Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Safe Access New Mexico 2019 Community Advocacy Report


Safe Access New Mexico
Albuquerque, New Mexico
www.cannabisnewsjournal.co

Safe Access New Mexico ~ An Affiliate of Americans For Safe Access
UNITE-NETWORK-GROW-ADVOCACY-ACTION-POLICY-EDUCATION-VOTE-HEALTH-WELLNESS

DON'T FORGET TO MAKE YOUR NOMINATION

Show your love for Patient led Advocacy and Vote Safe Access New Mexico today.

Categories include:
Best Advocacy Group, Cannabis Influencer of 2019, and Best Advocate of 2019.

The Third Annual Essie Awards: Nominate the best in New Mexico’s 2019 Industry HERE!! | Established by Kurple Magazine | Open nominations from November 1st through December 6th, 2019 | Awards February 1, 2020 at Las Puertas Event Center
Link: https://kurplemagazine.com/nominate-essie-awards-2019/

Safe Access New Mexico 2019 Community Accomplishments
Of the new health conditions added to the medical cannabis program from December 2018 - 2019, five (5) of those new ones are from the Petitions submitted to the Dept. of Health for Safe Access New Mexico.
  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea (Dec. 2018)
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder (June 2019
  • Three Degenerative Neurological Disorders: Friedreich’s Ataxia, Lewy Body Disease, and Spinal Muscular Atrophy (June 2019) 
[All Petitions Safe Access New Mexico Has Provided The NMDOH Can Be Viewed in Original Format Online At: http://lecuanmmcpmcabpetitions.blogspot.com/]
  • January 2019: Doctor(s) of Veterinary Medicine were provided the ability to engage in cannabis discussions with their clients after Safe Access New New Mexico lobbied the New Mexico Board of Veterinary Medicine.
  • Safe Access New Mexico’s advocacy and petition policy work provided much of the groundwork that enabled the 2019 Medical Cannabis Changes Law (SB-406). 
  • Safe Access New Mexico has provided the New Mexico Department of Health Medical Cannabis Program three (3) Petitions for 2019 to add several new Health Conditions and one new Medical Treatment into the state’s Medical Cannabis Program: 
View the 2019 Petition: Requesting The Inclusion Of A New Medical Condition: Substance Abuse Disorder Here: https://lecuanmmcpmcabpetitions.blogspot.com/2019/11/2019-petition-requesting-inclusion-of_13.html

View the 2019 Petition: Requesting The Inclusion Of A New Medical Condition(s): ADD/ADHD, Anxiety Disorder, And Tourette's Syndrome Here: https://lecuanmmcpmcabpetitions.blogspot.com/2019/11/2019-petition-requesting-inclusion-of.html

View the 2019 Petition: Requesting The Inclusion Of A New Medical Treatment: Medical Cannabis Therapy For Seizures in Animals Here: https://lecuanmmcpmcabpetitions.blogspot.com/2019/11/2019-petition-requesting-inclusion-of_2.html
  • Safe Access New Mexico has provided Public Comment for all the 2019 Proposed Rule Changes for New Mexico's Medical Cannabis Program (MCP), Hemp Program and provided in depth federal policy comments to the Federal Government’s public comments requests for 2019 on the Federal Register.
  • Education, Training, and Product Safety: In 2019 Safe Access New Mexico has worked with Institutions of Higher Learning like UNM Health Sciences, and Doctors and Medical Providers around the state to provide accredited CME Education and Training through its Affiliate partnership with Americans For Safe Access via the Cannabis Care Certification (CCC) program to better educate medical cannabis patients, caregivers, doctors, and industry workers and the PFC program with an online training program option so that stakeholders can participate in certification courses from anywhere at anytime.
  • Safe Access New Mexico has provided the Governor’s Office multiple Policy Letters for 2019, had a meeting with policy advisors for the Governor, and had meetings with MCP Officials three times in 2019. 
  • Safe Access New Mexico has taken the time to meet with, discuss federal policy pertaining to medical cannabis, and provided ASA’s resources for Policy Makers with each member of New Mexico’s US Congressional delegation.
  • Safe Access New Mexico provided five (5) different bills as proposed state legislation for the start of the 2019 Legislative Session, resulting in sections of medical cannabis policy actively used in newly passed MCP laws for 2019. Safe Access New Mexico has provided the Governor’s Office a Policy Letter requesting several bills for the upcoming 30 day Legislative Session in 2020. Policy Letter to Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham Formally Requesting Cannabis Legislation for 2020 | Cannabis News Journal | http://www.cannabisnewsjournal.co/2019/10/policy-letter-to-governor-michelle.html


About Safe Access New Mexico and Americans For Safe Access (ASA)

The mission of Americans for Safe Access (ASA) is to ensure safe and legal access to cannabis (marijuana) for therapeutic uses and research. ASA's stand on federal interference with medical cannabis state laws is one of zero-tolerance. ASA organizers engage in traditional, battle-tested tactics such as legislative organizing, community outreach, phone-in days, petition drives, etc., and supports the use of non-violent direct action as means of escalating tactics to reach campaign goals.

ASA helps organize media support for court cases, rapid response to law enforcement raids, and capacity-building for advocates. Our successful lobbying, media and legal campaigns have resulted in important court precedents, new sentencing standards, and more compassionate community guidelines.

It is important for all medical cannabis advocates to think about the following questions:

" Without hearing from you, how will your legislator know what is important to you?

" Do you want to trust decisions about access to medical cannabis solely to lobbyists and policymakers?

Each one of us and every individual who holds a state license that authorizes the use or provision of cannabis for medical purposes is breaking federal law.

The point is that YOU ARE the patient, the physician, the caregiver, the provider, the lawyer, the nurse, or family member who is affected by medical cannabis laws and policy. You are THE VOTER with the power to hold elected officials accountable for their positions on policy matters. And you are the expert about how these laws and policies affect your daily life.

So if you are not talking with you elected officials about medical cannabis, then ask yourself, "Who is?"

This is where you come in ... get involved now!

First, email SafeAccessNewMexico@gmail.com, please send basic contact details.

Second, join the Movement, with 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. With over 100,000 active members in all 50 states, Americans For Safe Access is the largest national member-based organization fighting for Medical Cannabis Patient Rights.
Link: https://www.safeaccessnow.org/membership?recruiter_id=227252

Third, join the discussion online in the Safe Access New Mexico's Facebook Group at https://goo.gl/7umtDf and please Like and Follow the Safe Access New Mexico's Facebook Community page at: https://www.facebook.com/Safe-Access-New-Mexico-1588292808154843/



What is an ASA Affiliate?ASA Affiliates are like-minded groups and organizations who choose to work on ASA campaigns in their regions. ASA Affiliates work with ASA on regional and national campaigns for safe access.

Affiliates are an incorporated entity and have at least 5 current members of ASA as associates of their organization.

Hold at least one joint fundraiser with ASA.
Participate in bi-annual reciprocal membership drive.
Promote ASA activities.
Support the Affiliate Statement of Principles

The ASA Affiliate Statement of Principles:
Support Safe Access. ASA Affiliates agree to support and participate in ASA campaigns to expand safe access to medical cannabis.

Community Respect. ASA Affiliates treat organizations and individuals in the medical cannabis movement with respect. ASA Affiliates seek to resolve any disputes with other activists or organizations in a calm and respectful manner.

Monthly Involvement. ASA Affiliates participate in ASA conference calls and organizing activities to stay networked with ASA and abreast of key developments in the fight for safe access.


About Safe Access New Mexico’s organizer: 
Jason Barker is an advocate for Safe Access New Mexico, an Affiliate of Americans For Safe Access; a freelance writer for Cannabis News Journal; and a medical cannabis patient in New Mexico. Jason funds this advocacy work through his landscape work in the foothills of the Sandia's.

Jason lives in Albuquerque with his dog, Tecumseh, who has a very severe case of canine structural epilepsy. Jason’s work has focused solely on medical cannabis issues, decriminalization of cannabis, hemp policy and does not work on legalization of cannabis for non-medical purposes or other illicit drug issues. 

*Mr. Barker is not paid or employed in the medical cannabis industry nor does he have any current financial interest in the medical cannabis industry or recreational cannabis industry.


Make yourself a great Medical Cannabis Advocate with this FREE training:
The Medical Cannabis Advocate's Training Center
Americans For Safe Access (ASA) believes that good policy is created when those who are most affected are at the table. Just because you are medical cannabis patient, it doesn't mean that you automatically have a degree in public policy. ASA has always been committed to demystifying political systems and providing advocates the tools they need to participate in the processes in a meaningful way. Learn all about grassroots organizing, citizen lobbying, media spokesperson training, and much more.
https://www.safeaccessnow.org/advocate_training_center





At the end of October 2019 in the New Mexico Medical Cannabis Program, there are 34 licensed nonprofit producers with 98 dispensary locations across 20 counties serving 78,362 participants enrolled as of October 31, 2019, according to data from New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH).

In 2019, New Mexico’s medical cannabis law was updated twice with passing of 2 new laws, Senate Bill 204, Medical Cannabis in School and with Senate Bill 406, Medical Cannabis Changes. Also in 2019, New Mexico lawmakers passed a law to decriminalize cannabis with Senate Bill 323, Decrease Cannabis Penalties. Also during the 2019 legislative session, House Bill 581 Hemp Manufacturing Act was passed and signed into law. The legislation grants NMDA and the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) the regulatory authority over Hemp manufacturers, processors, labs, researchers and plant breeders.

New Mexico’s medical cannabis history started in 1978. After public hearings the legislature enacted H.B. 329, the nation’s first law recognizing the medical value of cannabis.











Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Americans For Safe Access Unveils 2020 Medical Cannabis Unity Conference Theme

Text over an illustration of the US Capitol Dome. It says: 8th
Annual National Medical Cannabis Unity Conference, \ASA's 8th annual 2020 National Medical Cannabis Unity Conference is just a few months away! Americans For Safe Access hopes you will join them from March 25-28, 2020 in Washington, DC.  
Americans For Safe Access is excited to announce their 2020 conference theme, "Campaigning for Cannabis: Making Policies Work for Patients". With next year being an election year, it is more important than ever to focus on patient issues and to let Congressional members know that your vote for them depends on their stance on medical cannabis. 
Register now at the early bird prices and save money!  

What to Expect at Our Conference

As with other prior conferences, you can expect the following during ASA's March 2020 conference:
Lobby Day --  ASA educates conference participants on how to advocate for legalizing medical cannabis at the federal level in Congress.  During Lobby Day ASA will bus all conference participants to Capitol Hill for meetings between Congressional members and their staff in the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives.  Last year, ASA organized more than 150 meetings between conference participants and Congressional staff. 
Press Conference -- ASA will invite reporters and conference participants to our annual press conference in the U.S. House of Representatives to hear from patients and experts about new developments and important issues surrounding cannabis.
Panels -- ASA’s panels are comprised of experts in the fields of cannabis, policy, and science. The panels in March 2020 will focus on important issues surrounding ASA's theme. Keep an eye on the Unity website for updates to our agenda!Michael Mcguffin, and older white man with gray hair and a short
beard is speaking, standing at a podium in front of a projection on a
screen. The projection is of a slide presentation and the slide
displayed is about the Hemp Farming Act of 2018.
Steph Sherer, poses with a group of A.S.A. excellence award
winners who are all holding up small glass awards with their names.Excellence Awards Dinner -- ASA's Excellence Awards program recognizes individuals and organizations who have made extraordinary contributions to safe access. Last year’s awards included: Veteran Advocate of the Year, Patient Advocate of the Year, Researcher of the Year, Medical Professional of the Year, Journalist of the Year, ASA Chapter of the Year, Business Advocate of the Year, Elected Official of the Year, and the Courage Award. 


Sponsors

A big thank you to all of ASA's current sponsors below! Sponsorship opportunities are still available and packages are negotiable, visit www.ASAunity.org or contact Reenal@safeaccessnow.org for more information. 
Registration is open! To learn more or to register, visit www.ASAunity.org.

Thank you to ASA's current sponsors:
  
  
  


National Medical Cannabis Unity Conferencehttp://www.safeaccessnow.org/

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Florida lawmakers want to give veterans medical cannabis cards for free

Credit: VA.org

SARASOTA, Fla. — With data continuing to roll in that underscores the health benefits of cannabis, two Florida legislators aren't waiting for clarity in the national policy debates and are sponsoring bills designed to give medical cannabis cards to military veterans free of charge.

Last week, the Journal of Psychopharmacology added yet another study to the growing body of evidence pointing to the linkage between cannabis use and the alleviation of post-traumatic stress disorder. In a cross-section survey of Canadians, the authors reported depressive episodes and suicidal ideation was not a factor among cannabis users; consequently, they cited "an emerging need for high-quality experimental investigation" of cannabis in treating PTSD.

At virtually the same time that study published, state Sen. Janet Cruz, D-Tampa, and state Rep. Adam Hattersley, D-Riverview, introduced companion measures to waive the $75 state registration fee for veterans, who are committing suicide more than 20 times a day, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs. Hattersley is an Iraq War veteran who earned a Bronze Star in the Navy. The bills will be considered in the 2020 session.

Still, the national war on cannabis continues at what appears to be an accelerating pace, according to FBI statistics released in October.

The Bureau's Uniform Crime Report indicates law enforcement made 663,367 arrests in 2018, marking the third consecutive year that cannabis-related arrests have risen, and 90% of those arrests were for simple possession. The 2018 figures are also roughly 21% higher than the number arrests for violent crimes.

A major cannabis mishap created a splash of national headlines in New York City on Nov. 2, when Brooklyn police arrested licensed CBD dealer Ronen Levy and confiscated 106 pounds of legal hemp. Hemp has minimal traces of psychoactive THC, but it looks and smells like regular cannabis and is used for medicinal and industrial purposes.

According to a Gallup Poll released last month, 66% of Americans — a super-majority — support cannabis legalization. But this week, rock legend Neil Young announced that his hopes of officially joining the American family have been stymied by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services policy.

A resident of California for decades, the Canadian-born "Godfather of Grunge" and longtime cannabis consumer said his application had been stalled, citing agency language stating "an applicant who is involved in certain cannabis-related activities may lack good moral character if found to have violated federal law, even if such activity has been decriminalized under applicable state laws."

The new bills proposed by Hattersley and Cruz apparently ignore the USCIS's definition of good moral character in deference to Florida's 1.5 million veterans.

"After seeing the response on social media to the legislation," Cruz stated in an email to the Herald-Tribune, "I believe it is met with broad bipartisan support among our constituents. I am hopeful that my colleagues will come to understand that this could be used as an alternative treatment to opioids currently being used for chronic pain management.

"Senate Bill 98 is for service-disabled veterans, those who certainly need chronic pain treatment and access to alternative treatment options."

Should the proposal become law, it could set a national precedent, according to the nonprofit Americans for Safe Access.
"Some states do not include a cost for the medical cannabis card at all (NM)," writes Interim ASA Director Debbie Churgai. "IL offers veterans a discounted cost, OR offers a veteran discount that reduces the fee to $20, and there are a few other states that offer need-based discounts."
"So it is possible FL may be the first to charge a registration fee but offer a free application to vets."

Bonus Resource From Americans For Safe Access:
Veterans and Medical Cannabis

Veterans


Veterans of military service have a disproportionately high rate of certain debilitating medical conditions as compared to the general population. Some of those conditions may result from injury or exposures to toxins, but not all.
https://www.safeaccessnow.org/veterans-cannabis

———
©2019 Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Fla..
Billy Cox, Sarasota Herald-Tribune November 19, 2019 at 04:30 AM



Sunday, November 17, 2019

Nuevo México and The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act


The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act introduced by House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) and Presidential Candidate Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), which would require resentencing and expungement of prior convictions for minor marijuana convictions and would decriminalize marijuana at the federal level.

This Wednesday’s planned Judiciary Committee vote on the far-reaching cannabis reform legislation (the MORE Act)—which hasn’t yet been officially listed but is expected to be announced on Monday according to Marijuana Moment who first reported on this story—comes about two months after the full House overwhelmingly approved a bipartisan bill to increase cannabis businesses’ access to banks.

On September 18, 2019, Congressman Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM), the Assistant Speaker of the House cosponsored the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Expungement (MORE) Act, HR 3884, which would end the prohibition of cannabis and creates a pathway for states to implement their own reforms, and introduced legislation, the Remove Cannabis from Deportable Offenses Act to end the practice of deporting immigrants for cannabis-related offenses. Congressman Ben Ray Lujan joins Representative Debra A. Haaland, who also is sponsoring the MORE Act.
Link to the MORE Act: https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/3884/text

Upon introduction, Assistant Speaker Lujan said “The Trump administration’s decision to use marijuana as a weapon against our immigrant communities is despicable. The federal government should not be wasting resources to wreak havoc on immigrant families when there are children held in border camps that are desperate for legal services, hygiene products, and basic humanitarian care. Providing care for these children and families should be where the Trump administration devotes its funding – not working as a deportation force.”

Luján is also a co-sponsor of the SAFE Banking Act of 2019, introduced by Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.), which would allow marijuana dispensaries to access banking services.

There are 33 legal medical cannabis states & DC, 11 states and Washington DC have legalized cannabis for adult-use, and dozens more have passed laws decriminalizing its possession and use, including New Mexico. Despite this, federal law enforcement continues to use minor cannabis-related infractions as justification to deport otherwise law-abiding immigrants and their families.

The MORE Act addresses many of the issues stemming from cannabis prohibition, but it does not offer remedies for every issue. Instead, it takes a somewhat hands-off approach, leaving most regulatory questions up to the states.

Under the MORE Act, cannabis would be completely removed from the Controlled Substances Act, which currently classifies cannabis as a Schedule I drug. Schedule I is the most restrictive category, supposedly reserved only for the most deadly and addictive drugs that have no accepted medical use. With cannabis off federal scheduling, individual states can decide for themselves how they’ll reform their cannabis laws, if they reform them at all.

Additionally, the MORE Act is the first piece of federal legislation that would establish social equity programs for cannabis entrepreneurs, and it would enact wholesale expungements of prior low-level weed offenses for federal convicts. Convicts currently serving time in federal prisons for cannabis violations would receive reductions to their sentences, too.

On the business end, the MORE Act also sets a 5 percent federal tax on all cannabis sales. That’s it. There is no overly-complex, tiered taxation system that unfairly gouges cannabis consumers and companies, like what those seen in California or Colorado. The excise taxes collected would go toward regulatory oversight, funding expungements and resentencing procedures, and researching how legal cannabis will affect the population at large.

By cosponsoring the MORE Act, Assistant Speaker Lujan becomes the most senior member of the House of Representatives to endorse legislation to end federal cannabis criminalization.




References:

https://lujan.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/lujn-introduces-marijuana-reform-legislation-to-protect-immigrant-communities

https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/3884/text

https://www.marijuanamoment.net/vote-to-federally-legalize-marijuana-planned-in-congress/

https://blog.norml.org/category/the-more-act/