Americans for Safe Access (ASA), based in Washington, D.C., is a member-based organization working to ensure safe and legal access to cannabis for therapeutic uses and research. Americans for Safe Access works in partnership with local, state, and federal legislators in the United States to create policies that improve access to medical cannabis for both patients and researchers. ASA has over 100,000 active members across the United States.
Media and activism
ASA provides legal training for and medical information to patients, attorneys, health and medical professionals, and policymakers throughout the United States. They also organize media support for court cases, rapid response to law enforcement raids, and capacity building for advocates.
Medical cannabis patient and Executive Director Steph Sherer founded ASA in 2002 in response to federal raids on patients and providers in California. Since then, their lobbying, media, and legal campaigns have led to court precedents, new sentencing standards, different legislative and administrative policies and procedures, as well as new legislation.
- Successfully filed suit against California Highway Patrol (CHP), the largest law enforcement agency in the state, compelling CHP to stop confiscating patients’ medical cannabis to comply with the mandates of Proposition 215.
- Worked with elected officials to enact ordinances regulating medical cannabis dispensing collectives (dispensaries). Twenty four cities and seven counties have given dispensaries protection and legitimacy under local law.
- Has made medical cannabis a major story nationwide and has worked to frame a national discourse on medical cannabis issues.
- Provided outreach services to collectives, including legal training, peer counseling, and media spokesperson training.
- Litigated Americans for Safe Access v. Drug Enforcement Administration, a case calling for removal of cannabis from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act.
Office of the Executive Director
- Steph Sherer - Founder
- Debbie Churgai - Director
- Geoffrey Marshall - Office & Membership Coordinator
- William Dolphin - Publications
- Paul Marini - Technical Director
- Benjamin Morrison - Senior IT Consultant
- Dustin McDonald - Interim Policy Director
- Don Duncan - California Director
- Reenal Doshi - Director of Outreach and Communications
Patient Focused Certification
- Heather Despres - PFC Director
- Trish Flaster - Patient Focused Certification Board Chair
Americans for Safe Access partners with online publication The Cannigma to co-produce a podcast, The Cannabis Enigma, featuring doctors, patients, researchers, scientists, and legislative updates.
- "About". Americans for Safe Access. Retrieved June 2, 2017.
- Javier Hasse (31 August 2020). "Americans For Safe Access, The Cannigma Partner On The Cannabis Enigma Podcast Season 2". Benzinga. Retrieved 27 April 2021.
- "The Cannabis Enigma Podcast". The Cannigma. Retrieved 27 April 2021.
The Cannabis Enigma is a co-production of The Cannigma and Americans for Safe Access.