Job Opportunity: Legal Coordinator, Americans for Safe Access, Oakland, CA

Americans for Safe Access (ASA) is the largest national member-based organization of patients, medical professionals, scientists and concerned citizens promoting safe and legal access to cannabis for therapeutic uses and research. ASA works in partnership with state, local and national legislators to overcome barriers and create policies that improve access to cannabis for patients and researchers. ASA has more than 30,000 active members with chapters and affiliates in more than 40 states.

ASA provides legal training for and medical information to patients, attorneys, health and medical professionals and policymakers throughout the United States. ASA also organizes media support for court cases, rapid response to law enforcement raids, and capacity-building for advocates. ASA's successful lobbying, media and legal campaigns have resulted in important court precedents, new sentencing standards, and more compassionate community guidelines

The mission of Americans for Safe Access is to ensure safe and legal access to cannabis (marijuana) for therapeutic uses and research.

The Legal Coordinator will answer and document calls from medical marijuana patients who have had law enforcement and other legal encounters and provide them with legal information, update legal materials, and be responsible for day-to-day support of the Chief Counsel. The position is supervised and accountable to the Chief of Staff and Chief Counsel. This is a full-time, salaried position based out of ASA's Oakland, California office.

Specific tasks and responsibilities include providing information in response to questions concerning criminal defense, housing, employment and other issues as they relate to medical marijuana patients; maintaining a legal database; supporting defendants and attorneys dealing with federal trials; researching and drafting a "California Legal Tip" monthly; managing content for a "brief bank" on ASA's web site (motions to dismiss, etc.); maintaining and updating the legal FAQ, medical marijuana prisoners page, landmark decisions page, pending federal cases web page, and other pages in the legal section of the website; maintaining existing "How to Become a Legal Patient" web pages as state laws change; coordinating the recruitment of potential plaintiffs (i.e. develop criteria, create and post e-alert/distribute flyer, interview candidates, create synopses); maintaining existing plaintiff base with updates as they occur; researching and advising staff; tracking status of federal defendants by maintaining relationships with defendants, attorneys, and supporters; advising staff regarding the legal ramifications of various state & federal legislation; researching and drafting language for various legislative efforts; advising organizers in medical marijuana states, including facilitating the creation of ASA's "How to Defend a Medical Marijuana Patient" attorneys' guide and trainings; interfacing with campaign staff; assisting with emergency response efforts when federal raids occur; recruiting and coordinating activities of any interns/fellows working in the legal department; administratively assisting in the preparation of legal documents for filing; communicating via email with grassroots regarding landmark decisions, ASA court filings, ASA legal victories, important criminal/civil cases, etc.; writing and editing articles on legal matters for ASA publications; attending and speaking at conferences in order to network and build a body of educated attorneys nationally; and placing legal manuals on legal websites and in law schools across the country.

Experience and qualifications include a commitment to the mission and goals of Americans for Safe Access; knowledge of the law desirable; computer literacy, and comfortable with acquiring new skills; exceptional time management and prioritization skills; remaining calm under pressure; flexibility regarding setting (and re-setting) priorities and managing multiple projects; exceptional communication, organizational and diplomacy skills with strong written communication skills; a sense of humor, high ethical and professional standards, and a multi-cultural perspective; working well in team environment; a flexible schedule, including availability to work occasional evenings and weekends, and to travel periodically; and dedication to working closely and cooperatively in a community-based organization with diverse staff, volunteers, and community members.

If interested, please submit a cover letter and resume to [email protected]. No phone calls or faxes please.

ASA is an equal opportunity employer. People of color and women are strongly encouraged to apply.

Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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