Pages tagged "Medical marijuana"

  • Your Voice Matters

    Contents:

    • Message from the CA Director: Your Voice Matters
    • State & Local News: News From Communities All Over California
    • Public Meetings & Events: Santa Ana City Council, State of Marijuana Conference & More
    • Court Support: No listings this week
    • Take Action Now: Register for the CA Citizen Lobby Day & More
    • ASA Website Spotlight: Work With ASA
    • Chapter & Affiliate Meetings: San Francisco, East Bay, & Lake County

      

    Do you think it doesn’t matter if you speak up about medical cannabis to your lawmakers and their staff? Think again. According to a survey of congressional staffers published in 2011 by the Congressional Management Foundation, Members Congress are more likely to be swayed by concerned citizens who visit, write or call their offices than by the efforts of paid lobbyists.  

    This news isn’t earth shattering, but the survey provides some valuable insight about how crucial the work of grassroots advocacy is to manifest change and about which tactics work best.  For instance, nearly the entire sample of respondents, 97 percent, agreed that personal visits from constituents had “some” or “a lot” of influence on an undecided Member --- more than any other influence group or strategy.

    In fact, visits from constituent representatives, like lobbyists, came in second.   And, a close examination of the survey reveals that even personalized letters, e-mails, phone calls and telephone town hall comments were more likely to change a member's mind than a lobbyist's efforts. The study also explored the type of advocacy that staffers believe is most effective. Turns out that content matters more than medium.  Specifically, staffers indicated that hand-written or personalized notes — even when they are fewer in number — have a bigger impact than form letters and emails.

    The point is your lawmakers want to hear from you!  You will see action alerts every week in this email. You will also see events like the CA Citizen Lobby Day on Monday, August 4, in Sacramento. Speak up and make a difference. Research shows it matters when you do.

    Register for the CA Citizen Lobby Day today. ASA is requesting a $25 donation, but no one will be turned away for lack of funds.

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  • ASA California Weekly Roundup: July 7, 2014

    Contents:

    • 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 https://plus.google.com/u/0/events/csadjb5qgj0qd3csdb2dq9r89uc 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

    Contents:

    • 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

    Contents:

    • 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

    Contents:

    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)

    Events

    • 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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  • ASA California Roundup: May 26, 2014

    CA Sen. Lou CorreaContents:

    Message from the CA Director - Support SB 1262 in California

    California News

    • Pot growers face charges -- in state where pot is legal (National)
    • U.S. Says Legal Marijuana Growers Can't Use Federal Irrigation Water (National)
    • Experts Debate Use of Cannabis to Control Seizures (National)
    • Calif. law would require cops to return seized pot if charges are dropped (California)
    • John Vasconcellos, longtime Silicon Valley lawmaker, dies at 82  (California)
    • Medical Marijuana Opponents File for an Initiative (Santa Monica)
    • Medical marijuana measure qualifies for June 2015 ballot (Riverside)
    • Editorial: Riverside again ground zero in medical pot fight (Riverside)
    • A Balanced Plan for Medical Cannabis Regulation in San Jose (San Jose)
    • San Jose City Council to Vote on Medical Marijuana Rules (San Jose)
    • Cannaroma: The Werc Shop Unveils Terpene-Enhanced Product Line (Pasadena)
    • County’s marijuana eradication/suppression program (San Bernardino County)
    • LA Pot Politics Spreads Statewide (Los Angeles)
    • Santa Cruz County mulls marijuana dispensary tax (Santa Cruz)
    • Teen arraigned in deadly pot dispensary robbery (San Diego)
    • Yabba dabba do(n't): An uncertain future and a legal gray area shade the growing trend of cannabis concentrates (San Luis Obispo)

    Events

    • Wednesday, May 28, 2014 – Sacramento County Board of Supervisors Meeting (Sacramento)
    • Saturday, May 31, 2014 – ASA Spring Membership Drive Ends (Nationwide)
    • Monday, August 4, 2014 – CA Citizen Lobby Day (Sacramento)

    Court Support

    • Friday, May 30, 2014 – Court Support for Tavi Gonzales (Rancho Cucamonga)

    Take Action

    • Support SB 1262 in California
    • Join Americans for Safe Access (ASA)

    ASA Website Spotlight

    • Joining a Movement

    ASA Chapter & Affiliate Meetings

    • Tuesday, May 27, 2014 - San Diego ASA (North County)
    • Thursday, May 29, 2014 - Sacramento ASA (Sacramento)
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  • Milestone Ruling: Insurance must pay for medical cannabis

    New Mexico: Land of EnchantmentMany medical cannabis patients dream of a day when they can fill a prescription for their medicine at a pharmacy and have their insurance company pay for it. That last part – reimbursement for the cost of medical cannabis – just became a reality, at least for one New Mexico patient.

    Gregory Vialpando, a Santa Fe car mechanic with a lower back injury sustained in 2000, uses medical cannabis to treat severe chronic pain his doctor describes as some of the worst he has ever seen. Mr. Vialpando was initially prescribed multiple narcotics and anti-depressants, but both his primary care provider and another doctor recommended medical cannabis, so he asked a state workers’ compensation judge to approve it in 2013.

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