Safe Access News
In the August 2018 issue
- ASA Brings Model Cannabis Legislation to Lawmakers
- Disabilities Focus of Presentation, Outreach in Chicago
- ASA Science and Standards Work Has International Reach
- Upcoming ASA Events
- PFC Certifying Analytic Labs and other Cannabis Businesses
- Missouri Voters to Choose Between 3 Medical Cannabis Initiatives
- ASA Activist Profile, Nic Easley, Denver, Colorado
- ACTION ALERT: Register to Vote and Vote MMJ
From July 29 through August 2, Americans for Safe Access attended the annual National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL) in Los Angeles, California. We joined over 5,000 conference attendees (about 1,200 of which were state lawmakers or state legislative staff) to promote the goals of our End Pain, Not Lives Campaign.
For Immediate Release: August 1st, 2018
Contact: Dr. Jahan Marcu | 215-828-9183 | Jahan@safeaccessnow.orgCalifornia Laboratory Achieves National Certification
Los Angeles, CA – Americans for Safe Access (ASA) is pleased to announce that Consumer Safety Analytics (AKA CannaSafe) Laboratory of Van Nuys, California has been certified for laboratory analysis of medical cannabis products under ASA’s Patient Focused Certification (PFC) program. PFC is a project of ASA, and the only nonprofit, third-party certification program for the medical cannabis industry based on quality standards issued by the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) and the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia (AHP).
By Elizabeth Koh for the Tampa Bay Times
"Surterra will comply with all of the regulations set forth by the Department of Health in order to ensure that Floridians continue to receive the safest, most naturally derived treatments to enable health and well-being, as recommended by a doctor," said company spokeswoman Kim Hawkes in a statement. "We are going above and beyond simply ensuring good manufacturing practices and are pursuing American's For Safe Access' [ASA] Patient Focused Certification Program, which is a standard that is superior to what is currently required by Florida statute."
In the July 2018 Issue:
- FDA Approves First Medicine Derived from Cannabis
- World Health Organization Takes First Steps to Reschedule Cannabis
- New Bipartisan Congressional Bill to Respect State Cannabis Laws
- Oklahoma Voters Pass Robust Medical Cannabis Initiative
- Activist Profile: Christy and Mark Zartler, ASA 2018 Courage Award
- ACTION ALERT: Urge Congress to Pass the STATES Act
By Thomas Mitchell for Westword
"Question 788 is a tremendous victory for patients and for access to medical cannabis. We hope we can replicate this success in Utah and Missouri this November when those states will vote on improving their medical cannabis programs,"- David Mangone
Washington, DC — The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a drug that contains an active ingredient derived from the cannabis plant. The drug, Epidiolex, an oral solution containing cannabidiol (CBD), will be the first and only FDA-approved CBD drug on the market. The FDA has approved Epidiolex for use only in the treatment of two rare seizure disorders (Dravet Syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome), and is the first FDA-approved treatment for patients suffering from Dravet syndrome. While there have been other medications that mimic the natural cannabinoids found in cannabis that have received FDA approval, Epidiolex is the first non-synthetic medication to be derived directly from the cannabis plant. The FDA’s approval of Epidiolex shows that it is possible to make medications from complex plant extracts.
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.
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.
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.”
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.”
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.
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.
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 equal and safe access to medical cannabis. Join us and tell your Member of Congress to support equal access for all veterans!
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).
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.
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:
- Patients' Rights and Civil Protections From Discrimination
- Access to Medicine
- Ease of Navigation
- Consumer Safety and Provider Requirements