Pages tagged "Medical marijuana"

  • Welcome to ASA 3.0 - 3 new bills in Congress, 3 new programs at ASA



    Here at ASA we are fighting hard for patients’ rights, and this year we’re taking a whole new approach. We’re calling it ASA 3.0. We’ve been holding stakeholders’ meetings across the nation, and we designed this approach based on what you – local activists and patients – want and need.

    We’ve developed a plan for improving safe access across the nation, but we need your help to make it happen. Can you commit just $1 a day to ASA’s important work? When you give to ASA, you are giving back to yourself because we build our strategies based on your needs.



    We know you want to see change on the federal level, so we have been working diligently on the Hill. Today, we got results: Three new bills were introduced in the House of Representatives that would protect patients and providers. Ask your representative to sign on as a sponsor to these bills. It only takes a minute to make the call, and the impact you make is much more powerful than even the best-paying lobbyists.

    The federal legislation is just the beginning. You asked for help with local and state legislation, so we created a Medical Cannabis Think Tank and Policy Shop. While state medical cannabis laws vary tremendously, the needs of patients remain consistent across the nation. Many regulations look good on paper, but their impact can be detrimental to the patients they seek to help. ASA’s Think Tank and Policy Shop provides local activists the support they need to analyze pending legislation and lobby for the best law possible.

    You asked for support in developing your grassroots community, so we created the Online Training Center. If we are going to keep the safe access we have now and build on it, we will need fight at every level of the political spectrum. With over 4 ½  hours of video content and over 400 pages of instruction manuals and worksheets, the Online Training Center gives patients and patient advocates the tools they need to accomplish their goals.

    Of course, state law provides little protection from the federal government. That’s why we’re vamping up our response to federal interference. We’re taking ASA’s proven raid response trainings across the nation and have released our new and improved our Raid Response Center to better prepare for interference across the country. (If you haven’t already, be sure you’re signed up for our Raid Alert Text Messages.)

    Since federal interference is rooted in cannabis’ listing as a Schedule I drug, we continue to fight to remove cannabis from that list. This time, we’re taking the issue to the courts. ASA, as part of the Coalition to Reschedule Cannabis, recently filed a lawsuit for the DEA’s unreasonable delay in responding to a rescheduling petition we submitted in 2002. Yes, it has been nine years, and the DEA has neglected to respond. Not only should this lawsuit force the DEA to respond to the petition, but it will provide the opportunity for us to highlight the disconnect between the federal government’s policies and science.

    We’re excited about ASA 3.0, but we can’t do it alone. For just $1 a day, you can move ASA forward. That’s less than a cup of coffee – and that cup of coffee isn’t going to fight for your rights.

    Commit to the movement. Commit $1 a day to ASA. See the results.

    It’s coming … ASA’s new mobile application




     

    Allowing you to stay in the know on the go
  • Support SB 129 Today!



    The California Senate will vote this week on a bill to protect responsible law-abiding medical cannabis patients from employment discrimination. Americans for Safe Access (ASA) needs your help today to be sure that AB 129 is approved. 

    Take a moment right now to call your California Senator and ask him or her to support SB 129!


    ASA is sponsoring Senator Mark Leno’s (D-SF) SB 129 to protect legal patients who face workplace discrimination just because they use medical cannabis.  It is not fair that legal patients can be denied a job, be fired, or live in fear every day. SB 129 will stop this discrimination – but only if your Senator knows it is important to you.

    SB 129 is a reasonable bill. It does not allow patients to use medical cannabis at work or be impaired by medical cannabis in the workplace. It contains an exemption for safety-sensitive positions. SB 129 simply gives legal medical cannabis patients the same protection as prescription drug users. That is not too much to ask!

    Call your California Senator today and ask him or her to support SB 129. ASA’s Online Action Center makes it easy to find your Senator… and we even have a sample script for your phone call.

    Your call will only take a minute, but it makes a big difference. Senators need to hear from medical cannabis patients and supporters right now – before they vote on SB 129. I’ll be in Sacramento this week working on the last few votes we need in the Senate, but lawmakers need to know there is an active constituency behind this bill. Make that call today!

    Thank you for helping ASA protect and expand patients’ rights in California.
  • ASA on DOJ Pressure in the Huffington Post



    From ASA Executive Director Steph Sherer in today's Huffington Post -
    In February, Oakland City Attorney John Russo asked the Obama Justice Department whether his city's plan to regulate large-scale medical marijuana cultivation would get the approval of the federal government. As expected, U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag responded to Russo with a declarative "No!" Little did patient advocates realize, though, that Haag's letter would begin a trend resulting in similar U.S. Attorney letters sent to local and state officials in at least 9 different medical marijuana states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Montana, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington.

    Read the entire post online.
  • Urge Governors to Stand Up for Patient Rights

    [caption id="attachment_1472" align="alignnone" width="252" caption="US AG Holder: Rattling Sabers"]
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    In the past few months, United States Attorneys General in Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Montana, Rhode Island, and Vermont  have issued letters threatening federal action against any entity, including state employees, participating in state sanctioned medical cannabis programs.  While our community has seen these types of letters under previous administrations, it is disappointing to see President Obama sanction this behavior.



    While many promises have been made by Obama to end raids on the medical cannabis community, these DOJ threat letters are yet another tactic of the federal government to interfere with patients’ right to safe access.  ASA recently issued Obama’s Medical Cannabis Report Card, showing he has failed at improving conditions for our community.  These threat letters are further evidence of the broken promises of the current administration and proof  that our community is under attack. 

    Over the next couple of weeks, our community must call upon our state representatives for leadership.  We must urge our governors, whether they have received a threat letter or not, to join Americans for Safe Access in a push back against the U.S. Attorneys who have issued these threat letters against our community. 

    In order to make this campaign a success, your governors needs to hear from you.  As a constituent, ask for his or her leadership against federal interference.  Call your governor today and use the following script.  Please find contact information for your governor below.  The District of Columbia should reach out to Mayor Gray whose number is listed below, and also included in the electronic action alert. 

    Governor (or Mayor for DC Residents)—

    As a concerned medical cannabis community member and your constituent, I am worried about the impact these threat letters from the Department of Justice and the potential for federal interference will have on safe access to medical cannabis in my state.  Letters have been issued to eight states so far, and we need to send a message asserting our state’s right to safe access. We need you the lead the charge to end federal interference and work toward creating policies that will resolve the federal conflict once and for all.

    Thank you.


    You may also participate in our online action alert by clicking here to ask your governor and congressional leaders to take a stand for safe access.

    REPRESENTATIVE CONTACT INFORMATION

    ALASKA
    Governor Sean Parnell
    Tel: (907) 465-3500

    ARIZONA
    Governor Jan Brewer
    Tel:(602)542-4331

    CALIFORNIA
    Governor Jerry Brown
    Tel:(916)445-2841

    COLORADO
    Governor John Hickenlooper
    Tel:(303)866-2471

    DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
    Mayor Vincent Gray
    Tel:(202)727-2980

    DELAWARE
    Governor Jack Markell
    Tel:(302)577-3210

    HAWAII
    Governor Neil Abercrombie
    Tel:(808)586-0034

    MAINE
    Governor Paul LePage
    Tel:(207)287-3531

    MARYLAND
    Governor Marin O'Malley
    Tel:(410) 974-3901

    MICHIGAN
    Governor Rick Snyder
    Tel:(517)373-7858

    MONTANA
    Governor Brian Schweitzer
    Tel:(406)444-3111
  • May 2: Order the DEA to Cease and Desist, Rally for Patients' Rights!

    [caption id="attachment_1422" align="alignnone" width="254" caption="US Dept. Justice in Washington, DC"]
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    Stand in solidarity with me for a National Day of Action this Monday, May 2, 2011.  Our community is sick and tired. We are suffering from chronic or debilitating conditions, and we are weary of false promises that do nothing to protect our rights as patients. 



    After previously giving us a false sense of security, the Obama administration now continues to ignore state laws and raid medical cannabis patients and facilities, while creating new ways to marginalize our community, including issues related to patient privacy, access, banking, taxation, and threats of filing suit against state employees who participate in upholding state law. This community is still under attack. 

    Just yesterday, our community witnessed raid activity in Washington State and on Monday, our community will lose two more of our brothers and sisters to the failed war on drugs.  Dale Shafer and Dr. Mollie fry will turn themselves over to federal agents to serve five-year mandatory minimum sentences for legally participating in state sanctioned medical cannabis programs.  Enough is enough and Monday, May 2, 2011 is our time to take stand against federal interference! 

    Fellow community members and local activists are preparing to deliver ASA’s Cease and Desist to local DEA offices and federal buildings across the country.  Commit to do the same. Join activists in several cities across the country.  Locations include, but are not limited to, the following areas: Washington State, Oregon, Rhode Island, Colorado, Montana, Michigan, Maine, New Jersey, Washington, DC, California, Arizona, Nevada, and Maryland.  To find out what is going on in your area, email [email protected], or print out the Cease and Desist Order and take it to a local DEA Office or Federal Building near you on Monday!! Remember: if you don’t stand up for safe access, who will?

    Special Patients' Rights Rallies will be occurring in both Washington, DC outside of the Department of Justice at 12pEST (event flyer) and outside of the Federal Courthouse in Sacramento, CA at 12pPST for Dale Schafer and Dr. Mollie Fry (event flyer).

    It's thanks to the support from our members that ASA is able to hold Days of Action like this one. Please consider making a donation to ASA today, so we can continue to strengthen our fight for safe access.

    I look forward to participating in our National Day of Action for patients' rights with you on Monday, May 2, 2011.
  • The Feds are Here!



    The feds are here, and they are making their presence known. In March alone, the DEA raided 26 medical cannabis facilities in Montana, two licensed dispensaries in California, and a doctor’s clinic in Michigan. We need to fight back and prepare for our response as a movement to future raids – and unfortunately the DEA has shown it’s just a matter of time.

    ASA’s Emergency Raid Response program prepares patients, providers, and the community how to act and react during a raid, because when it comes to raids, preparation is essential for an effective response effort. We’re expanding the program to all medical cannabis states, and in order to do that, we need your help.


    Our text message alert system is vital to informing local activists when a raid is happening in their area. This creates a visible community protesting the raid. Sign up for ASA’s raid alerts, so you can help show the nation that federal intervention will not be tolerated.

    ASA has orchestrated over two hundred Emergency Raid Response efforts, which have protected countless victims, shortened raids, and helped frame this issue as a patients’ rights issue in the media. We do this by training staff at dispensing centers, preparing action plans for victims, contacting attorneys for raid victims, turning out protestors on the day of the raid, and framing media coverage in response to raids. Your support is vital to ensuring this program reaches patients and providers across the county at little to no cost.

    With federal raids on the rise and recent warnings from US Attorney Michael Ormsby to landlords of medical cannabis facilities in Spokane, Wash., of federal intervention, an immediate response is required. We must prepare patients and providers for the potential of raids and have effective response methods in place before the next wave of raids hits.

    Please help ASA expand our Emergency Raid Response program across the nation. Together, we will bring national attention to Obama’s Administration’s interference in states’ laws.
  • ASA trains medical cannabis professionals

    [caption id="attachment_1373" align="alignnone" width="263" caption="Dr. Amanda Reiman"]
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    More than forty medical cannabis advocates attended this weekend’s “Putting Patients First” training in Pasadena, California. This innovative new ASA training is designed to teach important professional skills for those in the field of medical cannabis. The standing-room-only crowd at the MCC Directory building in Pasadena learned about the bio-psycho-social model of health care from Dr. Amanda Reiman. Dr. Reiman is currently the Director of Research for Berkeley Patients Group, a lecturer in the School of Social Welfare at UC Berkeley, and the Chairwoman of the Medical Cannabis Commission for the city of Berkeley. Trainees also explored the evolving political and legal issues surrounding the field.

    The training is part of ASA’s commitment to building skills in our grassroots base – a cornerstone of our ongoing work to protect and expand patients’ rights. Be sure to sign up for email alerts so that you know when the next “Putting Patients First” or other ASA training is scheduled near you. Thanks to Liz McDuffie and the team at the MCC Directory for hosting the training!
  • End Employment Discrimination in CA

    Yesterday, the California Senate Judiciary Committee approved SB 129, legislation sponsored by Americans for Safe Access (ASA) that will protect responsible, law abiding medical cannabis patients in the state from employment discrimination. This is the first step in adopting this important legislation, and ASA needs your help to make sure it happens this year. Take a minute right now to call your California Senator and ask him or her to support SB 129 to end discrimination against legal medical cannabis patients. Patients shouldn’t live in fear of losing their jobs because of what the medicine they use at home. Unfortunately, many do because employers can fire legal medical cannabis patients, even if they are never impaired by cannabis at work. Senator Mark Leno’s (D-San Francisco) SB 129 will dissolve those fears and prevent employers from terminating an employee solely based on his or her status as a patient. At the same time, SB 129 does not require employers to break any laws or tolerate cannabis use or impairment in the workplace. This reasonable bill contains a broad exemption for safety-sensitive positions to shield employers from liability and to protect public safety. SB 129 is the right thing to do for responsible, law abiding patients. It is also the right thing to do for California. It should be the policy of the state to keep patients who are able to work on the job. Otherwise, they may be an additional burden on social services in these tough economic times. ASA is working hard to pass SB 129 as part of an ambitious campaign to protect and expand patients’ rights in California. This work is more important than ever, because safe access is under attack at the local and state level. We need your help more than ever to push back on bans on collectives, unreasonable restrictions on safe access, pressure from law enforcement, and pervasive media bias. ASA can fight back and win – but only if we have the resources to make it happen. Take a minute right now to support ASA’s California Campaign for Safe Access. Thank you for participating in and supporting ASA’s fight for safe access. Together, we are making a difference.