Pages tagged "legislation"

  • 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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  • Two new medical cannabis bills in CA (and more on the way)

    CA Asm. Member Jones-SawyerContents:

    • Message from the CA Director: Two new medical cannabis bills in CA (and more on the way)

    • State & Local News: California, Fresno, Los Angeles, Santa Ana, Humboldt, San Diego, Santa Rosa, and El Dorado

    • Public Meetings & Events: Santa Rosa, Washington DC, and Online

    • Court Support: Los Angeles and Placerville

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

    • ASA Website Spotlight: News

    • Chapter & Affiliate Meetings: Nevada County and Yuba County

    Pictured: CA Assembly Member Reggie Jones-Sawyer

    The debate about licensing and regulating medical cannabis in the state legislature is underway early. Lawmakers already introduced two new bills for the 2015-2016 session – and more are probably on the way. 

    Assembly Member Reggie Jones-Sawyer (D-LA) introduced AB 26, a bill that picks up where former Assembly Member Tom Ammiano (D-SF) left off when AB 1894 was defeated in the Assembly earlier this year. Like AB 1894, AB 26 seeks to reign in doctors who recommend medical cannabis, establish regulations and licensing for commercial activity, and authorize local taxation.  Assembly Member Rob Bonta (D-Oakland) introduced AB 34, but the initial draft is just a one-sentence placeholder. We will have to see what the Assembly Member comes up with in the weeks ahead.

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  • 2014 Legislation

    The California legislature has finished debate on medical cannabis-related bills this year and will adjourn by August 31. Your grassroots action helped stop some bad bills from becoming law this year:

    * AB 1588 would have increased the minimum buffer zone between legal patients’ cooperatives and collectives and schools statewide. We killed this bill in committee early in the session.

    * AB 2500 would have made it a crime for a legal patient to drive with even a tiny amount of cannabis detectable in their blood. ASA members and others defeated this bill in committee for the third year in a row.

    * SB 1193 was amended at the last minute to remove language beneficial to patients. ASA members generated more than 1,000 emails many phone calls in opposition to the amended bill in just one week.

     We didn’t win every battle. SB 1029 would have expanded eligibility for public assistance to certain drug felons, including those convicted cannabis “crimes.” That bill died in committee.  The legislature also rejected two bills that would have regulated commercial medical cannabis activity – AB 1894 and SB 1262. Read more about that process in my blog.

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    AB 604 (Ammiano):  No position - Inactive, No vote

    Summary: This bill will create a new Division in the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) to develop and enforce regulations for commercial medical cannabis activity. ASA strongly supports sensible regulations, although we have deep reservations about ABC oversight. Many provisions of this bill have been incorporated into AB 1894, discussed below. This bill may not move this year.

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    AB 1588 (Conway)Oppose - Defeated

    Summary: This Republican bill would have increased the distance between patients’ associations and schools from 600 to 1,000 feet statewide and increase fines for violations substantially. See the “Take Action” section for more. ASA oppose this bill. ASA Members helped defeat this bill in committee. Well done!

    Download a copy of ASA's letter of opposition here.

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    AB 1894 (Ammiano):  No Position - Defeated

    Summary: This bill combines elements of AB 604 and a dormant bill by Senate President Pro tem Darrell Steinberg (SB 439). AB 1894 will (1) create a new Division in the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) to develop and enforce regulations for commercial medical cannabis activity, (2) require registration for commercial medical cannabis activity, and (3) define unprofessional conduct by physicians who recommend medical cannabis, and (4) make enforcement against physicians who engage in unprofessional conduct a higher priority. ASA strongly supports sensible regulations, although we have deep reservations about ABC oversight.

    Download ASA's Fact Sheet: Don’t Regulate Medical Marijuana Like Alcohol

    Read ASA's memo regarding suggested changes to AB 1894.

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    AB 2500 (Frazier):  Oppose - Defeated

    Summary: As amended, this bill would have made it a crime to drive with two or more nanograms of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in your blood – even if you are a patient and not driving impaired. ASA opposed this bill.ASA Members helped defeat this bill in committee. Thank you!

    Download a copy of ASA's letter of opposition here.

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    SB 1029 (Hancock):  Support - Held in committee, Inactive, No vote

    Summary: This bill will make some people convicted of drug felonies, including medical cannabis offenses, eligible for certain public benefits. ASA supports this bill.

    Download a copy of ASA's letter of support here.

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    SB 1193 (Evans):  Oppose - Inactive, No vote 

    Summary: ASA changed its position from support to oppose after the Assembly Appropriations Committee removed language that would have required law enforcement to pay reasonable compensation if medical cannabis or plants that were lawfully possessed were damaged or destroyed by police officers or Sheriffs. 

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    SB 1262 (Correa/Ammiano):  Support, Suggested Amendments - Held in committee/Inactive, No vote

    Summary:  This bill is designed to better regulate doctors who recommend medical cannabis and commercial medical cannabis activity in California. The bill establishes a new bureau in the Department of Consumer Affairs to issue licenses, develop regulations, enforce the rules, and more.

    Download a copy of a memo by Sebastopol Mayor Robert Jacob and ASA recommending changes to SB 1262. (March 10, 2014)

    Download a copy of ASA's position letter (Oppose Unless Amended) for the Senate Business, Professions, and Economic Development Committee here. (April 14, 2014)

    Download a copy of ASA's letter of support, including suggested changes, for the Senate Health Committee here (April 21, 2014)

    Download a copy of additional information about medical cannabis in pharmacies and high- Cannabidol medicine prepared for the Senate Health Committee here. (April 21, 2014)

    Download a copy of ASA's letter of support for the Assembly Public Safety Committee here. (June 19, 2014)

    Download a copy of ASA's memo suggesting changes to SB 1262 for the Assembly Public Safety Committee here. (June 19, 2014)

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  • Why I'm Attending the California Summit

    I am so excited to be attending the ASA California Medical Cannabis Policy Summit and Lobby Day this weekend.  The event last year was absolutely brilliant.  Steph and the Sacramento ASA Chapter did an outstanding job organizing the event, and together, we accomplished the impossible. Imagine visiting EVERY representative in Sacramento in ONE day.  What an undertaking!  We might qualify for a Guinness Book of World Records.

    Lobbyists have a lot of power in Sacramento, but legislators really take notice when an “ordinary” citizen takes the time to show up in their offices.  The value is priceless.

    Seriously, I learned so much about being an EFFECTIVE advocate: how to make  appointments to talk to your representatives, how to address them, how to prepare my talking points, and how to follow up after the meeting.  This training has served me well during the past year and I have developed relationships with several legislators as a result.



    Another great reward for attending the conference is the sense of community that comes when you meet activists from other areas.  It is empowering to know that we have so much support.  I guarantee that you will have a great opportunity to network and build relationships with other activists.

    The most important lesson I learned from the Conference is that even seemingly impossible tasks can be accomplished by creating a systematic and well executed plan of action.

  • Off to the U.S. Supreme Court We Go

    Sadly, but not unexpectedly, last week the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit denied a petition for rehearing filed be Americans for Safe Access in ASA v. DEA. After more than a decade of legal wrangling with the federal government over the medical efficacy of marijuana and its relative lack of abuse potential, the D.C. Circuit gave great deference to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) position that marijuana has no proven medical value. In doing this, the D.C. Circuit not only ignored voluminous evidence of marijuana’s medical efficacy, but it held the petitioners to a standard above and beyond that advanced by the government itself. Out of thin air, the Court interpreted the phrase “adequate and well-controlled studies” to require FDA-approved Phase II or Phase III studies, rather than the common meaning of the term. A similar such standard as that interjected into the proceedings by the Court at the last possible moment had already been rejected by the same Court and others in the cases of Grinspoon v. DEA, 828 F.2d 881 (1st Cir. 1987) and Doe v. DEA, 484 F.3d 561 (D.C. Cir. 2007).  This, coupled with the failure of the Court even to consider marijuana’s lack of abuse potential, was the basis for ASA’s recent petition for rehearing.



    Unfortunately, for medical marijuana patients and others, the extremely small number of active judges on the D.C. Circuit makes rehearing en banc (by the entire circuit) next to impossible. Because there are only eight active judges on the D.C. Circuit, en banc review is extremely rare, with only one petition granted by this Court last year. Thus, the next legal step is to challenge the DEA’s action in the Supreme Court of the United States through a petition for writ of certiorari , which must be filed within ninety days. This opens the possibility for arguments that exceed those allowed under the recently denied petition for rehearing.  It also provides an opportunity to raise awareness of this wrong-headed approach to medical marijuana at the highest judicial level.

    Stay tuned for more details on the upcoming appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court in ASA v. DEA.

  • Unfortunately, Maryland Did NOT Become the 19th Medical Marijuana State

    When the Maryland Senate voted earlier today to approve HB 1101 today, it failed to become the 19th medical cannabis (marijuana) state. In spite of the bill's comendable intentions, it remains highly flawed. Some have touted the HB 1101 approach as a "yellow light" on medical cannabis, yet sadly, it can only be seen as a "yellow light" on a "bridge to nowhere."

    In spite of the bill's laudable intent, the approach is completely untested, and causing even greater concern, the program is almost certainly  unimplementable for legal, financial and practical reasons. In fact, the Maryland Department of Legislative Services found that participation program is "expected to be low (or nonexistent)" and will "not likely to be able to comply with the bill’s requirement to set its fees at a level sufficient to offset program costs...unless it sets its fees at a level that would likely be prohibitively high."



    Legal Reasons for Concern

    HB 1101 would allow patients to obtain medical cannabis from "Academic Medical Centers" (AMCs), which are essentially teaching-hospitals that have federal approval to conduct trails on human subjects. While this is creative way to reinvent how medical cannabis is distributed to patients, only one potentially eligible AMC (Sinai Hospital in Baltimore) has expressed interest in becoming an AMC. However, by becoming an AMC, the hospital would likely be placing its credentials to conduct research on human subjects in jeopardy. Considering that federal interference is one of the reasons Maryland has been reticent to adopt a proven safe access model, it does not add up why Maryland would be encouraging its facilities to endanger the credentials.

    But let's assume for a moment that this legal concern is not in fact an issue...

    Financially Unimplementable

    The DLS analysis points out that HB 1101 must be able to offset the financial costs incurred by the commission that will be set to implement it. While the DLS report mentions that the state might not be able to find any willing and eligible AMCs, it concludes that even if Sinai or another institution stepped forward and applied to be an AMC, the program would still be unable to offset its anticipated costs. Moreover, the state will have to bear the costs of establishing the administrative rules for the program, even if no AMCs ever apply to the state. It's rare feat for an essentially symbolic piece of legislation to come with a price tag, but that's what HB 1101 does, meaning Maryland taxpayers could be forced to pay for a program that may not serve any of the state's patient population.

    But let's assume for a moment that the price tag issues are not a factor...

    Dubious Practical Value

    Absent concerns about the financial and legal viability of HB 1101, the program still contains practical flaws that would make it arguably the least patient-friendly bill in the country. The bill fails to grant physicians to right to recommend cannabis to their patients unless an eligible AMC has been approved by the state to recommend and distribute medical cannabis for certain conditions. In other words, if an AMC did not have foresight to include a patient's particular condition in its application to become an AMC, the patient would be shut out from the program. This would be particularly harmful to patients with rare conditions and conditions for which medical cannabis is an emerging therapeutic option. This also means that the Commission would have to approve conditions, and given the strong resemblance of the work group created by SB 308 (2011) that had difficulty meeting its statutory requirements, it would also require the state's patients to take a serious gamble that the Commission could meet its function.

    Geography is another practical concern that should resonate with patients across the state. The most likely AMCs (Sinai, Johns Hopkins Hospital, and the University of Maryland Hospital) are all in Baltimore. Patients who do not live along the I-95 corridor, such as combat veterans living with PTSD in Cumberland, or retirees with cancer living on the Eastern Shore, may have to drive 2-3 hours each way in order to access their AMC to obtain medicine. Even if a patient is fortunate to have a caregiver assist them, the potential 6-hour trip is a completely unnecessary burden to safe access.

    So what are Maryland patients left to assume? As someone who lived in Maryland for over 30 years, and has most of my loved ones still residing in the state, there was no state in 2013 that I had more personal hope for than Maryland. I really wanted Maryland to be the next medical marijuana state, but HB 1101 simply falls short, and significantly so.

    Maryland's new medical may make lawmakers feel better, but it remains extremely unlikely that it will do the same for the state's patient population.

     

     
  • Massachusetts DPH Looking for Input While Writing Regulations

    Earlier in the week, we posted a blog from one of our Board Members, Dr. Karen Munkacy, who is working hard on making sure that implementation of Massachusetts’ medical cannabis program goes smoothly.  Of course, Massachusetts scored a huge victory for safe access when they passed their initiative last November, but few people understand that this is only the first step towards ensuring patients get access to legal medicine in a state. The battle we’re fighting now, with the help of advocates like Dr. Munkacy, is making sure that the rules and regulations for the program are composed in a way that most benefits the patients.

    The good news is that what has truly been a battle in other states has become a welcome and open dialogue with the MA Department of Public Health (DPH), who is charged with the difficult task of interpreting the initiative while writing the program’s regulations. In fact, DPH is actually looking for public input on a number of issues and are holding Townhall-type meetings called “Listening Sessions” in the next few weeks. This is a great opportunity for MA patients and advocates to submit comments on these seven issues:



    • Patient eligibility and debilitating conditions

    • Guidance and training for physicians

    • Operations of a medical marijuana treatment center, including security requirements

    • 60-day supply of marijuana

    • Use of marijuana in food products for medical purposes

    • Requirements for hardship cultivation registrations

    • Monitoring of medical marijuana treatment centers and enforcement of regulations


    If you are planning on testifying in person, make sure your testimony addresses only these listed issues. Also, residents of MA can submit written comments on these issues if they cannot make it to testify at one of the sessions. ASA is encouraged by the amazing example that MA DPH is setting for their colleagues in other states through their transparency and disposition to hear stakeholder input. Through DPH’s willingness to work with the medical cannabis community, MA will soon have a functional and patient-oriented program to serve the needs of their patients. Hopefully this means that suffering patients in the Bay State won’t have to wait as long as their brothers and sisters in New Jersey (over 2 years) to receive legal medicine!
  • Congressional Medical Cannabis Champions Win Big in Reelection & Senate Bids



    One of the least reported stories coming out of this year's Election Day results was the strong showing that medical cannabis champions had in their reelection bids this year. Even better for medical cannabis patients, 2013 will mark the first time that the public supporters of safe access will be joining United States Senate. Overall, the 40 strongest safe access champion candidates received 66.7% percent of the vote! What makes these victories more impressive is that they came in an election season when President Obama refused to come to terms with his current anti-safe access policy on medical cannabis.

    In the US House of Representatives, ASA had 37 champions running for reelection to Congress in 2013. When we refer to a Member of Congress as a "champion," this means that ASA has developed a relationship these offices and they are reliably the voices on the Hill that not only speak out, but take action on behalf of safe access, by introducing, cosponsoring, or working behind the scenes to get other reps on board. Of these champion candidates, 35 will be returning to DC! Having a strong base of support like this coming into the new conference is going to be especially important in February, when ASA and its members will descend upon the Capitol for a lobbying day following our national conference. In fact, we hope to grow our list of champions when patients and safe access activists come to the Hill to engage in citizen lobbying.

    Some of the most exciting news for safe access on Election Day came in the US Senate races. While there are a handful of current US Senators who are sympathetic to the issue of safe access, they support, grateful as we are to have it, has largely been silent. Tuesday night's result changes all of that. When the new Senate is sworn in this January, two incoming senators have publicly embraced safe access. In Wisconsin, one of ASA's strongest champions in the House, Tammy Baldwin, won her bid to become not only the first openly gay member of the Senate, but also the first senator who has cosponsored safe access federal legislation in the past. Over in Massachusetts, where the electorate gave landslide approval to the state's medical cannabis ballot measure, Question 3, voters elected Elizabeth Warren to the replace Scott Brown. Warren spoke during the campaign about her father's struggle with cancer and how she strongly feels patients in that position need access to medicine that works.

    Unfortunately, not all of the news on Election Day was so fortunate. Two of ASA's long-time champions in California lost their reelection bids. Congressman Pete Stark, one of ASA's strongest and most determined champions on the Hill was unsuccessful, losing to a fellow Democrat, thanks to California's bizarre top-two election process. Congressman Stark and his staff were extremely helpful and important this summer when ASA was working with Congresswoman Lee's office to help introduce HR 6335. Another champion fell victim to political circumstance when Howard Berman was forced to run against fellow champion incumbent Ben Sherman in a hotly contested race that was the result of redistricting. While Sherman's record has been slightly stronger than Berman's, his and Stark's voices will be sorely missed.

    Additionally, several of ASA's longtime champions will not be returning in 2013 due to retirement. Four of the greatest champions for safe access in Congressional history, Barney Frank, Ron Paul, Maurice Hinchey, and Denis Kucinich will not be returning. These four greats introduced and cosponsored much of the safe access legislation in the past decade and their incoming members have large shoes to fill. Will it's a bit soon to tell how their replacements will be, we have confidence other incoming members to Congress, such Beto O'Rourke, will help fill the void. Additionally, new leaders such as Jared Polis and Justin Amash are emerging, and other champions such as Steve Cohen and Jerrold Nadler (to name just a few) are speaking out louder and more forcefully with each Congressional session.

    President Obama may not have come reconciled his 2008 promised to end the federal war on safe access, but the 113th Congress may perhaps turn out to be the federal agent of change for medical cannabis patients. If that is going to happen, we need citizen lobbyists to be speaking with their members of Congress to make safe access to medical cannabis a top priority in 2013.

    Mike Liszewski is ASA's Policy Director.
  • NY Assembly Passes Comprehensive Safe Access Legislation

    On Wednesday, the New York State Assembly took an earnest attempt at providing a comprehensive medical cannabis program to patients in the Empire State by passing A 7347 by the wide margin of 90-50. While the legislation is now up to the Senate, it seems all but certain the Senate will fail to bring the bill to a vote. That's a shame, because while A 7347 is not perfect, it would create a comprehensive system that deserves a second look, both by New York senators and patients.

    Patient Protections and "Reasonable" Flexibility

    Mid-Atlantic legislatures which passed medical cannabis legislation (NJ, DC, DE) felt that it was prudent to come up with restrictive rules and strictly-limited qualifying conditions. This deference to regulation at the expense of wellness has hurt patients greatly. In the time since each of the bills passed, not a single patient in any of these locations has safe and legal access to medical cannabis.

    The New York law, by contrast, has built-in mechanisms that would provide concrete legal protections and encourage the state to quickly move to implement the registration and access system. The law would allow patients who obtain written certification from their medical practitioner to have full protection from arrest if the state is not issuing registration cards within one year of the law's effective date. Even better for patients, once the state begins accepting registration applications, patients possessing a valid certification who do not wish to enroll in the registry are still eligible for an affirmative defense. The law also would provide explicit protection against patient discrimination pertaining to child custody, education, organ transplant, and landlord/tenant matters - issues which we've seen confront patients in states like California.

    Beyond these important patient protections, A 7347 also grants the Department of Health (DOH) discretionary ability to avoid unjust outcomes with certain aspects of the bill. Lawmakers resisted the urge to play doctor by determining from afar who can and can't obtain medicine; instead, they have provided guidance for doctors. In another example of flexibility, the law calls for all registered caregivers to be over the age of 21, however if a "sufficient showing is made to the department that [a person under 21] should be permitted to serve as a designated caregiver," the DOH may do so. For a sick elderly person who is being taken care of by a college-age family member or for parent who is under 21 and needs to care for their seriously ill young child, this provision could make a major difference.

    Good, But Not Perfect

    For all the wonderful clauses in A 7347, there are still some parts that run counter to safe access. The registry system has some privacy protections, but law enforcement could potentially have the ability to harass patients, much like we have seen in Michigan. The requirement that each medical cannabis purchase made must be recorded with the patient or caregiver's name is a threat to the privacy and security of patient confidentiality. The bill's provision to tax the gross receipts of medical cannabis sales at the excessive rate of 7.1% could make it difficult for dispensaries to establish themselves, meaning patients would not only have to pay unnecessarily exorbitant prices for medicine, but also may be forced to deal with an inconsistent supply as result of the instability.

    Patients in NY should urge Senate Health Committee Chairperson Kemp Hannon and other committee members to take the steps necessary to bring the senate version of the bill, SB 7283, up for a vote before the full senate.

    Mike Liszewski is ASA's Policy Director.
  • Obama (Double) Speaks on Medical Marijuana



     

     

     

     

     

    Finally, President Obama has spoken about his aggressive stance toward medical marijuana. Unfortunately, but not unexpectedly, his statements are underwhelming, inaccurate and do nothing to address medical marijuana as a public health issue. In response to a question from Rolling Stone on why his administration is conducting more medical marijuana raids than the Bush administration, President Obama failed to come clean on reasons for the breadth and intensity of the attacks, which significantly escalated since he took office.
    What I specifically said was that we were not going to prioritize prosecutions of persons who are using medical marijuana. I never made a commitment that somehow we were going to give carte blanche to large-scale producers and operators of marijuana…

    Actually, what Obama said on the campaign trail in 2008 was that he was “not going to be using Justice Department resources to try to circumvent state [medical marijuana] laws.”

    The shell game continued with Obama declaring that, as President, he “can’t ask the Justice Department to…‘ignore…a federal law that’s on the books.’”

    In fact, Obama has complete discretion to let local and state authorities enforce their own medical marijuana laws. When affirming that discretionary authority in 2005, the U.S. Supreme Court also questioned the wisdom of going after medical marijuana patients.

    Obama then declared that his Justice Department should use “prosecutorial discretion and properly prioritize [its] resources to go after things that are really doing folks damage.”

    That, however, seems to beg several questions, not the least of which is “how does one determine what “things” are “really doing folks damage?” Why is that not the purview of local and state officials to enforce? And, is the federal government doing more damage than it’s supposedly preventing? Keep in mind that the damage his administration has inflicted also impacts the fiscal bottom line of local and state governments. In California, dispensary closures precipitated by the federal crackdown have robbed the state of millions of dollars in lost taxes.

    The president seems to seek cover with his comment that, “there haven’t been prosecutions” of medical marijuana users. But, even if it was true, and it’s not (all of the more than 60 people indicted on his watch use medical marijuana), this reasoning would still not justify the SWAT-style raids and the fear and intimidation they create. Nor would it justify the purging of lawful medical marijuana businesses from commercial banking institutions, or the IRS requirement that dispensaries pay taxes on gross proceeds, thereby ensuring bankruptcy, or discrimination against patients in public housing and the Veterans Administration.

    At the end of the day, whether or not Obama’s Justice Department decides to prosecute whom it considers “wrongdoers,” qualified patients are still being denied a safe and legal means of obtaining their medication.

    Even Obama’s “Drug War” excuses don’t match those of his U.S. Attorneys who are directly engaged in the attacks. The president erroneously stated that, “The only tension that’s come up” has been “commercial operations” that may be “supplying recreational users.” However, U.S. Attorneys have made little reference to targeting medical marijuana businesses because they’re allegedly selling to non-patients. The prevailing excuse has been simply that dispensaries are federally illegal or that they are too close to schools and other so-called “sensitive uses” (according to federal standards, not to local or state standards).

    Obama’s weakest rationale for continuing the assault on medical marijuana patients is that he “can’t nullify congressional law.” However, the president can realistically do a number of things to address medical marijuana as a public health issue. First of all, Obama could introduce a bill that would carve out an exception for medical marijuana patients and providers. In fact, he doesn’t even have to introduce his own legislation, he could simply throw his weight behind HB 1983, a bill that would do just that. The president could also issue an executive order, not to change federal marijuana statutes but to exclude medical marijuana so as to let the states enforce their own laws.

    Additionally, the president, through his executive powers, could also reclassify marijuana from its current status as a Schedule I substance -- a dangerous drug with no medical value. Yet, he and his Drug Enforcement Administration choose not to. In addition to four governors who have filed rescheduling petitions within the last year, Americans for Safe Access has a pending federal lawsuit that seeks reclassification.

    At some point, President Obama is going to run out of excuses. Until then, please join ASA in urging him to do the right thing.