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Americans for Safe Access has published the following Press Release to encourage movement in regards to the CARERS Act. Together, we appreciate your support!


Patient Community Calls on Congress to Move Forward on Medical Cannabis Legislation
Letter from 13 National Organizations Urges Grassley and Pitts to Hold Votes on CARERS Act

(Washington, DC) - Today, Americans for Safe Access (ASA) delivered a letter on behalf of 13 patient-based organizations to Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Representatives Joe Pitts (R-PA) and Gene Green (D-TX) urging them to give the Compassionate Access, Research Expansion, and Respect States (CARERS) Act (S.683, H.R. 1583) a vote in the United States Senate Judiciary Committee and House Committee on Energy and Commerce: Subcommittee on Health, respectively. The letter was signed by Americans for Safe Access, Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy (CURE), Danny Did Foundation, Epilepsy Foundation, Finding a Cure for Epilepsy and Seizures (FACES), Hope4Harper, Hope for Hypothalamic Hamartomas, Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome (LGS) Foundation, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, National Women’s Health Network, Realm of Caring, The Michael J. Fox Foundation, and Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance.

Today more than 300 million Americans live in states that are implementing medical cannabis laws in conflict with federal law. The passage of the CARERS Act would allow state medical cannabis programs to continue without federal interference, move cannabis from Schedule I to Schedule II in the Controlled Substances Act, remove the cannabis-derived compound cannabidiol (CBD) entirely from the schedule, create access to banking services for medical cannabis businesses in states where it is legal, eliminate the DEA-mandated “NIDA-monopoly” on cannabis available for research, and allow Veterans Health Administration physicians to write recommendations in states that have established a medical cannabis program.

“The Epilepsy Foundation strongly supports the CARERS Act and we thank all the members of Congress who have signed on to this important legislation,” said Phil Gattone, president & CEO of the Epilepsy Foundation. “Lifting federal barriers to cannabis research would allow families and providers considering this treatment option to have the information they need to make educated decisions, while supporting safe, legal access to medical cannabis.”

Support for the CARERS Act has been gaining momentum in both houses. Senate Judiciary Committee members Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Al Franken (D-MN) recently joined the Senate version as co-sponsors and last week, Congressman David Young (R-IA) joined the House version as a co-sponsor.

“This letter represents the growing number of voices in the patient community joining the call for committee leaders to allow the CARERS Act a committee vote,” stated Beth Collins, Senior Director of Government Relations and External Affairs for ASA. “We urge Senator Grassley and Representative Pitts to listen to the many Americans who support medical cannabis and the more than 2 million people who already benefit from cannabis as a treatment option by giving CARERS an opportunity for a vote.”

The letter comes on the eve of Senator Lindsey Graham’s Senate hearing, Researching the Potential Medical Benefits and Risks in the Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism. Patients and activists are encouraged by Senator Graham’s interest in moving this issue forward, and hope that Senator Grassley and Representative Pitts will allow the CARERS Act a committee vote.

Further Information:
Copy of Letter from Organizations
CARERS Act fact sheet
Iowa Petition Covered by Iowa Media
Online version of the petition

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With over 100,000 active members in all 50 states, 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 use and research. ASA works to overcome political and legal barriers by creating policies that improve access to medical cannabis for patients and researchers through legislation, education, litigation, grassroots actions, advocacy and services for patients and caregivers.

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RoC is so excited and honored to have Derrick Morgan join the When the Bright Lights Fade campaign and speak up in regards to furthering research into cannabinoid therapy for CTE in the NFL!! Derrick and Eugene sit down with Yahoo News' Katie Couric to talk about their efforts. We were thrilled to have Derrick, Eugene and the Yahoo News team join us at our 3rd Annual RoC Golf Tournament.

From Yahoo:

    "When NFL lineman Eugene Monroe spoke out publicly against the NFL’s ban on marijuana, it sparked a national conversation about the merits of cannabis as an alternative method of pain management for players.

    “What I noticed was that former players would openly speak about their experiences being addicted to opioids that they were prescribed by their team doctors,” Monroe told Yahoo Global News Anchor Katie Couric.

    Monroe, who was recently released by the Baltimore Ravens, has found an ally for his cause in Tennessee Titans linebacker Derrick Morgan.

    In an exclusive interview, Morgan told Couric, “I think for the NFL to say that cannabis does not benefit the long-term health of its players without actually having gone and done the research — I don’t think that’s an accurate statement.”

Be sure to check out the full video and article HERE.

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Aline was diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a build up of fluid in the brain, when her mom was seven months pregnant. At one-month old, Aline had a Pudenz valve placed which got infected within two weeks. She was in the hospital for about seven months under antibiotics and she started having seizures by the third month that she was in the hospital due to the severity of the infection.

Since starting cannabinoid therapy, Aline has changed in a significant way. She's sleeping better, her appetite is just amazing, she's more aware of her surroundings and her squint eye seems to get better everyday. Not to mention that her seizures have dropped to 0 in over 6 months!!! The most exciting is that pre-school is now a reality; she has started the past week and she's enjoying it tons! We have also been able to go out/travel without being worried sick about her seizures. I would love to mention that my relatives are also doing better than ever, as it was hard for them to know that we were always alert and that we might have had to run to the hospital because Aline would seize.

The impact is just so much! I've mentioned previously we can now see for a better way of living for us and Aline. The whole family is just overwhelmed of how Aline has progressed and how her seizures have dropped. They have been through a lot with with us, going to the hospital, staying with Aline at the hospital (as an emergency room visit we knew for sure that she'd stay in for at least 3 days). We are all just very happy with Aline's progress. You can't imagine how happy her cousins are, as she can now attend various events, she even went to a baseball game last week!! We (my whole family and I) would like to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the opportunity you are giving Aline for a better chance at life. We cant express and thank you enough for how much you are doing for us.

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Yesterday, the Pennsylvania House approved medical cannabis. Governor Tom Wolf promised to sign the bill into law. With his signature on the bill, Pennsylvania will become the 24th state with medical cannabis legislation. Here are some of the program's highlights.

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Kyle Turley said in an interview with ESPN on November 5th that cannabis has helped to restore his mind and body after years of utilizing harsh prescription drugs. "My relationship with the pharmaceutical industry started in 1996 when I blew my first knee out at San Diego State..." Turley explains in the interview. He described how the use of prescription drugs brought him to suicidal and homicidal thoughts as well as depression and how once he was able to balance himself with cannabis he realized these thoughts were "100 percent a side effect of the medications". "If it weren't for cannabis I don't think I would have made it back...(cannabis) quickly took those thoughts away from me," he explains as he discussed an instance in 2011 where he contemplated suicide and would have almost taken his life had it not been for immediate access to cannabis.

"We give ourselves a brain disease every hit we take. So if there's something out there that can help slow, prevent and stop the progression of this disease that we're inherently receiving from playing this sport, it behooves everybody that loves football to demand that we research and develop this to the highest level. This needs to be implemented immediately in my opinion, but if we want to really resolve the issues and save football then we need to advance and progress the science on cannabis and not follow any further. There is no excuse for us to say we don't know enough anymore about a plant that is grown from the ground for thousands of years and used as medicine around the world," said Turley as he asks the NFL to look into ways in which cannabis can help with brain injuries as shown by recent research. Turley is part of the Gridiron Cannabis Coalition and has been promoting his thoughts for a while now.

"It's been over 8 months that I've been completely free from all of that (heavy pharmaceutical and even aspirin) and I only use cannabis; my life is getting exponentially better, I'm getting myself back, my mind is starting to come back," he says as he describes using different strains of cannabis to address different issues spanning from helping identify areas of physical pain, providing emotional and psychiatric relief in addition to helping alleviate physical pain.

Read more on the interview and watch the full video here
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