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US Attorney General Says Ending DEA Raids “Now American Policy”

Beginning of the End:
US Attorney General Says Ending DEA Raids “Now American Policy”

Dear ASA Supporter,

Speaking at a press conference on Feb. 25 with DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder told reporters that ending federal medical marijuana raids "is now American policy." The Attorney General’s comments are the latest sign of a sea change in federal policy prompted by a groundswell of grassroots pressure by Americans for Safe Access (ASA) and our allies. They came as a response to Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) raids carried out by Bush Administration holdovers in California in January and February.

ASA needs your support to keep grassroots pressure on the Attorney General. Please support ASA today.

President Obama indicated he would end the DEA raids during his presidential campaign, a position reiterated by the White House following DEA raids in raids which took placeon February 4. In response to a question last night about DEA raids at medical marijuana facilities in California, Holder said, "What the President said during the campaign...is consistent with what we will be doing here in law enforcement. He was my boss in the campaign....He is my boss now. What he said in the campaign is now American policy."

Medical marijuana patients and advocates, who have mounted a massive grassroots campaign to influence the new Administration’s policy, cheered the Attorney General’s comments. 72 million Americans live in states where medical cannabis is legal, but federal law prohibits its use under any circumstances. More than 100 Americans are currently facing prosecution, sentencing, or serving time in prison for medical cannabis offense right now. ASA needs your help to ensure that the emerging change in federal policy signals an end to prosecutions and brings those already serving time for medical cannabis offenses home to their families.

ASA has provided recommendations for a new national medical cannabis policy to President Obama and the 111th Congress earlier this year. We are working overtime now to be sure those recommendations are heard in this new era of compassionate federal policy. Please support ASA in this effort.

Sincerely,


Don Duncan
California Director
Americans for Safe Access

Media Advisory: Medical Marijuana Patients React to New "American Policy"

For Immediate Release: February 26, 2009 Contact: ASA Communications Specialist Kris Hermes at (510) 325-9574 Medical Marijuana Patients React to New "American Policy" - Media conference call Thursday, February 26, 12:00 PM to feature medical marijuana dispensary operators targeted by DEA raids Washington, D.C. - Speaking at a press conference on Feb 25 with DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart, and reiterating a position made by the White House following DEA raids in California on February 4, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder told reporters that ending federal raids on medical marijuana dispensaries "is now American policy." The Attorney General's comments are the latest sign of a sea change in federal policy that prohibits the use of medical cannabis in the thirteen states that have enacted such laws. What: Media conference call in response to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder statements on ending DEA raids on medical marijuana dispensaries "now American policy" When: Thursday, February 26, 2009 @ 12:00 PM Pacific (PST) Where: Conference Call # (800) 762-6558 Who: Medical marijuana patients and dispensary operators who were targeted in DEA raids, and ASA Executive Director Steph Sherer. In response to a reporter's questions about DEA raids at medical marijuana facilities in California, Holder said, "What the President said during the campaign... is now American policy." 72 million Americans live in states where medical cannabis is legal, but federal law prohibits its use under any circumstances. More than 100 Americans are currently facing prosecution, sentencing, or serving time in prison for medical cannabis offense right now. ASA hopes the emerging change in federal policy will signal an end to prosecutions and bring those already serving time for medical cannabis offenses home to their families. "There has been a lot of collateral damage in the federal campaign against medical cannabis patients," said Steph Sherer, Executive Director of Americans for Safe Access, the nation's largest medical cannabis advocacy organization. "We need to stop the prosecutions, bring the prisoners home, and begin working to eliminate the conflict between state and federal medical marijuana laws." ASA has provided recommendations for a new national medical cannabis policy to President Obama and the 111th Congress earlier this year. Participant Bios: Steph Sherer is a medical cannabis patient who founded Americans for Safe Access (ASA), the largest national member-based organization of patients, medical professionals, scientists and concerned citizens promoting safe and legal access to cannabis for therapeutic use and research in 2002. Larry Epstein operates a legal medical cannabis dispensing collective in Marina del Rey, CA, that was raided by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) on February 4, despite President Obama's statements on the campaign trail indicating a change in federal policy. Heather Poet operates a medical cannabis dispensing collective in Santa Barbara, CA. The DEA has pressured her landlord to evict the collective using threats of prosecution and civil asset forfeiture. Her case prompted US Representative Lois Capps (D-CA) to ask Attorney General Eric Holder to stop any and all prosecutions of property owners on February 16. Charles C. Lynch was convicted in August 2008 of operating a medical cannabis dispensing collective in Morro Bay, CA. Like all federal medical cannabis defendants, he was not allowed to present evidence about medical cannabis or the fact that he was obeying state law at his trial. He faces decades in prison at his sentencing on March 23. For more information: Policy Recommendations to President Obama: www.AmericansForSafeAccess.org/PresidentialRecommendations Congresswoman Lois Capps Letter to Attorney General Eric Holder: www.AmericansForSafeAccess.org/CappsLetter

East Bay Americans for Safe Access Meeting

Please come and join the East Bay ASA crew as we discuss constructing a new ordinance for Alameda County dispensaries, and learn about other happenings in the East Bay. Please arrive promptly, as the doors lock after 7:10 pm For more information, contact George: 510-251-1856 x. 321 or George@AmericansForSafeAccess.org.
Date: 
Wed, 02/25/2009 - 7:00pm
Location: 
1322 Webster Street, Suite 402
Oakland, CA
United States

Americans for Safe Access: CA Weekly Alert

ASA Logo

ASA California Weekly Alert: 02-20-09

Weekly Round Up
1. 2009 Medical Marijuana Week Recap
2. Palm Springs Votes to Allow Dispensaries
3. Laguna Beach Passes Dispensary Moratorium

Take Action
4. Go back and Participate in ASA's MMJ Week Actions!

Chapter and Affiliate Meetings
5. Saturday, February 21st – Los Angeles: L.A. ASA Meeting
6. Tuesday, February 24th - San Francisco: SF ASA Meeting
7. Wednesday, February 25th - Oakland: East Bay ASA Meeting

Court Support
8. Monday, February 23rd - Los Angeles: Protest to Support Charles Lynch Against Federal Injustice

Special Events
9. Saturday February 21st - Los Angeles: LA-ASA Meeting & Activist Training
10. Sunday February 22nd - Oakland: East Bay Medical Cannabis Activists Mixer
11. Wednesday, March 11th - Riverside County AIDS Conference to Include Medical Cannabis Panel

California IconWeekly Round Up

1. 2009 Medical Marijuana Week Recap

Medical cannabis activists across the country have been participating in this year's "Medical Marijuana Week 2009", which has included a week long series of events and actions designed to get people to participate, become active advocates, and to learn and think more about what issues, prejudices, and exciting medical breakthroughs surround the cannabis plant and are as yet still unaddressed.

In the past week, activists in California took part in events that included legal trainings, film screenings, public seed plantings, art shows, and festivals, as well as charity events that raised awareness and benefited homeless communities.  All the way across the country in our nation's capital, activists from Maryland ASA chapters held candle light vigils, educational medical cannabis teach-ins, and a party to celebrate the hard work their chapters have done to introduce legislation in the Maryland state legislature.

On the activism side, ASA has been sending actions to our national list all week, encouraging people to stand up and get active in ways they might normally wouldn't.  Actions this week included officially joining up with ASA through a membership or signing up for the Ambassador program, spending a day reading and learning about the history or new science of cannabis, recruiting others, meeting with elected officials, and connecting with medical cannabis POW's.  We've received great feedback and lots of participation from our membership - so thanks to all of you who took part in the actions of the past week!  Keep it up!   This has been a great way to bring attention to medical cannabis with a week of actions that have helped to rejuvenate our community  of activists.   It's been a great week and I can't wait until 2010!

2. Palm Springs Votes to Allow Dispensaries

This week the City Council members of Palm Springs voted to make it the first city in Riverside County to allow medical cannabis dispensing collectives.  The decision by the Council was intended to improve access of medical cannabis and keep local residents from having to resort to the illicit market for their treatment.  Activists have long been pressuring Palm Springs and other parts of Riverside County to allow dispensing collectives, and the 3-1 vote in favor demonstrates the fruits of that labor.

The ordinance will go into effect in 30 days following its second reading, and allows two dispensing collectives to operate within city limits.  According to Councilmember Ginny Foat, "This is an incredible first step."

Dispensary regulations have been a growing trend in California, as cities and counties work to address the needs of the medical cannabis patients in their communities, and as California state law has become increasingly clear about the legality of the dispensing collectives, as evidenced most recently in guidelines released by California Attorney General Jerry Brown.  In addition, research has indicated that dispensing collectives can not only improve the safety of communities, but can also lead to greater health outcomes of patients who are members.

3. Laguna Beach Passes Dispensary Moratorium

Unfortunately, not all municipalities are moving in the same direction with regard to dispensary regulations.  While Palm Springs became the first city in Riverside County to allow dispensing collectives, the City Council of Laguna Beach voted to implement a moratorium,  putting the halt on a dispensary that had been set to open in the city's downtown area.

The 45-day moratorium was established at least in part because Councilors claimed to require more time to consider how the permit process would move forward and for them to consider their "regulatory options".   Some cities have passed moratoriums in order to buy themselves time to draft ordinances, but others have used the moratoriums as a means to stall and postpone dealing with the issue, before ultimately passing bans altogether.   This was a concern of local advocates.

Laguna Beach residents who spoke out in defense of the dispensing collective cited personal stories of loved ones with severe illness and their need for safe access to  their medication,  as opposed to driving to "illegal set-ups", as one resident put it.    

Take Action IconTake Action

4. Go back and Participate in ASA's MMJ Week Actions!

Here is a list of the ASA actions of the past week. If you've missed some, go back and complete them now!

Monday, February 16th: Join the Movement as a Member and Ambassador
In his first 20 days in office, President Obama issued a White House statement in support of medical cannabis policy reform. It was the first such statement in almost 30 years; it will not be the last. Now is the time to join the movement by becoming an ASA member. And now is the time to be part of the real change to come by signing up as an ASA Ambassador.

Tuesday, February 17th: Do Your Homework – Know the Issues
There is a lot of important information out there about cannabis as medicine. Did you know there are over 17,000 published scientific articles on cannabis and “cannabinoids” since 1996? Did you know that DEA Judges have now twice ruled in favor of medical cannabis, and DEA Administrators have twice ignored the rulings? Can you recite ASA’s Federal Policy Recommendations? Spend a day reading, learning, and understanding why this issue is so profound.

Wednesday, February 18th: Come Out of the Closet and Recruit your Community
Do you use medical cannabis in secret? Do you hide it from coworkers, family, or friends? Use this day to come out of the closet! Tell the people around you about how cannabis has helped, and the risks you face. Everybody knows someone who uses cannabis as medicine, but sometimes they’re not aware. If you don’t use medical cannabis, talk with someone about what you know, why it’s important, and why we need change. Make it your goal today to recruit 5 people – on the bus, in the office, while at lunch or home, via FaceBook or MySpace – recruit 5 people to join ASA’s email list so they can learn about what is so important in your life.

Thursday, February 19th: Build Your Relationship with Congress – Schedule a Meeting Today
In this new time of political change, we all have an obligation to know our Congressmen/women, and to speak our minds to them. Take this day to schedule a meeting with your Federal elected Representatives (hint: you have 3 of them!). Its quick and easy…an opportunity to introduce yourself, explain why you support medical cannabis, and to drop off ASA’s Policy Recommendations to their local office.

Friday, February 20th: Connect with a Prisoner of Bush’s Other War
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.

Saturday/Sunday, February 21-22nd: Read the Paper, and Respond
This weekend when you’re reading the Saturday and Sunday paper, flip to the Letters to the Editor section and skim the opinions of some readers. You’ll find discussion of issues that are important, and medical cannabis should be a part of the discussion. Letter’s to the Editor (LTE’s) are how others can 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. Get help from ASA to write and submit a brief LTE to your local paper.

Take Action IconChapter and Affiliate Meetings

5. Saturday, February 21st – Los Angeles: L.A. ASA Meeting

WHEN: Saturday, February 21st – 1pm
WHERE: @ Patient ID Center, 470 S. San Vicente Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90048 (at Drexel, between Wilshire & 3rd St.)

LA ASA is one of the most respected chapters in the state, and sees success regularly at any number of actions.  They've organized major protests and succeeded in lobbying for patient support from major elected officials.  For more info, contact: Don@AmericansforSafeAccess.org

6. Tuesday February 24th - San Francisco:  SF-ASA Meeting

Join us Tuesday February 24th starting at 7:30 pm for the SF-ASA chapter meeting.   We'll be at Bowzers Pizza:  371 11th Street (between Folsom & Harrison)  in San Francisco. There's a lot happening this year and we want you to be a part of it.  Please come enjoy dinner, updates from ASA, and get involved in your medical cannabis community.  Feel free to bring a friend or family member.  We look forward to seeing you there.

For more information, contact:  David at dcgoldman@yahoo.com or Sarah@SafeAccessNow.org

7. Wednesday, February 25th - Oakland: East Bay ASA Meeting

Please come and join the East Bay ASA crew as we discuss constructing a new ordinance for Alameda County dispensaries, and learn about other happenings in the East Bay.

When: Wednesday, February 25th @ 7pm  (Please arrive promptly, as the doors lock after 7:10 pm)
Where: ASA Headquarters Office
            1322 Webster Street, Suite 402, Downtown Oakland

For more information, contact George: 510-251-1856 x. 321 or George@AmericansForSafeAccess.org

Patients Rights IconCourt Support

8. Monday, February 23rd - Los Angeles: Protest to Support Charles Lynch Against Federal Injustice

WHEN: Monday, February 23, 2009 at 8:30am
WHERE:  U.S. District Courthouse, Courtroom 10
    312 NORTH Spring street (at Temple St)
    In downtown LA

San Luis Obispo County dispensing collective operator Charles C. Lynch was raided by the DEA and the San Luis Obispo County Sheriffs on March 29, 2007 at Central Coast Compassionate Caregivers (CCCC) in Morro Bay, CA. Lynch's dispensing collective stringently followed state, county and city medical cannabis regulations since it opened in April 2006.

The City of Morro Bay was supportive, issued a business license for a "'Medical Marijuana Dispensary" and a Cannabis Nursery Permit after a lengthy conditional use permit process. CCCC operated for nearly a year without incident until the the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff called the DEA to raid the dispensary on March 29, 2007, leaving behind a note for Lynch which read "All Hippies Die". Lynch was not arrested at the time and reopened with the blessing of his landlord and Morro Bay city officials. However, DEA then threatened to seize the property and prosecute Lynch's landlord  if he refused to evict CCCC from his building.  CCCC closed its doors on May 16, 2007.

On July 17, 2007, the DEA and local sheriffs arrested Lynch in his home and locked him up for 4 days in federal detention before his family poseted $400,000 bail. Lynch was indicted for conspiracy to possess and possession with intent to distribute marijuana and concentrated cannabis, manufacturing (cultivating) more than 100 plants, knowingly maintaining a drug premises, and sales of marijuana to a person under the age of 21. Additionally, criminal forfeiture proceedings have begun on all of Lynch’s assets.

On August 5, 2008, after an emotional trial in which the defense was not allowed to give any evidence whatsoever about medical cannabis, Lynch's business license, or California state law, Lynch was convicted on all counts. Drew Carey’s account of Lynch’s struggle with the federal government on Reason.tv helped the case to recieve national media attention.

For more information and to give money, assistance, and support, visit www.friendsofccl.com or write to Judge Wu directly to plead for Charlie's freedom. Letters of support helped Tainted operator Mickey Martin receive a relatively light sentence, so we need to show the same support for Charles Lynch.

Marijuana IconSpecial Events

9. Saturday February 21st - Los Angeles: LA-ASA Meeting & Activist Training

WHEN: Saturday, February 21 at 1:00 PM
WHERE: Patient ID Center, 470 S. San Vicente Blvd., LA
Get the skills you need to be effective in the grassroots campaign for safe access in LA

10. Sunday February 22nd - Oakland: East Bay Medical Cannabis Activists Mixer

WHEN: Sunday, February 22nd, 7-10pm
WHERE: At Maxwell's, 341 13th St in Downtown Oakland

Patient Movie Night & Vapor Lounge sponsored by Harborside Health Center
An evening featuring Speakers, ASA Staff, Movie, Music,

Refreshments and Vaporizers! Along with the movie: Waiting to Inhale

$15 at the door. This event is for medical cannabis patients only. It is required to bring a verifiable Recommendation.
Full Bar and house menu also available.

Proceeds of this event are going to be donated to Americans for Safe Access.

11. Wednesday, March 11 - Riverside County AIDS Conference to Include Medical Cannabis Panel

In March, the 5th Annual Riverside County AIDS conference will include a panel on medical cannabis.  It is rare to see a government sponsored AIDS conference host a panel on medical cannabis, as many have been concerned by threats of revoked funding from the federal government  The inclusion of the panel on medical cannabis is an indication that the Riverside Co. Dept. of Public Health recognizes of the importance of cannabis to the health of a significant number of AIDS patients.

The AIDS conference will take place on Wed. March 11 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Morongo Resort Conference Center in Cabazon

The cost is $35 and includes a continental breakfast, buffet lunch, hand out materials and all speakers and panels.

For more information go to www.rivcohivaids.org or call Irma Arrona at 951-358-5307.

Location: 
CA
United States

Tell Congress to stop thwarting D.C.'s medical marijuana law

Dear friends:

Although Washington, D.C., passed a ballot initiative to allow medical marijuana use in 1998, with an overwhelming 69% of the vote, Congress has thwarted the will of D.C. voters and prevented the law from taking effect.

In fact, originally — until a court intervened — Congress even tried to stop the vote from being counted! 

Would you please take a minute to ask Congress to stop overriding the will of D.C. voters, and let D.C.'s medical marijuana law go into effect? MPP's online action center makes it easy.

Even the sponsor of the original federal law, former Congressman Bob Barr (R-Ga.), has called for the repeal of the very law he authored a decade ago, saying, “Continuing to have the federal government run roughshod over the states, even if the citizens of a state decide they wish to legalize medicinal marijuana, for example, is wrong.”

In 2007, MPP worked with Congressman Barr to try to remove this provision so D.C.'s medical marijuana law could go into effect. But at the time, Democrats in Congress didn't want to force the issue with then-President Bush, who they knew would use such an opportunity to stoke the flames of the culture war. However, now that we have a president in the White House who has already signaled support for medical marijuana access, this is the best opportunity we've ever had to repeal this terrible provision.

Please take a minute right now to tell Congress to stop thwarting the will of D.C. voters.

Thank you,
Kampia signature (e-mail sized)

Rob Kampia
Executive Director
Marijuana Policy Project
Washington, D.C.

P.S. As I've mentioned in previous alerts, a major philanthropist has committed to match the first $2.35 million that MPP can raise from the rest of the planet in 2009. This means that your donation today will be doubled.

Location: 
Washington, DC
United States

Disabled Iraq Vet Loses Home Because of Marijuana Arrest

Scott West lost his legs fighting in the Iraq War and now he's lost his home thanks to the war on drugs:

Newlyweds Scott and Samantha West drove their SUV through the gate of the exclusive housing community, winding upward to an empty cul-de-sac that offers commanding views of the surrounding valleys.

For months, the young couple visited this site and dreamed of their bright future, ever since a charity that serves wounded veterans announced last year it was building a house for Scott at no charge.

In January, just two days after the couple had returned from their honeymoon, the charity took back its gift after learning that Scott West had been arrested on marijuana charges in 2007 and pleaded guilty in December to a felony of possession with intent to distribute. [St. Louis Post-Dispatch]

West maintains (believably, in my opinion) that the marijuana was for personal use and he's never sold any. His lawyer convinced him that he'd be better off pleading guilty than fighting the charges, so that's what he did. My guess is that large doses of marijuana were helping him cope with the pain of getting his damn legs blown off in Iraq.

Of course, the war on marijuana is predictably evil, but what about the charity that took West's house away? They didn't have to do that. Surely, they have a strong explanation:

Homes for Our Troops founder John Gonsalves did not respond to several requests for an interview.

Oh. Well, I'm not terribly surprised that they couldn’t find the words to defend passing judgment on wounded soldiers for which medicines they use to cope with their condition.

Someone should start a charity that gives free homes to medical marijuana patients who get their lives destroyed by the drug war.

BREAKING: New Jersey Senate Approves Medical Marijuana Bill

The New Jersey State Senate this afternoon approved the New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act (S 119) by a vote of 22-16. The measure now goes to the state Assembly, where it faces a committee vote and then a floor vote. If it passes the Assembly, Gov. Jon Corzine (D) has indicated he would sign it. The bill would remove state penatlies for marijuana possession, use, or cultivation for patients suffering a qualifying medical condition who have a physician's approval. Qualifying conditions include chronic pain, cancer, AIDS, multiple sclerosis, and Crohn's Disease. Patients could grow up to six plants and possess up to one ounce. They would register with the state Department of Health, as would any designated caregivers. “The bill is very conservative," siad Ken Wolski, RN, head of the Coalition for Medical Marijuana--New Jersey, which is leading the campaign. "No medical marijuana state has a smaller plant limit or possession amount. Still, it will help a tremendous number of patients here. We applaud the senators who supported this bill.”

Press Release: Today First-Ever Senate Floor Vote on NJ Medical Marijuana Legislation

For Immediate Release: February 23, 2009 Contact: Tony Newman at (646) 335-5384 or Rosanne Scotti at (609) 610-8243 First-Ever Senate Floor Vote on NJ Medical Marijuana Legislation New Jersey State Senate to Hold Voting Session on Monday, February 23, 2 P.M. Patients, Doctors and Advocates Are Hopeful As Compassionate Use Legislation Moves Forward Trenton - New Jersey is yet another step closer to becoming the fourteenth state to allow safe access to medical marijuana with a doctor's recommendation for qualifying patients. The State Senate will hold a floor vote on Monday, February 23 on Senate Bill 119 (The Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act). The voting session is scheduled at 2 p.m. and will take place in the Senate Chambers. Senate Bill 119 would allow patients suffering from certain debilitating and life-threatening illnesses such as cancer, HIV/AIDS, glaucoma and multiple sclerosis to use medical marijuana with a doctor's recommendation. Medical marijuana has proven efficacious for relief from chemotherapy-induced nausea, muscle spasms, chronic pain, loss of appetite and wasting syndrome. Patients would need a recommendation from a doctor and would need to register with the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services. When approved, they would receive registration cards indicating that they are allowed to legally possess and use medical marijuana. "New Jerseyans overwhelmingly support this legislation," said Roseanne Scotti, director of Drug Policy Alliance New Jersey. "Polling has shown support running as high as 86 percent. This legislation is moving forward because legislators have heard the voices of constituents across the state. For the sake of our most vulnerable, our sick and dying patients struggling for relief, now is the time for New Jersey to join the growing list of states allowing compassionate use of medical marijuana." Senate Bill 119 is sponsored by Senators Nicholas P. Scutari (D-Middlesex, Somerset, Union), Jim Whelan (D-Atlantic), Sandra B. Cunningham (D-Hudson), Raymond J. Lesniak (D-Union), Brian P. Stack (D-Hudson), Stephen M. Sweeney (D-Salem, Cumberland, Gloucester), Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergen), and Joseph F. Vitale (D-Middlesex). Senator Scutari explained the need for the legislation. "It is time that we adopt a policy on medical marijuana that reflects both our values and the facts," said Sen. Scutari (D-Union). "I strongly believe that we have a moral obligation not to stand in the way of relief for people who are painfully suffering from chronic and debilitating illnesses. My bill, the New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act, is a common sense measure that places a premium on treatment and relief." Assemblyman Michael Patrick Carroll (R-Morris), one of the primary sponsors of the companion bill in the Assembly, echoed Scutari's strong support for the legislation. "If you can go to your doctor and get a derivative of the poppy to treat pain, why can't you get a derivative of the cannabis plant to treat your symptoms? There is no such thing as an evil plant," Carroll said. "If a doctor using his or her best medical judgment thinks marijuana is the best thing for the patient, he or she should be allowed to [recommend] it." On December 15, 2008, the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee voted S119 out of committee by a 6-1 margin and amended the legislation so it would allow for the licensing of centers where qualifying patients could safely access medical marijuana. Informational hearings on the Assembly companion bill, A804, were held on May 22, 2008 in the Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee and a scheduled vote is pending. Advocates are looking forward to New Jersey moving in the direction of Compassionate Use legislation. Don McGrath, whose son-a cancer patient who suffered from wasting syndrome-found medical marijuana drastically improved his quality of life during his battle, was thrilled that the entire Senate would be considering the important issue of medical marijuana. "If passing this bill could reduce the suffering of just one patient in New Jersey, it would be worthwhile and it would demonstrate the concern the Senate has for their most needy citizens." Dr. Denis Petro, an internationally known expert on medical marijuana who has testified before the legislature regarding the scientific support for medical marijuana, praised the New Jersey State Senate for scheduling a vote on the legislation. "With passage of the legislation, patients with serious and life-threatening disorders can be offered a safe and effective alternative when conventional therapy is inadequate. The bill represents a positive step toward a rational policy regarding medical marijuana," said Petro, a board-certified neurologist in Pennsylvania with more than 25 years experience in neurology, clinical pharmacology and marijuana research. Nancy Fedder, a 61-year-old, who lives with her daughter and two grandchildren, is a retired computer programmer who has coped with multiple sclerosis for 16 years. She tried every legally prescribed medicine her doctors suggested while searching for relief from her symptoms, before she decided to try medical marijuana. Nancy is excited regarding the prospects of medical marijuana access in New Jersey. "I have struggled with terrible muscle spasms, pain and nausea, which at times was complicated by the side effects of my prescribed medications. However, after trying marijuana to treat my symptoms my quality of life drastically improved," said Nancy. "I am so grateful that the Senate will be taking action on this important piece of legislation and hope that they vote in support of seriously ill patients like me." Supporters of the legislation include: the New Jersey State Nurses Association; the New Jersey Academy of Family Physicians; the New Jersey Hospice and Palliative Care Organization; the New Jersey League for Nursing; the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Southern NJ and Northern NJ chapters; and the American Civil Liberties Union. # # #
Location: 
NJ
United States

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 http://www.ornorml.org/events/cardmtg.html.
Date: 
Sat, 02/28/2009 - 12:00pm - 3:37pm
Location: 
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!

Sincerely,


George Pappas
Field Coordinator
Americans for Safe Access

Drug War Issues

Criminal JusticeAsset Forfeiture, Collateral Sanctions (College Aid, Drug Taxes, Housing, Welfare), Court Rulings, Drug Courts, Due Process, Felony Disenfranchisement, Incarceration, Policing (2011 Drug War Killings, 2012 Drug War Killings, 2013 Drug War Killings, 2014 Drug War Killings, 2015 Drug War Killings, 2016 Drug War Killings, Arrests, Eradication, Informants, Interdiction, Lowest Priority Policies, Police Corruption, Police Raids, Profiling, Search and Seizure, SWAT/Paramilitarization, Task Forces, Undercover Work), Probation or Parole, Prosecution, Reentry/Rehabilitation, Sentencing (Alternatives to Incarceration, Clemency and Pardon, Crack/Powder Cocaine Disparity, Death Penalty, Decriminalization, Defelonization, Drug Free Zones, Mandatory Minimums, Rockefeller Drug Laws, Sentencing Guidelines)CultureArt, Celebrities, Counter-Culture, Music, Poetry/Literature, Television, TheaterDrug UseParaphernalia, ViolenceIntersecting IssuesCollateral Sanctions (College Aid, Drug Taxes, Housing, Welfare), Violence, Border, Budgets/Taxes/Economics, Business, Civil Rights, Driving, Economics, Education (College Aid), Employment, Environment, Families, Free Speech, Gun Policy, Human Rights, Immigration, Militarization, Money Laundering, Pregnancy, Privacy (Search and Seizure, Drug Testing), Race, Religion, Science, Sports, Women's IssuesMarijuana PolicyGateway Theory, Hemp, Marijuana -- Personal Use, Marijuana Industry, Medical MarijuanaMedicineMedical Marijuana, Science of Drugs, Under-treatment of PainPublic HealthAddiction, Addiction Treatment (Science of Drugs), Drug Education, Drug Prevention, Drug-Related AIDS/HIV or Hepatitis C, Harm Reduction (Methadone & Other Opiate Maintenance, Needle Exchange, Overdose Prevention, Safe Injection Sites)Source and Transit CountriesAndean Drug War, Coca, Hashish, Mexican Drug War, Opium ProductionSpecific DrugsAlcohol, Ayahuasca, Cocaine (Crack Cocaine), Ecstasy, Heroin, Ibogaine, ketamine, Khat, Kratom, Marijuana (Gateway Theory, Marijuana -- Personal Use, Medical Marijuana, Hashish), Methamphetamine, New Synthetic Drugs (Synthetic Cannabinoids, Synthetic Stimulants), Nicotine, Prescription Opiates (Fentanyl, Oxycontin), Psychedelics (LSD, Mescaline, Peyote, Salvia Divinorum)YouthGrade School, Post-Secondary School, Raves, Secondary School