Pages tagged "Lobby Day"


Join hundreds of advocates supporting the CARERS Act in DC today by calling Congress

Hundreds of medical cannabis patients, researchers, advocates and other stakeholders are visiting lawmakers in Washington, DC, this morning to support the first comprehensive bipartisan federal medical cannabis reform bill ever introduced in the US Congress.

Participants in ASA’s National Medical Cannabis Unity Conference are on Capitol Hill to support the CARERS Act right now. Can you make three phone calls to help get that bill passed this year?

The Compassionate Access, Research Expansion, and Respect States (CARERS) Act is the most comprehensive piece of federal medical cannabis legislation that has ever been introduced in both the U.S. House and Senate. This bipartisan legislation would remedy the state/federal conflict over medical cannabis laws.

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Hello from Washington, DC

Hello from Washington, DC. ASA’s National Medical Cannabis Unity Conference is underway! I am going to the US Capitol Building with almost 100 Californians tomorrow for our third annual Citizen Lobby Day to support the CARERS Act – an unprecedented bill that would finally end federal interference and intimidation in California.

While we lobby Congress tomorrow, our state and local lawmakers will still be trying to figure out what to do with medical cannabis in California. Sacramento Bee reporter Jim Araby argues it is time to regulate the state’s “Wild West” approach to medical cannabis, and a new study on water use and cannabis cultivation will pressure lawmakers to crack down. The state legislature has scheduled four hearings on medical cannabis bills – and more are on the way! Meanwhile, cities and counties all over the state continue the nineteen-year old debate about how to handle to medical cannabis.

Read about all the medical cannabis news, events, meetings, and court support requests in ASA’s California Weekly Roundup for Monday, March 30, 2015.

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Taking your seat at the table in California - August 12

There is an important conversation about medical cannabis happening in Sacramento right now. That conversation will affect how medical cannabis patients get their medicine, who regulates the field, whether or not every community will have safe and dignified access, and more. Will you have a seat at the table? Americans for Safe Access (ASA) and our coalition partners at Californians to Regulate Medical Marijuana (CRMM) want to make sure you do. Join us in Sacramento for an important citizen lobby day at the state Capitol on Monday, August 12, to be heard.

Our previous lobby days have been effective in moving the ball down the field for sensible statewide medical cannabis regulation, but there is still a lot of work to be done to pass a bill this year. The next lobby day comes at a crucial juncture in the legislative process and at a time when grassroots support for moving forward is badly needed. We need to make a strong showing on August 12, so that lawmakers know that voters in their legislative districts support regulation. Otherwise, they will only be hearing from lobbyists representing divergent views on medical cannabis – law enforcement, local government, industry interests, and others. Patients and their advocates need to be part of that conversation, or our interests may be crowded out!

Lawmakers need to hear from you face-to-face. When you register for the California Summer Lobby Day on August 12, ASA will make an appointment for you to meet your state Assemblymember and Senator or his or her staff that afternoon. There are 120 legislative offices to visit. If we are in most or all of those offices on August 12, the impact will be significant. Help us make it happen.

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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.

Why I am Going to Sacramento

Nothing happens in the state legislature just because it should. Sometimes laws get passed because those with a financial interest in the outcome influence lawmakers. In some cases, political favors get traded to get something done. And all too often, lobbyists are the only voices lawmakers hear when they make choices that affect citizens. That is what is happening with medical cannabis in Sacramento right now, and I hope you will join me there next month to change that conversation for the better.

Medical cannabis patients and other stakeholders are meeting in Sacramento May 4-6 for the California Medical Cannabis Policy Summit and Lobby Day. The goals of the event are to develop strategies and skills necessary to adopt beneficial legislation for medical cannabis this year, and to take that message to lawmakers in person. Americans for Safe Access (ASA) and our partners at Californians to Regulate Medical Marijuana (CRMM); a coalition of patients, cultivators, organized labor, and others; is organizing this event to be sure that patients are at the table when important decisions about regulating medical cannabis are made this year.



You can help shape the future. Last year, we brought hundreds of patients to the State Capitol and helped push medical cannabis legislation further than anyone thought possible. Lawmakers noticed our grassroots coalition and started to take us more seriously. We need that influence now more than ever. Bills to regulate cultivation, distribution, and testing of medical cannabis are on the table right now. Proposals about additional taxation are on the way. We cannot afford to be silent right now. Someone is going to influence lawmakers on good and bad legislation this year. If it is not you, it will be lobbyists, law enforcement, and others who want to roll back safe access in California.

We will have a special fundraising reception on Saturday night, and then spend all day Sunday building strategies and skills for the citizen lobby day on Monday. We will start on Monday with a press conference, and then we hope to visit every lawmaker in Sacramento to talk about what we want to see in California. We will all meet back for a complimentary VIP reception on Monday evening.

Register today for the California Medical Cannabis Policy Summit and Lobby Day. This may be the most important thing you can do for medical cannabis right now.

We have a great opportunity to do something positive for patients, cultivators, workers, and others. If lawmakers from all over the state hear in person from constituents in their Districts, we can show them that there is a safe political space to stand up for medical cannabis. That is why I am going to Sacramento: to make a difference. Will you be there with me?