Americans For Safe Access

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  • WHO Recommends Cannabis Rescheduling February 1, 2019 10:54 pm
    This morning the World Health Organization (WHO) made an announcement that has the potential to change the status of medical cannabis globally. The WHO has determined that cannabis and cannabis resin should be removed from Schedule IV of the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs (which is different than the U.S. Controlled Substances Act scheduling) and divided into more specific categories in lower schedules. For, example compound pharmaceutical preparations containing THC  would be placed in Schedule III and CBD preparations would be removed from scheduling entirely.
    David Mangone
  • Trump Administration’s First National Drug Control Strategy Emphasizes Opioid Crisis, Makes No Mention of State-Legal Cannabis Regimes February 1, 2019 10:35 pm
    The Trump Administration’s White House Office of Drug Control Policy released its first National Drug Control Strategy on Thursday, January 31, 2019. The document outlines President Trump’s priorities regarding drug trafficking and drug use and provides strategic direction to federal agencies involved in preventing initiates to illicit drug use, treating those suffering from substance abuse disorder, and enforcing laws regarding illicit drug production, trafficking, and distribution.
    Sean Khalepari
  • The Top Ten Medical Cannabis Developments of 2018 December 28, 2018 3:10 pm
    It has been an exciting year in the world of cannabis reform. From studies that underscore the therapeutic potential of cannabis to political changes that bode well for patients and consumers, there is much to celebrate. Before we close the books on 2018, let’s take a look back at ten of the most significant developments over the past year from ASA’s perspective and consider their impact.
    Sean Khalepari
  • What Does a Government Shutdown Mean for Medical Cannabis? December 21, 2018 7:32 pm
    If you have seen the news lately, you know that the possibility of a partial government shutdown is looming. Although Congress has passed funding extensions, the President is threatening to veto any appropriations packages that do not contain sufficient funding for border security. Without further action, much government funding will end at 11:59 PM on Friday, December 21, meaning that many non-essential government operations and agencies will be suspended until a budget is passed. This would NOT include operations at the Department of Justice (DOJ) as it is considered essential.
    Sean Khalepari
  • World Health Organization Keeps Patients Waiting December 7, 2018 9:13 pm
    Despite the anticipation of a major announcement  at the 61st Commission on Narcotic Drugs relating to the international scheduling of cannabis, no announcement came from the World Health Organization (WHO) today. Many expected the WHO to issue a recommendation on its findings of the first ever critical review of cannabis, however the WHO delayed its recommendation saying that it needed more time to review its findings.
    David Mangone
  • Medical Cannabis in the 2018 Midterm Elections November 9, 2018 7:20 pm
    This week has been big for cannabis in electoral politics. Thanks to Tuesday’s election, thirty-three states now have a comprehensive medical cannabis program. Ballot victories in Missouri and Utah transitioned these states’ low-THC CBD programs to significantly broader access. Voters in eleven Wisconsin counties and one city approved non-binding referendums supporting medical cannabis legislation.  Michigan passed an initiative that legalized the adult use of cannabis.
    David Mangone
  • Connecting with Lawmakers at NCSL August 7, 2018 8:49 pm
    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.
    David Mangone
  • Cannabis: A Different Kind Of Treatment June 22, 2018 3:49 pm
    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.
    Releaf App
  • Five Things All New Medical Cannabis Patients Should Know June 22, 2018 3:41 pm
    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.   
    Debbie Churgai
  • International Medical Cannabis Advocates Address WHO Committee to Reschedule Cannabis June 6, 2018 7:17 pm
    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.
    Debbie Churgai
  • ASA Submits Recommendations to FDA for International Rescheduling of Cannabis April 23, 2018 2:40 pm
    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
    David Mangone
  • House Budget includes Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment!: Vote expected today! March 22, 2018 3:57 pm
    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!
    David Mangone
  • Advocates Descend Upon Annual Meeting of the CND in Vienna March 13, 2018 7:19 pm
    This week the United Nations (UN) Committee on Narcotic Drugs (CND) has their annual meetings in Vienna. The CND is responsible for implementing international drug control treaties as well as the scheduling of drugs. The CND makes decisions about scheduling new substances as well as changing the scheduling. The CND base these decisions on recommendations from the World Health Organization (WHO). The WHO makes their recommendations on the scheduling of drugs only after the Expert Committee on Drug Dependence (ECDD) prepares a critical review document. Today’s agenda for the CND delegation includes the “Implementation of the international drug control treaties,” where they will discuss “changes in the scope of controlled substances” and “international cooperation to ensure the availability of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances for medical and scientific purposes while preventing their diversion.”
    Steph Sherer
  • 2018 States of States Report: Frequently Asked Questions February 28, 2018 4:26 pm
    This week Americans for Safe Access released “Medical Marijuana Access in the United States: A Patient-Focused Analysis of the Patchwork of State Laws.” The report examines the status of states that have passed some form of medical marijuana laws and grades them on a 500 point scale based on how well their current law and regulations accommodate patient needs. The report reviews existing laws and regulations and laws passed in between January 1, 2017 and December 31, 2017, giving states letter grades from “A” to “F.”  Unlike previous versions of this report, states are urged to begin to use medical cannabis as a tool to fight the opioid crisis in the areas of improvement section.
    David Mangone
  • Virginia: A Path Forward for Conservative States February 9, 2018 4:51 pm
    On Monday, February 5th, with Americans for Safe Access (ASA) patients, families, and advocates watching in the gallery above, the Senate of the conservative Virginia General Assembly, passed SB726 40-0 after passing its companion bill through the House of Delegates 98-0.  The bill allows all physicians to recommend Cannabidiol (CBD) and Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THC-A) oils to any patients for whom they feel the oils could help their conditions. Virginia’s Governor Ralph Northam has said that he will sign the legislation when it comes before him.
    Elizabeth Collins
  • Honoring Dennis Peron January 30, 2018 9:33 pm
    The medical cannabis community is mourning the death of medical cannabis pioneer Dennis Peron, who died on Saturday at the age of seventy-two. Dennis was the founder of the legendary San Francisco Cannabis Buyers Club in San Francisco and a crusader for the right to safe access to medical cannabis in California. Called the “Father of Medical Marijuana,” he inspired the grassroots movement that adopted Proposition 215 legalizing medical cannabis in California in 1996.
    Don Duncan
  • New Memo from Congressional Research Service January 16, 2018 4:42 pm
    The Congressional Research Service (CRS) released a memorandum analyzing the Justice Department’s Decision to rescind Obama-era guidance on federal cannabis policy including the Cole Memo, the Ogden Memos,  the Wilkinson memo on cannabis on tribal lands and the FinCen guidance which created policies for financial institutions interacting with cannabis businesses. CRS is a non-partisan office in the Library of Congress that provides legislative advice and analysis to both parties in a neutral way.
    David Mangone
  • The​ ​Second​ ​Amendment​ ​and​ ​Medical​ ​Cannabis​ ​Patients December 20, 2017 6:18 pm
    In a 1755 letter to the Pennsylvania General Assembly Ben Franklin wrote  “those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." However, while its original context, which related to tax policy, may not apply, the words lend themselves to a conversation that lawmakers should be having. How should our country address liberty, but also safety, when it comes to firearms and cannabis?
    David Mangone
  • Safe for Now (But Not For Long) December 8, 2017 9:21 pm
    Yesterday afternoon, both the House of Representatives and the Senate voted on H.J. Res. 123, a Continuing Resolution that keeps the Government open through December 22, 2017. President Trump signed it into law this morning. H.J. Res 123 continues to fund the Federal Government at existing levels and includes all policy provisions as the previous budget. This includes the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment which is the only thing protecting medical cannabis patients from federal interference and prosecution.
    David Mangone
  • Kettle Falls Five Matriarch Advocates for CJS Medical Marijuana Amendment in DC November 18, 2017 12:19 am
    The last 5 years have been a nightmare for Rhonda Firestack-Harvey, who is well known among medical cannabis advocates as a member of the Kettle Falls Five. For those unfamiliar with the story, Rhonda and her late husband Larry’s property in Washington State, near the town of Kettle Falls was raided in 2012 by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) for growing medical cannabis.
    Elizabeth Collins