Patients, Friends and Activists –
Obama’s administration has taken its gloves off. After giving the medical cannabis community a false sense of security, Obama’s administration continues to ignore state laws, intimidate state officials, and raid medical cannabis patients and facilities.
This month, ASA launched our new national campaign, and we are sending a clear message to President Obama from the medical cannabis community: We are sick and tired. We are suffering from chronic and debilitating conditions, and we are weary of false promises that do nothing to protect our rights as patients.
ASA’s Sick and Tired Campaign involves approaching the federal government from several angles, and we need your help to reach every corner of Obama’s administration.
Today, ASA released the Obama Report Card. This details federal interference in medical cannabis laws under the Obama administration, and Obama fails. Even though he promised to not use federal resources to interfere with states’ medical cannabis laws, Obama’s administration has continued raiding legal patients and facilities. Additionally, the administration has launched new tactics and constructed new roadblocks for patients, including issues related to patient privacy, access, banking, taxation, and threats of filing suite against state employees who participate in upholding state law.
Join us in calling on Obama to keep his promise. Sign ASA's petition urging Obama to end federal interference in existing medical cannabis programs, and legitimize medical cannabis for the sick and dying across the country.
But we’re not stopping there. ASA is hosting a National Day of Action on May 2, centered on Dale Schafer and Mollie Fry’s surrender date in Sacramento, CA. Mollie and Dale are legal patients and were arrested and convicted without a defense under President Bush. They appealed their sentence, which was vigorously fought by the Obama administration in the Ninth Circuit. Mollie and Dale's sentences were upheld in November. Additionally, a clemency petition was filed this week in an effort to shorten Mollie's sentence. Please mark your calendar to join ASA on May 2 and keep an eye out for Information about a rally near you.
ASA’s Sick and Tired Campaign will bring new accountability to Obama’s administration. Please help ASA hold Obama to his word and protect patients across the nation.
We are sick and tired, but we won’t give up until there’s safe access.
On The Web:
DC: Mayor to implement medical marijuana
Thanks to everyone who took action on our alert and contacted the mayor’s office!
We did it! Mayor Vince Gray announced today that the District will be implementing its medical marijuana program. The calls you made and the emails you sent in response to last week’s alert no doubt played a role in today’s announcement and helped illustrate the power of getting involved with local government.
The final regulations are scheduled to be included in the April 15 issue of the DC Register. Shortly thereafter, those interested in opening one of the five dispensaries and 10 cultivation centers in the District will be able to submit applications to the Department of Health. Seriously ill patients whose doctors recommend marijuana will also be able to send in their applications to become registered patients, although they will not be able to legally possess marijuana unless it was purchased from a licensed dispensary.
MPP, with your support, has been fighting for years to see this law take effect. Thanks to the District of Columbia Patients’ Cooperative, and to everyone who took the time to reach out to the mayor’s office, and congratulations to the patients who have waited all too long for this day. It’s been a pleasure working by your sides to make sure patients will finally be protected in the District.
Marijuana Policy Project
Florida Political Action Committee Protests Gov. Rick Scott's New Drug Testing Policy by Sending Him Urine
Our friends at the International Harm Reduction Association are holding their 22nd international conference -- this time in the Arab world, Beirut, Lebanon. The conference home page has a Twitter stream, and there are updates and photos being posted as well. Check it out -- I wish I were there, and you should too. :)
28 Raids in 24 Hours!? Tell Attorney General Holder to Stop Federal Raids of Medical Marijuana Dispensaries (Action Alert)
28 raids in 24 hours.That's the unfortunate reality for medical marijuana patients in Montana and California.
Federal agents shutdown 26 dispensaries across Montana and 2 in the medical marijuana sanctuary city of West Hollywood, California this month in their latest attack on patients and legitimate businesses.
The DEA isn't even supposed to be conducting these raids in the first place. In 2009, Attorney General Eric Holder issued a memo ordering an end to federal raids of medical marijuana dispensaries. Yet, despite his memo, federal agents have continued these operations sporadically for years, without regard for patients', states' or business' rights.
Attorney General Eric Holder clearly doesn't have control of his own cavalry. This assault on patients rights has to stop now.
But is Holder being dishonest and hypocritical? Or does he simply lack strong leadership among US Attorneys General?
A memo issued on February 1st by US Attorney Melinda Haag (who, ironically, represents Northern California) directly contradicts Holder’s edict. She declares that ANYONE engaging in the buying or selling of marijuana, regardless of their protection under state laws, will be punished by the federal government.
That doesn’t just mean dispensaries and the patients who rely on them, but goes as far as to include landlords, financiers and property owners as well. It’s a full-court press designed to intimidate supporters of reform and ostracize patients seeking their prescribed medications.
This attitude puts lives in jeopardy and undermines our democratic institutions by foiling state attempts to provide solutions for their own people. We need to put an end to the federal harassment of medical marijuana patients now.
This kind of official hypocrisy at the expense of our most vulnerable citizens is a disgrace to the notion of basic human rights everywhere. Thank you for standing up for a patients’ basic rights to treatment.
Thanks for all you do.
Just Say Now.com
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 28, 2011
Medical Marijuana Study Bill Passes Maryland House
Panel of Experts to Advise Legislature on State Medical Marijuana Policy
CONTACT: Morgan Fox, communications manager………………………….202-905-2031 or email@example.com
ANNAPOLIS – By a vote of 105-29, the Maryland House of Delegates passed HB 291 today, a bill that would create an 18-member panel to advise the legislature on the best way to create a medical marijuana program in 2012. HB 291was amended from an earlier version of the bill, which would have set up a comprehensive medical marijuana program, protecting state-registered patients from arrest and allowing pharmacies and state-regulated dispensing centers to provide patients with medical marijuana. The bill, sponsored by the only physician in the General Assembly, Del. Dan Morhaim, was amended after Health Secretary Josh Sharfstein advocated a “yellow light” approach to medical marijuana.
The panel would be comprised of doctors, patients, law enforcement officials, and experts on medical marijuana policy. They will make recommendations to the legislature on how to safely and effectively implement a well-regulated medical marijuana program. Last Thursday, the Maryland Senate passed SB 308, which included the study language, as well as immediate protections for patients. SB 308 would allow patients who use marijuana to treat medical conditions to use a medical necessity defense in court. The Senate approved the bill by a 41-6 vote, which included a majority of both Democrat and Republican senators.
"While we had hoped to see a comprehensive medical marijuana law on par with those in 15 other states, it’s encouraging that the legislature will at least make measured but real progress toward the goal of protecting patients from arrest and providing legal access to doctor-recommended medicine,” said Dan Riffle, legislative analyst for the Marijuana Policy Project. “We're also relieved to see that the Senate has decided to remove criminal penalties from patients who are currently using medical marijuana while they wait for a comprehensive program to be put in place. It’s imperative that the House do the same."
Medical marijuana is permitted in 15 states and the District of Columbia, and many more are currently considering legislation to allow its use under tightly controlled conditions, including Delaware and Connecticut. Such laws already exist in Rhode Island and New Jersey, where medical marijuana distribution centers were recently licensed by the states and should be up and running later this year.
With more than 124,000 members and supporters nationwide, the Marijuana Policy Project is the largest marijuana policy reform organization in the United States. For more information, please visit www.mpp.org.