Pages tagged "Marc Levine"


Effective grassroots advocacy gave a 51-year old mother and grandmother a chance to survive

Tamara HowardUPDATE: ASA is happy to report that Tamra received her organ transplant in June and is currently recovering at home. Hers is the first life saved by AB 258, the Medical Cannabis Organ Transplant Act!

Norman Smith died from inoperable liver cancer in 2011, after he was dropped from the organ transplant list for using legal medical cannabis to treat his debilitating symptoms. His tragic story and tireless advocacy for patients’ rights inspired members of Americans for Safe Access (ASA) to stand up for medical cannabis patients and demand legal protection.

That work paid off when California Governor Jerry Brown signed the ASA-sponsored Medical Cannabis Organ Transplant Act, known as AB 258, in July. Authored by Assembly Member Marc Levine (D-San Rafael), the new law prevents anyone in the state from being denied an organ transplant just because they use legal medical cannabis.

Pictured: Medical cannabis patient Tamra Howard, with a good reason to smile

Norman was a vocal advocate for organ transplant patients who use medical cannabis, and his efforts led directly to the adoption of AB 258 this year. “It’s probably too late for me, but I hope it helps the next guy,” he said before his tragic and preventable death in 2011. Norman did do it for the next guy. ASA has just learned of the first medical cannabis patient to be re-added to the organ transplant waiting list after being denied a place based on her medical cannabis use. 

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California State Senate Passes AB 258 With Overwhelming Majority

CA Asm. Marc LevineThe California Senate approved AB 258, the Medical Cannabis Organ Transplant Act, earlier today by a margin of 33-1.  AB 258 prohibits discrimination against medical cannabis patients in the organ transplant process, unless a doctor has determined that medical cannabis use is clinically significant to the transplant process. Medical cannabis patients in California are routinely removed from the organ transplant waiting list if they test positive for cannabis use – even legal doctor-recommended medical cannabis.  AB 258 was authored by Assemblymember Marc Levine (D-San Rafael) and sponsored by Americans for Safe Access (ASA).

“AB 258 is about fundamental fairness and compassion. Legal medical cannabis patients should never face a choice between their doctor-recommended medicine and a life-saving organ transplant,” said Don Duncan ASA’s California Director. “AB 258 will help the law catch up with science, which has shown that medical cannabis patients are just as likely to benefit from an organ transplant as other patients.”

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AB 258 by CA Assembly Member Marc Levine (D-San Rafael)

CA Assembly Member LevineLegislation sponsored by Americans for Safe Access (ASA) entered the home stretch on Wednesday when the California Senate Health Committee approved AB 258, the Medical Cannabis Organ Transplant Act. The bill by Assembly Member Marc Levine (D-San Rafael) will protect medical cannabis patients from discrimination in the organ transplant process. AB 258 must now be approved by the full Senate and signed by the Governor. A final vote is expected next week.

Patients in California who test positive for cannabis use are routinely denied a place on the organ transplant waiting list – even if they are using legal medical cannabis. This widespread policy at hospitals and transplant centers is based on outdated policies that classify legal medical cannabis use as “drug abuse.” Patients have died after being denied an organ transplant based solely on their use of doctor-recommended medical cannabis, and others are at risk right now.

 

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Be a part of the biggest and most important medical cannabis lobby day yet

CA Assembly Member Marc LevineI am happy to report that the California Assembly just adopted AB 258, the Medical Cannabis Organ Transplant Act by a vote of 52 to 8!

This ASA-sponsored legislation will reduce unnecessary suffering and preventable death by ending pervasive discrimination against medical cannabis patients in the organ transplant process. Thank you to all of the ASA members and friends who signed petitions, sent emails, and visited offices to get the bill through the Assembly. The bill goes next to the Senate for a committee and floor vote, so keep up the good work.

California Assembly Member Marc Levine (D-San Rafael) introduced AB 258 after two ASA members visited his office last year as part of our annual medical cannabis lobby day in the state legislature. The bill’s introduction is a clear example of direct grassroots action making a real difference in the political process - and in the lives of patients.

It is time to bring that effective grassroots power back to the state Capitol. Registration for ASA’s California Citizen Lobby Day, June 14-15, in Sacramento is now open. Please sign up today for the biggest and most important citizen lobby day yet.

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Sign the petition to support AB 258 & save lives!

Assembly Member Marc LevineThe California Assembly Health Committee will vote tomorrow on AB 258, ASA-sponsored legislation that will help to reduce needless suffering and preventable death by protecting medical cannabis patients from discrimination in the organ transplant process. Patients are routinely denied a place on the national organ transplant list when they test positive for cannabis use – even legal doctor-recommended medical cannabis. Patients have already died after being removed from the list, and others are in danger right now.

AB 258, by Assembly Member Marc Levine (D-San Rafael), will prevent anyone from being denied an organ transplant based solely on his or her legal medical cannabis use. We need your help today to be sure this important bill gets over this first legislative hurdle.

If you have not done so already, sign the petition to support AB 258. If you have already signed, please recruit at least one more person to join you.

There is no time to lose. I will be presenting the final count to the committee tomorrow at 1:30 PM in room 4202 in the State Capitol Building. You can watch the hearing online at http://www.calchannel.com

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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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