and Senate races, all gubernatorial candidates, all state attorney general candidates, as well as more than 360 state legislative races in California, Florida, and Washington stand on medical marijuana. 

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Are you ready for November 4?

Voter registration formContents:

  • Message from the CA Director: Are you ready for November 4?
  • State & Local News: California, Lake County, Mendocino County, Anaheim, San Diego, San Jose, 
  • Public Meetings & Events: Redlands, Fresno, online, and more
  • Court Support: Oroville, Redding, and more
  • Take Action Now: Register to Vote, Support the Medical Marijuana Organ Transplant Act, and more
  • ASA Website Spotlight: Vote Medical Marijuana 2014
  • Chapter & Affiliate Meetings: San Francisco and Nevada County

Today is the deadline to register to vote at your current address for the November 4 election. Are you registered? It matters.

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California Weekly Roundup: November 13, 2014

Contents:

  • Message from the CA Director: Do you know what's at stake in November?
  • State & Local News: California, Fresno County, San Jose, Shasta County, Calaveras County, Monterey, Anaheim
  • Public Meetings & Events: San Francisco, Redding, Grass Valley, Lincoln, Nevada City, San Diego, Fresno, Porterville and more 
  • Court Support: Sacramento, Redding, and more
  • Take Action Now: Register to Vote, Support the Medical Marijuana Organ Transplant Act, and more
  • ASA Website Spotlight: Vote Medical Marijuana 2014
  • Chapter & Affiliate Meetings: Nevada County ASA, Lake County ASA, and Sacramento NORML

Be sure to join me online for the next live Google Hangout on Thursday, October 16, at 7:00 PM to talk about local ballot measures and what’s at stake for medical cannabis in the November 4 elections. Voters will decide on twelve measures related to medical cannabis in ten different cities and counties this year. There are important legislative races that will help to define next year’s political landscape and an interesting development in the race for Attorney General (see the News section for more details on that).

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Sonoma Advocates Host Election Forum

Note from Steph - This is an awesome way to inform your community while educating candidates and your future elected representatives. Kudos to Kumari and Sarah Shrader for arranging this forum!
[caption id="attachment_2646" align="alignleft" width="267" caption="Sonoma County"]
[/caption]Candidates for the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors will voice their views on medical marijuana in a public forum to be held tomorrow, Wednesday May 23rd, at the Sonoma County Central Library located at 3rd and E Streets in Santa Rosa. The Forum is hosted by the Sonoma Alliance for Medical Marijuana (SAMM) and the Sonoma County Chapter of Americans for Safe Access (ASA), and will be facilitated by Santa Rosa attorney, Joe Rogoway. The event begins at 5pm and goes until 7:30pm.

The forum presents an opportunity to hear candidates’ positions on a number of relevant, local, medical cannabis issues. A question and answer period will follow the candidates’ statements. Admission is free and the public is invited. Wheelchair accessible. Refreshments provided.

This is an exciting and important election because 3 of the 5 seats on the Board are open. There are 11 candidates vying for these 3 seats. The Primary Election on June 5th will determine the top 2 candidates for each seat, and those candidates will face off in the November 6th final election. Whoever wins those 3 seats in November will determine the future of medical cannabis in our county.

In the 1st district, there are 6 candidates contending for Valerie Brown's seat. In the 3rd district there are 2 candidates including incumbent Shirlee Zane. The 5th district has 3 candidates including incumbent Efren Carillo. Candidates have been asked to complete a survey in advance; their responses will be made available to attendees and all inquiring parties.

The Board is a key decision maker for local medical cannabis policies. It determines guidelines for possession and cultivation; sets dispensary regulations; and approves dispensary permits, consistent with state laws, Prop. 215 and SB420. Members of the Board also approve the budgets for the Sonoma County Sheriff and District Attorney offices.

SAMM was formed in 1996 after California voters passed into law Proposition 215, the "Compassionate Use Act of l996" which allows Californians to use marijuana as medicine. Sonoma County voters supported the initiative by more than 70%. ASA is the largest national member-based organization of patients, medical professionals, scientists, and concerned citizens promoting safe and legal access to cannabis for therapeutic use and research. Sonoma chapter of ASA has been active for almost 10 years, and holds monthly meetings that are open to the public.

Through the years, SAMM and ASA have worked with the Sheriff's Office, District Attorney, Department of Health, City Councils, County Board of Supervisors, Sonoma County Medical Association, and the Narcotics Task Force. They have worked together to establish policies and ordinances for medical marijuana patients, caregivers, small cooperatives, and medical cannabis dispensing collectives. Both are non-profit, volunteer, educational organizations. Neither distributes cannabis. More information about SAMM can be found at www.samm.net.

It's Official... ASA Wins Big!

Like most of the country we had mixed feelings about the mid-term elections. No matter what side of the aisle you’re on, there were gains and concessions, reliefs and disappointments. But, there was one race that changed everything—one election that leveraged our movement so greatly things will never be the same.

If you don’t live in California you may not have heard much about our Attorney General race. Steve Cooley was running for AG with the most blatant anti-patient platform this country has ever seen. Hand picked by the cops and funded by rightwing political strategist Karl Rove, Cooley made no small effort to let voters know that if he were elected he would do everything in his power to eradicate medical marijuana for California.



Knowing how important the success of California’s safe access program is in directing the rest of the country, we threw the full weight of ASA into this race; galvanizing our community, educating Californians and mobilizing voters. We built coalitions, created strategic marketing videos and fervently developed our field.

We watched the results pour in November 2nd, excited when he was down and nervous as his numbers went back up. Our office held our breath as the outcome seemed to change every hour. At around mid-night it was clear we weren’t going to have an answer, and we went to bed crossing our fingers that we would wake up to good news.

Well, as you may know we didn’t get that good news for another three weeks. Today, we found out—patients won! Steve Cooley was defeated, and California’s safe access is protected.

And, while this is great news for the west coast it’s even better news for us nationally, because ASA has established medical cannabis patients as a real player in the electoral landscape. This election was won by only the smallest margin of votes. It is clear to every political expert in the country that it was the patient community that swung this election, and it will be ASA that will continue to swing elections as long as our patients’ rights are in jeopardy. You saw us win in California, now help us win nation-wide.

Every ounce of weight and leverage we have is because of our members. YOU are ASA! It is our members that supported this effort, and a special thanks to members David Bronner of Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps and to the American Cannabis Research Institute’s Ben Bronfman and Matt Atwood for their generous support.

We need your support, too. You are protecting your rights when you help us fight back and win big victories like this. ASA will be there for the next battle, if you help us do it.
Join ASA today and make sure this win is heard across the country—make sure that when you need help, we’ll be there too.

 

 

 

Victory in Arizona!

Arizona voters approved Proposition 203, making that state the 15th to legalize medical cannabis. Supporters are celebrating the results after ten days of uncertainty during which victory seemed to be slipping away. Patients and advocates deserve congratulations. Proposition 203 is an important step forward for Arizona and in the state-by-state march to bring safe access to patients nationwide. Adopting state initiatives and passing legislation is a crucial step, but we can see from our experience that state medical cannabis laws do not necessarily translate into support from the state’s Congressional delegation. In California, where medical cannabis has been legal since 1996, long-time Senators Feinstein and Boxer have yet to pick up the mantle of safe access. Control of the US House of Representatives has shifted from the Democrats to the Republicans. This will test the Obama Administration’s evolving policy on state-based answers for medical cannabis. It is more important than ever that Americans for Safe Access (ASA) bring an educated and empowered constituency with real solutions to the table. We have to show policymakers how to bridge the divide between federal and state laws regarding medical cannabis – and prove that there is a safe political space to make it happen. Let’s celebrate our victory in Arizona; and then get down to the hard work of moving Congress and changing federal law. We still have a lot of work to do in ending the arrests and prosecutions of patients, ending the ban on research, and creating an access plan for the entire nation. Suggested Action: Email the US Senate Judiciary Committee about confirmation hearings for DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart.

A New National Landscape for Patients



Yesterday was a hard day for medical marijuana advocates across the country.  We defeated several local initiatives banning dispensaries in California and Colorado and (fingers crossed) our "NotCooley"campaign provided the narrow margin necessary to ensure victory for California Attorney General-Elect Kamala Harris.  But voters rejected statewide medical marijuana initiatives in Arizona, Oregon and South Dakota, while measures to increase taxes on medicine in California won.   And of course, the US House of Representatives is now in the hands of dangerous politicians who do not share our vision of safe access.


We have never had so much to lose and our fight begins today!  It is more important than ever that we work together to protect the gains we've made and fight even harder for what we know is possible.  Americans for Safe Access (ASA) needs your support now more than ever.
 
The national landscape for medical marijuana has changed, but our course remains the same. Since 2006, Americans for Safe Access (ASA) has been working full time in Washington, DC to: 1) Put an end to federal interference with state medical marijuana laws, 2) End the ban on clinical research, and 3) Create a plan to guarantee safe access for the entire nation. That work is ongoing and we will not stop until all Americans have safe and legal access.
 
But we cannot do this alone. This year, I traveled all over the country to meet patients and advocates and I am deeply moved by your commitment to safe access.  Unfortunately, I am also shocked by how few of you engage regularly with your federal representatives.  If you are not meeting with them, then they are only hearing about medical cannabis from our opposition.
 
These election results mean we need to fight harder!  With your help, ASA can be ready for new challenges and bigger victories.  Together we can stand up to our opponents in Congress and prepare for 2012 and beyond.   Can you make a contribution  to ASA today, so that we can keep fighting?

We must be our own liberators; no one is going to do our work for us.
  
Republican Party control of the House of Representatives may make our work more difficult, and that’s why it is more important than ever that ASA bring an educated and empowered constituency with real solutions to the table. We have to show the new Congress that patients’ voices cannot be ignored! That is the only way we will get policymakers to bridge the divide between federal and state laws regarding medical marijuana.
 
ASA will continue to work on Capitol Hill and with the Administration to improve the federal government's understanding about medical marijuana, as well as both the immediate and long term needs of our members. We may have lost several battles yesterday, but we have not lost the fight by any means. We’ve become used to working hard to defy the odds, but we need your support right now to keep making a positive difference in the lives of patients.  Join the fight today and help us make that difference!