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Oregon Medical Marijuana Program 101

Learn the program, learn the law...attend this meeting brought to you by Oregon NORML. In order to attend, you must be a cardholder in the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program. That card can be a patient, or a caregiver, or a grower, but you must have a card. If you're a patient in a wheelchair, for example, and you bring someone to help you with mobility, that person must have a caregiver card to enter. No card, no entry! As always, you must be in line for the meeting and inside before noon -- the doors lock at noon and no one is admitted after noon. For more details, and frequently asked questions, see
Sat, 02/28/2009 - 12:00pm - 3:37pm
700 NE Dekum
Portland, OR 97211
United States

Medical Marijuana Week Sat/Sun: Read the Paper, and Respond!

Read the Paper, and Respond!
Medical Marijuana Week - Saturday/Sunday February 21-22

Dear ASA Supporter,

This weekend when you’re reading the Sunday paper, flip to the Letters to the Editor section and skim the opinions of some readers. The Letters to the Editor (LTE’s) section is one of the most widely read, and its how others learn about what issues are important in their area. As someone who cares about medical cannabis, it’s up to you to write one in support! Take some time on Sunday to write and submit a brief LTE to your local paper!

Letters to the Editor are usually short, only a few sentences or a couple paragraphs that stress an issue in a succinct way. Just a couple of talking points is all you need – and opportunities to write a good LTE are all around!

LTE’s that are most likely to get published are ones that “piggyback” off of current events already in the news. For instance, President Obama issued a White House statement earlier this month that was covered by numerous papers across the country. Now is a good time to send an LTE praising President Obama for his statement and connecting it to needed action by the community. Get talking points here!

Also, President Obama continues to appoint officials who will influence medical cannabis policy. Obama’s choice for Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), Gil Kerlikowske was the former Seattle Police Chief who worked under and in compliance with the medical cannabis laws of Washington State. It’s a great opportunity to get talking points and write an LTE!

ASA provides an excellen t tool to find contact information for papers in your area. All you have to do is put in your zip code! And also check out ASA’s site for tips on writing LTE’s and keeping them short, succinct, and to the point.

Keep an eye open for other opportunities to write a medical cannabis LTE. State laws, publicized arrests or raids of medical cannabis patients, caregivers, or collectives, public events or hearings related to the issue, and events hosted by the local ASA chapter – all are great subjects for LTE’s!

As a medical cannabis supporter, if you don’t raise your voice on this issue, no one else will. It’s up to you to bring medical cannabis to the attention of your community through local media! Good luck and get writing!


George Pappas
Field Coordinator
Americans for Safe Access

Fighting for Medical Marijuana

You Can Make a Difference


Dear friends,

Meet Nancy. She lives with multiple sclerosis and risks arrest every time she uses medical marijuana to relieve her symptoms. Watch this video and make a donation to join us in fighting for medical marijuana.

We are now in an all out push in the New Jersey legislature to relieve the suffering of many people, like Nancy, for whom currently available medicines just don't work. We have an important vote in the senate on Monday and then we'll take this fight to the assembly.


DPA Network already passed legislation -- with your help -- in New Mexico, protecting the right of critically ill patients to use medical marijuana with a doctor's recommendation.

Thirteen states currently allow the use of medical marijuana -- and you are a big part of why we've been so successful.

Please make a donation today. Let's do everything we can to relieve Nancy's suffering. Any amount will help. Bit by bit, state by state, together we are improving the lives of seriously ill patients around the country.


Ethan Nadelmann
Executive Director
Drug Policy Alliance Network

United States

Medical Marijuana Week, Friday: Connect with a Prisoner of Bush’s Other War

Connect with a Prisoner of Bush’s Other War
Medical Marijuana Week - Friday, February 20th

Dear ASA Supporter,

On February 5th, the White House issued a statement of President Obama’s position on ending federal interference in state medical cannabis laws. But this still leaves innocent people in prison who would have been protected by their state laws, if they had not been raided by the policies of George W. Bush. They’re still in prison, and they need to know we’re behind them. Today, write a short note to let them know they are not alone.

There are many people currently serving time in federal prison for crimes that would have been protected by the medical cannabis laws in their states. Check ASA’s website for a list of individuals currently serving time. You’ll be able to read their stories and write to an individual whose situation really catches your attention.

Find the mailing addresses for these medical cannabis caregiver prisoners here, along with some helpful tips for writing to inmates in federal prison.

When writing to inmates, there are a couple of things to keep in mind:

1.    Don’t write about anything illegal or incriminating in the letters

2.    Be yourself, focus on giving them sympathy and emotional support, and try to be understanding about what they may be going through.

3.    Use common sense and be forward and clear with your intentions

It is not only those who are currently serving time that need our support, but also those who have yet to be sentenced or who are currently awaiting trial. If, as Obama says, the federal government stops undermining state medical cannabis laws – then what does that mean for those “in limbo;” those who have already fallen victim to George W. Bush’s war on innocent Americans? Get a list of upcoming court cases here – where you’ll also find additional details and information on individual cases.

In addition, call President Obama to tell him about the status of these cases and ask him to grant pardons or clemency to these individuals. Call 202-456-1111 and use this sample script:

Hi, my name is _____________ and I live in __________. I would like to thank President Obama for agreeing to end federal interference in states with medical cannabis laws. It is a much needed step forward and will help alleviate the suffering of hundreds of thousands of Americans. However, there are still many individuals currently serving time in federal prisons or awaiting sentences from federal prosecutions for crimes that would have been protected by the laws in their own states. I ask that the President consider the fate of these people, and whether or not federal prison terms for these individuals is consistent with the White House position on federal interference and the values of the American justice system. Thank you.

Don’t forget that these people need our help. They are political prisoners, and casualties of Bush’s War on Patients. Communicating with one who’s been unjustly imprisoned can be a profound experience.


Josie Weisbrich
Legal Coordinator
Americans for Safe Access

Solidarity Event to Help Protect Safe Access to Medical Marijuana

"Don't let them take away my medicine." - Damien, longterm AIDS survivor Safe access to medical marijuana is in danger! The Colorado Health Department is acting to restrict patient access to medical marijuana. The Board of Health will be voting on a rule which would rip patients out of safe caregiver relationships and force them onto the streets in search of their life-giving medicine. Help us fight to protect patients by: (1) Take one minute to sign this online petition: (2) Show your support on March 18 by attending the Hearing where the Board will vote on this rule. What else: This is NOT a rally. This is a formal Hearing and we need supporters to dress nice and act in a professional manner.
Wed, 03/18/2009 - 12:00pm
4300 Cherry Creek Drive South
Denver, CO 80246
United States

Safe Access to Medical Marijuana in Danger!

"Don't let them take away my medicine." - Damien, longterm AIDS survivor Safe access to medical marijuana is in danger! The Colorado Health Department is acting to restrict patient access to medical marijuana. In March, the Board of Health will be voting on a rule which would rip patients out of safe caregiver relationships and force them onto the streets in search of their life-giving medicine. Help us fight to protect patients by: (1) Take one minute to sign this online petition: (2) Show your support on March 18 by attending the Hearing where the Board will vote on this rule. What: Solidarity event to help protect safe access Place: 4300 Cherry Creek Drive S., Denver 80246 (Colorado Health Department Bldg.) Time: Noon on Wednesday, March 18, 2009 What else: This is NOT a rally. This is a formal Hearing and we need supporters to dress nice and act in a professional manner. (3) Fundraiser: Attend a fundraising concert to support Sensible Colorado's work on behalf of medical marijuana patients. This event starts at 4pm on Friday, Feb. 27th and is at the beautiful Mishawaka amphitheater. Great Music. Great Cause. Show your support.
Denver, CO
United States

Medical Marijuana: New Jersey Senate to Vote on Bill Monday

A bill that would legalize the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes is set for a Monday vote in the New Jersey Senate. The Senate floor vote comes after the bill was approved by the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee in December.
Jim Miller, husband of well-known patient/activist the late Cheryl Miller, at CMMNJ press conference introducing Sen. Scutari's first medical marijuana bill
The New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act (SB 119) would remove state penalties for the possession, use or cultivation of a small amount of marijuana when a licensed physician recommends it for a debilitating medical condition. Qualifying medical conditions include chronic pain, cancer, AIDS, multiple sclerosis and Crohn's disease, among others. Patients would be issued ID cards in a program run by the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS). They would be permitted to grow up to six plants and possess one ounce of marijuana, but not to use their therapeutic marijuana in public or while operating motor vehicles. Patients would be able to designate a caregiver or treatment center to grow the plants for them, but the caregiver/center must also register with DHSS.

The New Jersey legislature has had medical marijuana legislation before it since 2005, when Sen. Nick Scutari (D-Linden) first introduced a bill. The bill had hearings in June 2006 and last December, when it passed out of committee on a 6-1 vote.

"The bill is very conservative," said Ken Wolski, RN, executive director of the Coalition for Medical Marijuana-New Jersey. "No medical marijuana state has a smaller plant limit or possession amount. Still, it will help a tremendous number of patients here."

If the bill passes the Senate Monday, it then goes to the Assembly, where it must be approved by the health committee and then the Assembly as a whole. Gov. Jon Corzine (D) has said repeatedly that he supports medical marijuana and would sign a bill that makes it to his desk.

Marijuana: Washington State Decriminalization Bill Wins Committee Vote

A bill that would decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana in Washington state was approved by the state Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday. The measure now heads for the Senate Rules Committee, which must also approve it before it can head for a floor vote.
Washington State House, Olympia
The bill, SB 5615, reclassifies adult possession of no more than 40 grams of marijuana from a misdemeanor crime carrying mandatory jail time to a civil infraction imposing a $100 penalty that can be paid by mail.

A companion bill, HB 1177, has been referred to the House Committee on Public Safety & Emergency Preparedness, where it has yet to be scheduled for a public hearing. If a hearing isn't held by next Wednesday, the effort will be effectively dead because that's the day by which bills must be passed out of committee.

Twelve states have decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana, the most recent being Massachusetts last November. A decriminalization bill is also being considered this year in New Hampshire.

Marijuana: Zogby Poll Shows Majority Support for Taxing and Regulating Marijuana on the West Coast, Support Climbing Nationwide

Support for taxing and regulating marijuana has climbed above 50% on the West Coast, according to a national poll of 1,053 registered voters. The poll was conducted by Zogby International and was commissioned by California NORML and Oakland's Oaksterdam University.
marijuana plants (photo from US Fish and Wildlife Service via Wikimedia)
The poll found that 58% of West Coast respondents agreed that marijuana should be "taxed and regulated like alcohol and cigarettes." Only 36% of West Coast respondents disagreed.

On the East Coast, 48% supported legalizing marijuana. In the south and central US, support fell to 37%. Overall, 44% of respondents nationwide agreed that pot should be taxed and regulated.

That's roughly in line with a CBS/New York Times poll earlier this month that found 41% of Americans favored legalizing marijuana, up from just 27% in 1979. That, said national NORML executive director Allen St. Pierre, is a good thing.

"Public support for replacing the illicit marijuana market with a legally regulated, controlled market similar to alcohol, complete with age restrictions and quality controls, continues to grow, and appears to have achieved majority support on the West Coast -- where many voters are already familiar with the state-licensed use and, in some cases, sale of medical cannabis," he said.

"As voters and legislators continue to look for alternative ways to raise tax revenue for public services and reduce law enforcement costs in this troubled economy, we expect the public's support for taxing and regulating cannabis to continue to grow -- not just on the West Coast, but nationwide."

Study: Marijuana Users Less Likely to Get Injured Than Non-Users

A new study from Switzerland looked at substance use among people admitted to the hospital with injuries. Not surprisingly, people who'd been drinking alcohol were more likely to get hurt than those who had not. But what about marijuana use?

Conversely, cannabis use was associated with significantly lowered risk of injury. Whereas the risk for injuries associated with the use of less than a pipe or joint’s worth were not significantly different from the on associated with no use,  relative risks decreased with increasing levels of use… [BioMedCentral]

Not only were marijuana users less likely to be injured than non-users, but risk of injury actually decreased with larger doses. It's incredible. But my point here isn’t that the more pot you smoke the safer you'll be (although that is what the data suggests). It was a small sample and I kind of doubt that continued research would confirm a massive reduction in risk of injury among marijuana users.

What matters here is that marijuana clearly doesn't raise your risk of doing something stupid and busting your head open or whatever. What better indication of this could there be than the fact that people who show up all bloody at the emergency room are disproportionately not high on pot?

The researchers note that marijuana use may sometimes take place in safer environments than alcohol use and that marijuana users as a group might be more careful to avoid risks while under the influence. I'm sure both of these points are correct, but to really sum all this up: marijuana just doesn’t make you do dumb shit.

The widely-disseminated notion that marijuana leads to impaired judgment is simply false. Thus, I'm tempted to conclude that much of the propaganda aimed at associating marijuana with risk-taking behaviors has been motivated by cynicism on the part of our opposition, namely to the effect that they recognized -- and sought to preemptively obscure -- the relative safety of the drug.

One thing that never ceases to amaze me in the marijuana debate is the extent to which anti-pot propaganda is not only false, but is in fact often the precise opposite of the truth.

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