Pages tagged "Medical Cannabis"

  • Local bans call for action. Are you ready?

    Supervisor JeffriesContents:

    • Message from the CA Director: Local bans call for action. Are you ready?
    • State & Local News: National, state, and local news from communities all over California
    • Public Meetings & Events: Riverside, Ventura, Washington, DC, and online
    • Court Support: Redding and more
    • Take Action Now: Tell Riverside County Not to Ban Cultivation
    • ASA Website Spotlight: Advocacy
    • Chapter & Affiliate Meetings: None this week

    Pictured: Riverside County Supervisor Kevin Jeffries

    The Riverside County Board of Supervisors delayed a vote on an ordinance banning medical cannabis cultivation in the unincorporated areas of Riverside County until November 25. That is good news for local advocates, who need more time to rally the base in opposition to the proposed ban. See the Take Action section of this message to find out what you can do to help right now.

    The proposal by Supervisor Jefferies is the latest in a series of moves by local governments to roll back the right of legal patients and caregivers to cultivate medical cannabis. Lake County banned cultivation in June, and the ACLU is currently challenging a ban adopted by Fresno County in March. Other cities and counties may soon follow suit.

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  • Take advantage of early-bird registration for the conference

    Register_Now_Graphic.jpgASA is hosting out third annual national conference March 27-31, 2015, in Washington, DC. The National Medical Cannabis Unity Conference 2015 will be our largest and most important conference yet. Hundreds of patients, advocates, scientists, and industry leaders will meet at the Lowes Madison Hotel in the heart of downtown for three days of networking, education, and action. This will be the premier medical cannabis event of the year. Will you be there?

    The issue of medical cannabis has never been more visible in the national media or present in the minds of lawmakers. The medical cannabis industry and movement are evolving faster than ever before. Plan right now to join leaders in the science, politics, and activism of medical cannabis from all overt the United States and the world.  You will have a front row seat for the exciting conversations about the future of medical cannabis in the United States and play an active and important role in shaping public policy. 

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  • One more battle to fight in California this year - Oppose SB 1193


    • Message from the CA Director: One more battle in Sacramento this year
    • State & Local News: News from communities all over California
    • Public Meetings & Events: Santa Rosa, Riverside, and Online
    • Court Support: Submit dates for court support!
    • Take Action Now: Oppose SB 1193 and more
    • ASA Website Spotlight: Patient Focused Certification
    • Chapter & Affiliate Meetings: Submit dates for local meetings!

    The 2014 legislative session is almost over. Lawmakers have until August 31 to pass hundreds of bills through the state Assembly and Senate, and Governor Brown has thirty days to sign or veto each. One topic not on the agenda will be SB 1262 (Correa/Ammiano), the bill that would have created statewide regulations for doctors who recommend medical cannabis and for the medical cannabis industry. That bill was held in the Assembly Appropriations Committee on August 15, so it will not be adopted this year. Both co-authors are serving their final terms in the legislature according o the state’s term limit rules, so it is back to the drawing board for statewide regulations in 2015.

    Pictured: California Senator Noreen Evans (D-Santa Rosa), author of SB 1193

     The Assembly may still vote on a badly amended version of SB 1193 (Evans) – unless we stop them first! SB 1193 was a win-win compromise for law enforcement and patients in California. The old version of the bill, which ASA supported, reduced the amount of cannabis and cannabis plants police and Sheriff’s departments have to keep as evidence, but required law enforcement to pay reasonable compensation if they damaged or destroyed cannabis or plants later found to be legal. Unfortunately, the Assembly Appropriations Committee removed language requiring the return of wrongfully-confiscated property and reasonable compensation at the August 15 hearing.

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  • ASA California Weekly Roundup: July 7, 2014


    • Message from the CA Director: Your CA representatives may be in town
    • State & Local News: News From Communities All Over California
    • Public Meetings & Events: Live Google Hangout & More
    • Court Support: No listings this week
    • Take Action Now: Register for the CA Citizen Lobby Day & More
    • ASA Website Spotlight: Resources for Medical Professionals & Researchers
    • Chapter & Affiliate Meetings: Nevada County, San Diego, Sacramento, & Yuba County


    REMINDER – Don’t miss a Live Google Hangout on Wednesday, July 9, at 7:00 PM (PDT). We will be discussing current state legislation and ASA’s proposed Medical Marijuana Organ Transplant Act of 2015. These will be important topics at the CA Citizen lobby Day in Sacramento on August 4. Log on to a 7:00 PM on Wednesday to join the conversation.

    Your California Assembly Member and Senator may be in your home town right now. The state legislature has adjourned for their summer recess, and many lawmakers are back in their home districts for the rest of the month. Why not use this time to make an appointment to see them? State representatives have one or more offices in the district they represent. One is probably close to where you live. You can call the district office and make an appointment to talk to your representatives or their staff today. Locate your representatives and find their district offices here.

    District office visits are important, because they show lawmakers that voters who elected Assembly Members and Senators care about medical cannabis. You can talk to your representatives about pending legislation, the need to protect patients’ from discrimination, or barriers to local access to medical cannabis. You can even download one of ASA’s reports to share with lawmakers or staff.

    Do not be intimidated about asking for an appointment. It is a normal part of the Democratic process, and elected officials and staff take meetings with people like you all the time. Just remember your ABCD’s – Be Accurate, Be Brief, Be Courteous, and Do Follow Up. Brush up on your citizen advocacy skills using ASA’s free online Medical Cannabis Advocate's Training Center, and you will be lobbying you elected officials like a pro.

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  • ASA CA Weekly Roundup: June 23, 2014


    • Message from the CA Director
    • California & National News
    • Public Meetings & Events
    • Court Support
    • Take Action Now
    • ASA Website Spotlight: Are You Facing State or Federal Charges?
    • ASA Chapter & Affiliate Meetings

    Message from the CA Director

    The California Supreme Court ruled last year that nothing in state law prevents cities and counties from banning medical cannabis patients’ collectives and cooperatives. More than 200 local jurisdictions do so already, and there are sure to be additional bans in the future. Patients living in access deserts, areas without practical legal access to medicine, are not likely to get relief from the state legislature in the near future. No state lawmaker has stepped up to challenge the authority of local government to ban, and a bill working its way through the state legislature this summer would further establish the right of cities and counties to regulate or ban patients’ associations.

    That is a sobering reality for patients in the state’s access deserts, but there are some new oases on the horizon. Riverside County is notorious for its opposition to medical cannabis, but lawmakers in the tiny city of Blythe have just voted to repeal their moratorium on medical cannabis facilities and allow two or three to open. Another small city in Riverside County, Desert Hot Springs, will soon join neighboring Palm Springs in allowing legal access. And voters in Cathedral City and the City of Riverside will soon get to vote on whether or not to allow patients’ associations. The trend is not just limited to Riverside County. Voters in Santa Monica, San Jose, Butte County, and Nevada County are all running voter initiatives to create local access.

    Some of the measures are motivated by a desire for revenue, and others are the result of years of work by local advocates. Despite these motives and efforts, we are probably going to have persistent access deserts in some rural and southern communities for years to come. However, the current legislative and initiative efforts are an indication of the possibility to make progress where a committed grassroots base has the skills and resources to mount an effective campaign.  ASA can help. We have free organizing tools, professional support for campaigners, and a free online training program for advocates  – including strategic planning, media, coalition building, and more.

    We are going to talk more about local campaigns and how we can help at the California Citizen Lobby Day in Sacramento on Monday, August 4, and on a live Google Hangout this Thursday, June 26. A Google hangout is a free online event you can join from your computer of mobile device. Please join me for both.

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  • ASA California Roundup: June 16, 2014


    • Message from the CA Director
    • California & National News
    • Public Meetings & Events
    • Court Support
    • Take Action Now
    • ASA Website Spotlight
    • ASA Chapter & Affiliate Meetings

    Message from the CA Director

    Hundreds of members of Americans for Safe Access (ASA) and our allies will meet in Sacramento on Monday, August 4, for our third medical cannabis citizen lobby day. I hope that you are all planning to be a part of ASA’s biggest and most important lobby day yet. This is your chance to meet face-to-face with lawmakers and staff to influence legislation that will affect patients, cultivators, and industry workers for years to come. We will also be having some special guest speakers, laying out our plans for next year, and hosting a special reception for ASA members and lawmakers. Don’t miss out!

    The best outcomes for medical cannabis patients and other stakeholders come when those affected by new laws are a part of the conversation. The state legislature is likely to pass one or more bills that matter for patients, cultivators, and industry workers in August. Lawmakers need to hear from you, and that is what the CA Citizen Lobby Day is all about.

    Do you want to learn more about the legislative proposals on the table right now and what is coming next year before the CA Citizen Lobby Day? Plan to join us for a live Google Hangout on Thursday, June 26, at 7:00 PM. ASA Executive Director Steph Sherer and I will talk about what is happening right now and on the horizon for medical cannabis in California. A Google Hangout is a free event you can join online from your computer or mobile device. This Google Hangout follows the final policy committee votes on medical cannabis bills in the legislature, so we will have the latest information about amendments that day.

    Thank you in advance for being a part of the process in California. See you in Sacramento!

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  • All Politics Is Local


    Message from the CA Director - All Politics Is Local

    (Picture: Former Speaker of the US House of Representatives Tip O'Neil)


    California & National News

    • Activists Target House Members Who Oppose Medical Marijuana (National)
    • 'Historic' shift in D.C. over medical pot crackdown (National)
    • Medical marijuana scores big House win, but still faces hurdles (National)
    • League of California Cities Finds Sen. Correa’s Medical Marijuana Bill Offers Best Regulatory Framework (California)
    • City hall Gives the Go Ahead on Pot Initiative (Santa Monica)
    • California County Bans Outdoor Medical Marijuana Grows (Lake County)
    • Medical Marijuana Users in San Jose Get Free Pot in Exchange for "I Voted" Sticker (San Jose)
    • Fight the marijuana ban in Fresno County (Fresno County)
    • Santa Ana ponders benefits of legal pot shops (Santa Ana)
    • Medical marijuana users worry about county changes (Tulare County)
    • Cannabis: Views about marijuana (Willits)


    • Tuesday, June 10, 2014 – Medical Cannabis Permitting and Land Use Workshop (San Diego)
    • Saturday, July 26, 2014 – The State of Marijuana (Los Angeles)
    • Monday, August 4, 2014 – CA Citizen Lobby Day (Sacramento)

    Court Support

    • Tuesday, June 10, 2014 – Court Support for James Romo (Santa Ana)

    Take Action

    • Urge your Senator to pass CJS Medical Marijuana Amendment
    • Join Americans for Safe Access (ASA)

    ASA Website Spotlight

    • Vote Medical Marijuana

    ASA Chapter & Affiliate Meetings

    • Tuesday, June 10, 2014 - Nevada County ASA (Grass Valley)
    • Tuesday, June 10, 2014 - San Diego ASA (San Diego)
    • Thursday, June 12, 2014 - San Diego ASA (Imperial Beach)
    • Thursday, June 12, 2014 - Yuba County ASA (Foothills)
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  • Patient advocates are producing ads in an effort to educate public, hold federal policymakers accountable

    The medical marijuana advocacy group Americans for Safe Access (ASA) is running 30-second TV advertisements on MSNBC in Maryland and South Florida over the next few days to draw attention to Members of Congress who opposed medical marijuana reform in last week's House vote.

    One of the ads focuses on Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD), who spoke out on the House floor against a measure that restricts Justice Department funds spent on medical marijuana enforcement in states that have legalized its use. Despite the recent passage of a medical marijuana law in his State of Maryland, Rep. Harris made the claim Friday that "Marijuana is neither safe nor legal."

    The other ad focuses on Democratic National Committee Chair, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), who was one of only 18 House Democrats to vote against the medical marijuana measure last week. Notably, Rep. Wasserman Schultz voted contrary to several other Democrats in her South Florida delegation. A recent poll indicated 88 percent support for medical marijuana among residents of Florida, which is expected to pass its own medical marijuana law before the end of the year.

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  • Big news in California

    CA State Capitol BuildingI hope you have all heard the big news from Washington, DC, last week. The US House of Representatives voted to end funding for federal medical cannabis enforcement in states where it is legal. This is a major victory for medical cannabis patients and providers! Read more about the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment and what comes next in a blog by ASA Executive Director Steph Sherer and in the “News” Section of the website.

    You may not have seen another big story from right here in California. On Thursday, the same day as that momentous vote in Congress, the California Assembly rejected a bill by Assembly Member Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco) that would have empowered the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) to write and enforce regulations for commercial medical cannabis activity statewide. AB 1894 lost by a vote of 26 to 33, with 20 lawmakers not voting (corrected 06/02/2014). The bill needed 41 votes to pass the Assembly and advance to the Senate.

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  • US House votes to end funding for federal medical cannabis enforcement

    Medical marijuana user Larry Harvey, Rep. Sam Farr, D-Calif., Americans for Safe Access Executive Director Steph Sherer and Rep. Paul Broun, R-Ga., speak at a press conference Wednesday in Washington, D.C.The US House of Representatives voted late Thursday night to cut off funding for federal medical cannabis raids, arrests, and prosecutions in states where it is legal. This is arguably the biggest victory yet in the contemporary fight for medical cannabis rights. The vote represents a significant turning point in federal policy and a major victory for Americans for Safe Access (ASA) and the grassroots medical cannabis movement.

    (Picture: ASA Executive Director Steph Sherer and "Kettle Falls 5" defendant Larry Harvey in front of the US Capitol for a press conference with four members of Congress)

    By a vote of 219 to 189, the Republican-dominated House approved the bipartisan Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment to the Commerce, Science, and Justice (CJS) Appropriations bill for fiscal year 2015. Forty nine Republicans and 179 Democrats voted in favor of the amendment. The CJS bill is the vehicle that funds the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Drug Enforcement Administration. The amendment says that the DOJ is prohibited from using any funds to prevent states from implementing laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of medical cannabis.

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