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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.

ASA Activist Newsletter - May 2018

Wed, 05/02/2018 - 15:10

In the May 2018 Issue:

  • ASA’s National Unity Conference Starts May 22
  • ASA Submits Guidance to FDA for International Rescheduling
  • Three States Expand Medical Cannabis Programs
  • Voters in Oklahoma and Utah to Decide Safe Access
  • Activist Profile: Jennifer Collins, Virginia
  • ACTION ALERT: Join ASA in Lobbying Congress on May 23

5 tips for new cannabis patients

Tue, 05/01/2018 - 14:11

By Jon O'Connell for The Citizens' Voice

Pennsylvania’s newest industry comes with a learning curve.

More than 7,000 people now carry medical marijuana ID cards to treat illness with cannabis, and thousands more seek them. However, it remains a legal conundrum when it comes to federal law, and it’s still disparaged as weak science by some physicians. Uninformed patients risk getting frustrated or giving up without the right resources.

During the first hour of the Cannabis Learn conference Monday in Philadelphia, Jahan Marcu, Ph.D., chief scientific officer with Americans for Safe Access, and the organization’s associate director, Debbe Churgai, offered some starting guidelines for patients and their caregivers considering cannabis as a treatment option.

Protections Proposed for Vermont Medical Marijuana Users Who Need an Organ Transplant

Wed, 04/25/2018 - 14:32

By Sasha Goldstein for Seven Days

"There's always the concern that, if there's not a specific statute or guideline [granting protections], then the risk [of discrimination] remains," said David Mangone, legislative counsel at Americans for Safe Access, a Washington, D.C.-based organization that advocates for access to medical cannabis. The group recently graded every state's medical marijuana program and gave Vermont's a zero out of five for its organ transplant protections.

Why Athletes Are Ditching Ibuprofen for CBD

Tue, 04/24/2018 - 16:44

By Graham Averill for Outside

“There is overwhelming evidence that CBD can be effective for mitigating pain,” says Jahan Marcu, chief science officer with Americans for Safe Access, which works to legalize medical marijuana. “But we haven’t seen the full clinical trials necessary to understand exactly how it works.”

Experts React To Donald Trump’s Action To Protect Medical Marijuana

Mon, 04/23/2018 - 14:15

By Kyle Jaeger for High Times

In a statement Friday, Steph Sherer, executive director of Americans for Safe Access, noted the “tremendous amount of uncertainty from this administration regarding cannabis and how federal laws would be enforced against states that have lawful medical cannabis programs.”

But Sherer continued: “If the President intends to support a federalism-based solution, we are ready and willing to continue our efforts of ensuring that patients can access the medicine they need through robust state programs.”

ASA Submits Recommendations to FDA for International Rescheduling of Cannabis

Mon, 04/23/2018 - 10:40

This week, we submitted comments relating to the efficacy and medical usefulness of cannabis as a medical treatment. In early April, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a notice in the federal register asking for public comments on cannabis and its derivatives. These comments will help inform the response of the United States to the World Health Organization in potentially reclassifying cannabis.

Read ASA’s Comments Here

Local veteran hopeful about new medical marijuana pharmacy in SWLA

Thu, 04/19/2018 - 16:33

By Maranda Whittington for KPLC 7

Landry obtained a scholarship that will allow him to head to Washington D.C. next month to attend a unity conference with Americans for Safe Access.

He plans to march with other veterans supporting medical marijuana there as well.

Americans For Safe Access Responds to Trump’s Commitment to Respect State Cannabis Laws

Fri, 04/13/2018 - 16:12

Washington, DC — Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) revealed today that in a recent phone conversation with President Trump, the President expressed support for letting states decide their own policies when it comes to cannabis. Senator Gardner has been blocking the confirmation of key nominees to the Department of Justice since Attorney General Sessions rescinded the Cole Memorandum earlier this year. President Trump’s comments to Senator Gardner are in direct contrast of those previously stated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, including "good people don’t smoke marijuana."

ASA Activist Newsletter - April 2018

Fri, 04/13/2018 - 12:05

In the April 2018 Issue:

  • Congress Acts to Protect Patients from AG Sessions
  • Advocates Descend on Annual UN Drug Meeting
  • Two Studies Show Safe Access Reduces Prescription Opioid Use
  • ASA’s National Unity Conference is just 6 Weeks Away
  • ASA to Host New Patient Education Course
  • ASA Workshop at New York Abilities Expo
  • Maryland Patients Benefit from Cannabis Care Certification
  • ASA Education and Training Has Global Reach
  • Activist Profile: Lisa Sublett, Kansas
  • ACTION ALERT: Urge your Senators to support CARERS!

Research Continues to Show Benefits of Cannabis in Fighting the Opioid Crisis

Tue, 04/03/2018 - 12:52

Washington, DC —  New research has been released that further highlights the potential role of medical cannabis in combating the Nation’s opioid crisis . Two studies, published on April 2nd  by the Journal of the American Medical Association reveal a net decrease in opioid prescriptions in states with medical cannabis laws for Medicare and Medicaid populations.

Is Vaping Cannabis Safe?

Thu, 03/22/2018 - 15:18

By Kathleen Richards for East Bay Express

So how can consumers stay safe? [Dr. Jahan] Marcu recommends looking for a third-party seal of approval on products (such as PFC, or Patient Focused Certification, of which he is the director), critically reviewing the label (beware of propylene glycol), and not being afraid to ask the company questions about its ingredients and testing. Also, don't buy any product that doesn't come with storage and usage guidelines. And when it comes to using the device, don't inhale or hold down the button for too long because you may be smoking the concentrate. All that said, "true vaporizers are absolutely safe," he noted.

House Passes Budget with Medical Cannabis Protection Amendment

Thu, 03/22/2018 - 14:15

Media Advisory for: March 22, 2018
Contact: David Mangone | david@safeaccessnow.org | 202-618-6975

House Passes Budget with Medical Cannabis Protection Amendment Rohrabacher-Blumenauer Amendment will Protect Patients from AG Sessions until September

Washington, D.C. — Today, after months of debate and continuing resolutions, the House of Representatives passed its Appropriations package for the fiscal year of 2018. Unlike previous short term measures, this bill will fully fund the government through September 30, 2018. At over 2,200 pages the bill is a massive combination of funding outlays and policy. Due to the hard work of advocates the bill includes the text of the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment.

House Budget includes Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment!: Vote expected today!

Thu, 03/22/2018 - 11:57

After months of debate and continuing resolutions, the House of Representatives has finally unveiled its Appropriations package for the fiscal year of 2018. Unlike previous short term measures, this bill would fully fund the government through September 30, 2018. At over 2,200 pages the bill is a massive combination of funding outlays and policy. Due to the hard work of advocates like you, the bill includes the text of the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment!

U.S. Medical Marijuana States Report Card Published

Tue, 03/20/2018 - 12:27

By Gillian Jalimnson for Hemp Gazette

46 U.S. states and three territories now have medical cannabis laws – and they vary greatly. In what must have been a monumental effort, Americans for Safe Access recently graded them all on a 500-point scale.

The states and territories were graded on five general categories, each worth 100 points:

  • Patient Rights and Civil Protection
  • Access to Medicine
  • Ease of Navigation
  • Functionality
  • Consumer Safety and Provider Requirements


Criteria for scoring was based on a series of more than 100 public meetings across the U.S. as well as surveys of ASA’s 100,000+ members.

The Grades Are In: Best And Worst States For Marijuana Patients

Mon, 03/19/2018 - 13:06

By Terry Hacienda for The Fresh Toast

Seven states receive a B+ and 16 states (mostly from the South) flunk.

In a comprehensive, 187-page report on the status of access for medical marijuana patients in the US, seven states received a grade of B+, the highest score given this year.

California, Hawaii, Illinois, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio and Oregon were recognized as the best states for patients. Californi, Michigan and Illinois were repeat winners from last year.

The report, “Medical Marijuana Access in the United States,” was released by Americans For Safe Access, a 15-year-old organization whose mission is to “ensure safe and legal access to cannabis for therapeutic use and research.”

Patient-focused report graded medical marijuana programs. No states received an A.

Fri, 03/16/2018 - 11:45

By Bruce Kennedy for The Cannabist

Americans for Safe Access issues its annual state-by-state grades on medical cannabis laws and also calls on states to help combat the growing opioid crisis

None of the state medical marijuana laws adopted thus far in the U.S. can be considered ideal from a patient’s standpoint, and because of their patchwork nature, those laws do not function equitably and are often poorly designed, according to a new report by Americans for Safe Access.

The advocacy group’s new 2018 annual report, “Marijuana Access in the United States, A Patient-Focused Analysis of the Patchwork of State Laws,” evaluates every state with any medical marijuana laws on a 500-point scale.

Of the 46 states and three U.S. territories with some form of a medical marijuana program — covering about 95 percent of the country’s population — none received an “A” rating.

Sweet Releaf: The Latest Cannabis App Is Changing How Patients Receive Their Plant Knowledge

Wed, 03/14/2018 - 11:54

By Kelly Johnson for Big Buds

It’s amazing what can happen in just two years. The recent partnership announced between the cannabis app Releaf and the nonprofit Americans for Safe Access (ASA) is proof that patience, and dedication to the consumer, is a virtue in the green space.

“Americans for Safe Access has been an important champion for cannabis patients since 2002. [Releaf is] very excited to work with such a well-respected organization, and we’re honored that they recognize our sincere passion for empowering patients,” says Franco Brockelman, CEO and founder of Releaf.

The joint venture between the Washington, D.C.-based app and the longtime cannabis patient nonprofit organization will improve how users and dispensaries share cannabis knowledge, as well as the quality of medical data for researchers across America.

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