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Cannabis: A Different Kind Of Treatment

Fri, 06/22/2018 - 11:49

This blog post is crossposted from the Releaf App website.

Thanks to the results from recently-permitted scientific studies and the untiring work of cannabis activist groups, more and more people are beginning to accept that cannabis is a successful form of treatment for certain medical conditions.  Despite this, many patients out there are still hesitant to try it. Their reasoning may stem from religious beliefs, or perhaps because they’re fearful of losing their job.  Oftentimes, however, patients are wary of things that seem to be outside of the current medical system and choose not to explore the benefits of medical cannabis.

Five Things All New Medical Cannabis Patients Should Know

Fri, 06/22/2018 - 11:41

Although there are medical cannabis programs of some kind in 47 states, DC, Guam, and Puerto Rico, medical cannabis still remains a mystery to the vast majority of Americans today. Using medical cannabis is an approach that is supported by research and medical professionals, and has demonstrated positive public health outcomes. While it may feel like an overwhelming experience for many new patients, it does not have to be, to help new patients feel comfortable entering the world of medical cannabis, Americans for Safe Access (ASA), the country’s largest medical cannabis patient advocacy group created Cannabis Care Certification, a medical cannabis education program for patients and caregivers. To help you start out this process, here is a list of top 5 things that all patients should know when considering medical cannabis as part of their health care regime.   

Don’t Call it a Dispensary- Why Michigan Takes Marijuana Semantics Seriously

Mon, 06/18/2018 - 11:17

By Lauren Williams for Marijuana.com

“… It is critical that patients have clarity as to where they can obtain medicine,” said David Mangone, director of governmental affairs and counsel for the non-profit Americans for Safe Access. “It is too early to tell if this will adversely affect patient access. However, banning terms like prescription is good policy, because doctors can’t actually write prescriptions for medical cannabis under federal law, only provide recommendations.”

UN Drug Committee Declares Cannabis Is An Effective, ‘Relatively Safe Drug’

Fri, 06/15/2018 - 14:49

By Steve Elliott for Herb

“The current international policies on cannabis use are outdated and are having a detrimental impact on patients in the US and worldwide,” said Steph Sherer, executive director of Americans for Safe Access (ASA). “These policies do not reflect the reality of over 30 countries globally that have passed medical cannabis laws.”

Pass the STATES Act!

Mon, 06/11/2018 - 13:36

The STATES Act puts cannabis policy where it belongs; with the individual states rather than with the federal government. Since 1996, states have defied the federal government and created medical cannabis programs to help patients. The STATES Act allows states to set their own policies for patients without federal interference.

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New Legislation: STATES Act to Respect State Cannabis Laws

Mon, 06/11/2018 - 10:20

The STATES Act allows each state, the District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto Rico, as well as several tribal governments, to determine their own policy when it comes to cannabis laws without interference from the Department of Justice or other federal agencies. This bill does not legalize cannabis at the federal level but rather allows states the power to set policies approving or prohibiting cannabis. The STATES Act also resolves many of the issues of taxes and banking that have hindered the medical cannabis industry.

Contact your representatives and senators right now and tell them to cosponsor the STATES Act so we can finally end the federal state conflict!

Jeff Sessions Is Really Going to Hate the World Health Organization’s First-Ever Marijuana Review

Fri, 06/08/2018 - 11:51

By Jackie Flynn Mogensen for Mother Jones

The World Health Organization met in Geneva, Switzerland, this week to review a first-of-its-kind report on the health and safety of cannabis, and President Donald Trump’s Justice Department will almost certainly not be thrilled with the report’s finding that marijuana is a “relatively safe drug.” 

The report, compiled by a team of international cannabis experts and presented to the Expert Committee on Drug Dependence, is the first of many steps by the WHO to ultimately deliver a recommendation to the UN secretary-general on the “need for and level of international control” of cannabis, which could have a major impact on marijuana legislation internationally.  Cannabis is currently classified under the same category as heroin and cocaine.

“If the scheduling of cannabis changes at an international level, there’s nothing that will happen immediately,” says Steph Sherer, executive director of Americans for Safe Access, a cannabis advocacy group. Sherer also testified at the committee meeting this week. She told Mother Jones, however, that a scheduling change would indicate “a global openness to utilizing cannabis therapeutics in natural health strategies.”

Veterans Deserve Safe Access to Medical Cannabis

Fri, 06/08/2018 - 10:44

Veterans deserve equal and safe access to medical cannabis. Join us and tell your Member of Congress to support equal access for all veterans!

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Senators Warren and Gardner Release STATES Act to Respect State Cannabis Laws

Thu, 06/07/2018 - 13:53

Washington, DC — U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Cory Gardner (R-CO) introduced the Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States Act (STATES Act) to respect state determinations about cannabis policy. The bill was also introduced in the House of Representatives by David Joyce (R-OH) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR).

With Trump’s Support, STATES Act Could End Nationwide Cannabis Prohibition

Thu, 06/07/2018 - 11:39

A bipartisan group of senators and representatives introduced a historic bill this morning that could change the cannabis legalization landscape across the United States.

n a move that’s been anticipated for weeks, Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Rep. David Joyce (R-OH) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) introduced the Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Entrusting States (STATES) Act this morning on Capitol Hill. The measure would exempt state-legal marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act, allowing every state to legalize and regulate cannabis (or keep it illegal) as they see fit.

Send the State of the States Report to Your Legislators

Thu, 06/07/2018 - 10:53

After hosting scores of community forums across the U.S. to gather input from patients on the issues most important to them, ASA created a matrix to analyze medical cannabis laws in order to evaluate and grade each component based on patient needs. As more states adopt and improve medical cannabis laws, we hope that state legislators and regulators will use this matrix to help them design comprehensive, helpful laws for patients, particularly laws that will help reduce the number of preventable opioid deaths.

The report uses a point system to grade each state’s medical marijuana law on:

  1. Patients' Rights and Civil Protections From Discrimination
  2. Access to Medicine
  3. Ease of Navigation
  4. Functionality
  5. Consumer Safety and Provider Requirements

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ASA Activist Newsletter - June 2018

Wed, 06/06/2018 - 18:18

In the June 2018 Issue:

  • ASA Brings Citizen Lobbyists to Capitol Hill
  • Opioid Crisis Focus of Sixth Annual Unity Conference 
  • PFC Federal Raid Training Prepares Industry
  • Utah Medical Cannabis Initiative Overcomes Opposition
  • Pennsylvania Expands Qualifying Products and Conditions
  • Activist Profiles: 2018 ASA Excellence Award Winners
  • ACTION ALERT: Veterans Deserve Safe Access to Medical Cannabis

International Medical Cannabis Advocates Address WHO Committee to Reschedule Cannabis

Wed, 06/06/2018 - 15:17

This week medical cannabis patient advocacy groups from Argentina, Mexico, Uruguay, France, Germany, New Zealand, the Netherlands, South Africa, and the United States travelled to Geneva, Switzerland to present to world leaders their recommendations for rescheduling cannabis at the 40th meeting of the World Health Organization's (WHO) Expert Committee on Drug Dependence (ECDD).

The air was filled with excitement that the ECDD was finally beginning the process of looking at new information regarding cannabis as medicine. A process that has been long overdue considering the original scheduling of cannabis was created based on a report produced by the Health Committee of the League of Nations back in 1935. International bodies have been calling on the WHO to address the scheduling of cannabis for almost a decade, and the WHO finally listened.

Don't Let Jeff Sessions Win!

Wed, 06/06/2018 - 11:04

Contact your Senators and Representative today to ask them to ensure the CJS Medical Marijuana Amendment is included in the FY2018 appropriations package AND end the federal conflict once and for all by sponsoring the CARERS Act.

TAKE ACTION

The World Health Organization Takes First Steps to Reschedule Cannabis

Tue, 06/05/2018 - 12:11

International Medical Cannabis Advocates Address WHO Committee Set to Advise UN

Geneva, Switzerland — Yesterday, Americans for Safe Access (ASA), along with members of the International Medical Cannabis Patients Coalition (IMCPC), attended and delivered testimony at the 40th meeting of the World Health Organization's (WHO) Expert Committee on Drug Dependence (ECDD) being held in Geneva, Switzerland, June 4-7th, 2018.

In a milestone moment for medical cannabis patients, the ECDD will be reviewing and assessing the medical uses and harms of Cannabis, in order to recommend the most appropriate classification to be applied internationally. The agenda of the meeting is dedicated to carrying out pre-reviews of cannabis and cannabis-related substances. Members of ASA and IMCPC produced and delivered 1 Critical Review and 3 Pre-Review reports on Cannabidiol (CBD), Cannabis plant and cannabis resin, Extracts and tinctures of cannabis, and Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which included references and recommendations for the committee to use in their review.

Synthetic Weed Is Back, Bigger Than Ever, and Scary as Hell

Tue, 06/05/2018 - 11:40

By Christopher Moraff for The Daily Beast

Dr. Jahan Marcu, Senior Scientist at Americans for Safe Access, a marijuana advocacy group, calls the reemergence of synthetic cannabinoids a “product safety nightmare.”
“It’s like ordering a drink and not knowing if it’s 0 percent alcohol or full proof,” he said.

Legal weed advocates believe victory is near in Washington

Thu, 05/24/2018 - 16:16

By Jonathan D. Salant for NJ.Com

"Public opinion is changing on this issue," said Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., the chief sponsor of the Medical Cannabis Research Act, which authorizes research into the medical benefits of marijuana. "Congress is behind. We need to catch up.
"Two pro-marijuana groups, the National Cannabis Industry Association and Americans for Safe Access, held press conferences and met with federal lawmakers on Capitol Hill.

Medical Cannabis Patients, Medical Professionals, Advocates, and Industry Leaders Converge at National Medical Cannabis Unity Conference in D.C.

Thu, 05/17/2018 - 14:14

May 22 - May 25, 2018
Contact: Debbie Churgai | 202-857-4272 x.8 | debbie@safeaccessnow.org

WASHINGTON, DC — Starting on Tuesday, May 22nd and running until Friday, May 25th, medical cannabis patients, advocates, medical and legal professionals, and industry business leaders will gather at Americans for Safe Access’ (ASA) Annual National Medical Cannabis Unity conference in Washington, D.C. to learn and exchange ideas about how to navigate and steer medical cannabis policy in this ever-changing political landscape.

What: 6th Annual National Medical Cannabis Unity Conference
Where: Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, DC,
When: Tuesday, May 22nd through Friday, May 25th

This year's conference will focus on the life-saving role that medical cannabis can play in the fight against the Opioid Epidemic. In 2017 ASA launched the End Pain, Not Lives campaign, to help protect current medical cannabis programs, remove barriers for people with pain, chronic pain, and Opioid Use Disorder, and to educate medical professionals, service providers, and patients about medical cannabis and pain.

How to Become a Cannabis Advocate

Tue, 05/15/2018 - 15:31

By Herbert Fuego for Westword

Most people thought the fight was over when Colorado voters legalized commercial cannabis in 2012, but that victory led to a series of smaller battles over such issues as social consumption, home-grow limitations and industry expansion. Proposals continue to pop up on both the local and state level that could advance or limit your rights as a cannabis consumer, patient, grower or business owner. Want to make sure things go in the right direction? Here's how to become a cannabis advocate:

Marijuana delivery to all of California? Measure would expand access

Fri, 05/04/2018 - 10:14

By Taryn Luna for The Sacramento Bee

There's a problem with access to legal weed in California, and a Senate bill may help solve it.

A 2016 voter-approved measure to legalize marijuana in the state gave cities and counties the authority to pass regulations outlining the types of weed businesses that can operate within their borders. With limited time to craft rules before the law took effect at the start of the year, many towns approved outright bans of all marijuana businesses.

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