Pages tagged "reschedule"

  • Appellate decision puts the ball in your court

    The US appellate court in Washington, DC, denied our appeal to reschedule cannabis under federal law today, agreeing with the Drug Enforcement Administration's (DEA) position that "adequate and well-controlled studies" on the medical efficacy of medical cannabis do not exist. Americans for Safe Access (ASA) strongly disagrees with the court’s opinion. Our briefs referenced two hundred peer-reviewed scientific studies proving the medical value of cannabis.

    The Obama Administration keeps changing the definition of medical efficacy.  Politics have trumped medical science on this issue. ASA can point to a research approval process for medical cannabis, controlled by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), which is unique, overly rigorous, and hinders meaningful therapeutic research. ASA argued in its appeal brief that the DEA has no "license to apply different criteria to marijuana than to other drugs, ignore critical scientific data, misrepresent social science research, or rely upon unsubstantiated assumptions, as the DEA has done in this case."

    The decision in Americans for Safe Access v. Drug Enforcement Administration is disappointing, but not the end of the road. ASA will seek an en banc review, asking all nine judges to review the two-to-one decision by a three-judge panel that heard oral arguments in October of last year. If the full nine-member panel does not reverse the decision, we will ask the US Supreme Court to hear the case. In the meantime, the ball is in your court. We must now turn to Congress to do what the courts have not. ASA is calling on patients and advocates to join us in Washington, DC, February 22-25, for our national conference and historic citizen lobby day.

    The conference, called “Bridging the Gap between Public and Policy,” is a chance to network with other activists from around the country, attend panels and workshops to improve your skills and increase your knowledge, and to engage in direct citizen-lobbying efforts in the halls of Congress on Monday, February 25. Our goals are to bring medical cannabis into the mainstream political conversation in the nation’s capitol and to send an army of motivated and empowered activists back home to work at the local and state level. The courts may not be ready to acknowledge that cannabis is medicine – but we are going to be sure Congress and the Obama Administration get the message. Do not miss your chance to be a part of it. Register for the conference today!

    ASA’s national conference is sponsored by the International Association of Cannabinoid Medicines, Patients Out of Time, the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, Veterans for Medical Marijuana Access, the American Herbal Products Association, and Students for Sensible Drug Policy. Scholarships are made possible by a generous matching funds contribution from Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap.

    See you in Washington, DC!
  • 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:

    Gregoire/Chafee press release:

    Gregoire/Chafee rescheduling petition:

    DOJ letter to Governor Gregoire:

    DOJ letter to Governor Chafee:

    CRC rescheduling petition: