Americans for Safe Access (ASA) provides legal training for and medical information to patients, attorneys, health and medical professionals and policymakers throughout the United States. It also organizes media support for court cases, rapid response to law enforcement raids, and capacity-building for advocates.
ASA just posted some of the highlights from its work in 2011, which are excerpted below. Click here to read the full post.
• We filed a groundbreaking federal lawsuit challenging interference and intimidation in medical cannabis states. This lawsuit invokes the 10th Amendment in an effort to stop the Department of Justice from commandeering the law making authority of the states.
• ASA’s lawsuit attacking the unreasonable delay in our 9-year-old rescheduling petition forced the federal government to respond, clearing the way for a historic showdown in the Appellate Court. Our appeal of the petition’s denial will force the first evidentiary hearings on the medical benefits of cannabis in federal court since 1994 – and a lot has changed since then!
• We helped promote and build support for three new federal bills that would protect medical cannabis patients and providers. ASA staff is working hard to recruit co-sponsors and supporters in Congress for these important new measures.
• ASA introduced new legislation in California and Alabama, and adopted an affirmative defense bill in Maryland.
• In California, ASA rallied opposition to a bill that would have placed unreasonable restrictions on patients’ associations, which resulted in a veto by the governor.
• In response to the federal escalation in pressure against medical cannabis, ASA launched the new “Stop the Attack Campaign.” The goals are to recruit public figures to put political pressure on the Department of Justice, reframe the national media dialog on medical cannabis, and fight for patients rights in the courts.
• ASA created the “Sick and Tired Campaign” to pressure President Obama to fulfill campaign promises for a more enlightened federal policy towards medical cannabis. We published a Report Card giving the President an “F” for his efforts, and encouraged our grassroots base to use this provocative tool in the campaign.
• ASA created a nationwide campaign to encourage governors to stand up to federal pressure on medical cannabis.
BUILDING THE MOVEMENT
• We helped facilitate statewide stakeholders meetings, strategy sessions, and skills trainings for advocates in Arizona, Montana, Michigan, California, Washington, and Oregon. These trainings are instrumental in our efforts to build a powerful and effective national base of support for medical cannabis.
• Our California Tour visited 11 cities in 11 days to hold stakeholders meetings and legal trainings.
• ASA helped to build a statewide coalition of patients, advocates, industry, and labor to propose a voter initiative for the 2012 ballot in California. When adopted, the measure will provide long-needed clarity on growing and providing medicine, while also protecting patients’ civil rights.