Pages tagged "Medical Marijuana Week"


Medical Marijuana Week - Day 4: Protesting the federal crack down nationwide

During Obama’s Presidency, his administration has used a series of familiar and new tactics to interfere with state medical cannabis laws including nearly 200 SWAT-style raids leading to more than 60 indictments, threat letters to landlords and government officials, gross manipulation of the tax code, denying medical cannabis patients the right to bear arms, seizing medical cannabis related bank accounts, and much more. Today, ASA Chapters and affiliates in 9 cities and 6 states rallied outside of federal buildings and other venues across the country to tell Obama that enough is enough.

Steph Sherer, Executive Director of Americans for Safe Access, protested with the San Francisco ASA Chpater in front of his campaign appearance there. She said:
The literal and figurative assault on medical marijuana patients currently underway by the Obama Administration is unprecedented in this country's history, despite hollow proclamations to the contrary.  The intensity and breadth of the attacks has far surpassed anything we saw under the Bush Administration and has resulted in the roll-back of numerous local and state laws.



The Obama Administration has also employed numerous federal agencies, including the DEA, FBI, ATF, VA, and IRS to shut down access to medical marijuana, and cut-off services for, or otherwise discriminate against, literally hundreds of thousands of patients across the country.

Patient advocates in San Francisco and across the country called on Obama to end his attacks on the medical marijuana community and begin to address this issue from a public health standpoint. In addition to keeping his pledge of deprioritizing enforcement, advocates are encouraging Obama to reschedule marijuana for medical use. ASA is currently litigating the rescheduling issue in the D.C. Circuit and has also filed a separate lawsuit challenging the Obama Administration's violation of the Tenth Amendment by derailing state medical marijuana laws.

Medical Marijuana Week - Day 3: Adding Gov.'s to Petition for "safe, reliable, regulated" Access

In late November, a pair of governors from opposite sides of the country displayed some unexpected and rather refreshing bravery on the subject of safe access for medical marijuana patients. Governor's Chris Gregoire (D) of Washington and Lincoln Chafee (I) of Rhode Island announced they were filing a petition against the federal government to reclassify marijuana out of Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). Shortly after, Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin (D) endorsed the petition. As Americans for Safe Access has been engaged in its own decade-long petition to reschedule marijuana, the desire of these state leaders to have fellow governors join their rescheduling petition is something ASA strongly supports. On Day 3 of Medical Marijuana Week, ASA asks you to request your governor join the rescheduling petition.



The news of Gregoire and Chafee was unexpected because previously these governors had vetoed bills that would have facilitated regulated safe access in their respective states. As it turns out, that fact played a large role in why the governors created the petition. Both leaders had expressed disgruntlement over the federal government's meddling of state-approved medical marijuana programs played into their vetos. "We've done it out of frustration, frankly, seeing what's happening, seeing the abuses, seeing the crackdown," said Gregoire. While Washington and Rhode Island have been prodded into derailing their programs that promote safe access, the federal abuses and crackdown may be most pronounced in California, where the pressure from US Attorney threat letters to public officials has been further exacerbated by the manipulation of IRS Tax Code 280E  landlords and the pursuit of civil asset forfeiture even after evicting medical marijuana providers (a bizarre strategy if the feds are trying to encourage landlords to evict dispensary tenants). Similar abuses have been taking place throughout other parts of the country such as Colorado. Montana and Michigan. Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) had attempted to use the cloak of the federal clampdown to shut down her state's program until multiple lawsuits forced her to move forward. And just last week, Gov. Markell (D) of Delaware announced that his state's program would be indefinitely suspended in the due to pressure from the Department of Justice.

However, at least one state has decided to brave the federal clampdown and move forward with new legislation and regulations that promote safe access. Vermont, who quickly joined the petition, passed a law earlier in 2011 that would bring regulated dispensaries to the state. Undeterred by mounting federal intimidation, they published regulations in January announcing the fine details of the program which should be up and running later in 2012.

Americans for Safe Access asks you to reach out to your governor and ask them to join the governor's petition to reclassify marijuana. The fact the marijuana remains in Schedule I of the CSA is the greatest single reason why safe access remains allusive throughout much of the United States. ASA is working on several fronts to overcome the major obstacle to public health, from our own rescheduling petition to encouraging Congress to pass HR 1983. The more high profile public officials who challenge the absurd classification of marijuana under Schedule I, the sooner the federal government will have no choice but to act.

Further information:
Action Alert - Urge Your Governor to Join the Rescheduling Petition: http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/182/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=8970


Gregoire/Chafee press release: http://www.governor.wa.gov/news/news-view.asp?pressRelease=1809&newsType=1


Gregoire/Chafee rescheduling petition: http://www.governor.wa.gov/priorities/healthcare/petition/combined_document.pdf


DOJ letter to Governor Gregoire: http://safeaccessnow.org/downloads/DOJ_Threat_Letter_WA.pdf


DOJ letter to Governor Chafee: http://safeaccessnow.org/downloads/DOJ_Threat_Letter_RI.pdf


CRC rescheduling petition: http://www.drugscience.org/PDF/Petition_Final_2002.pdf