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Press Release: State Of The States' Medical Cannabis Programs — Americans For Safe Access
WASHINGTON, DC — February 28, 2018 — Today the medical cannabis advocacy organization, Americans for Safe Access, released its yearly report entitled «Medical Marijuana Access in the United States: A Patient-Focused Analysis of the Patchwork of State Laws.» The report examines the status of states that have actually passed medical cannabis laws and grades them on a 500 point scale. Forty-six states and 3 territories have some form of medical cannabis program, suggesting approximately 95% of the American population resides in a state with some kind of medical cannabis law.
This ASA report reviews existing laws and regulations, and laws passed in between January 1, 2017 and December 31, 2017, giving states letter grades from «A» to «F». This year’s report, unlike previous versions, advises states to enhance their programs to utilize medical cannabis as a tool to fight the opioid crisis.
The categories states are graded on consist of:
Patient Rights and Civil Protection
Access to Medicine
Ease of Navigation
Consumer Safety and Provider Requirements
«We desire legislators to use this report to see that there are spaces in their medical cannabis programs. Even programs that have actually been around for decades like California still have room for improvement,» said Steph Sherer, Executive Director for Americans for Safe Access. «Research has actually shown us that there can be as much as a 40% reduction in opioid overdose deaths in states with medical cannabis dispensaries. States with reliable medical cannabis programs can save lives, and this report sets out the actions to increase program efficiency.»
No state received an «A» grade in 2017, but lots of states saw enhancements in their grading from previous years. Seven states (CA, HI, IL, MI, NV, OH, OR) received a «B+» for their medical cannabis programs, a 133% increase from the 2016 year. Sixteen states received an «F». All states that received a stopping working grade limitation their medical cannabis program to cannabidiol, an extract of the cannabis plant.
The goal for this report is to provide states with recommendations that can benefit medical cannabis programs and in turn, much better provide for clients. The report also offers methods for states to compare themselves to other state programs and look for methods to enhance their medical cannabis laws and policies, especially in light of the continuous opioid crisis. To assist accomplish this goal, Americans for Safe Access is sending this report to chosen officials Cancer And Medical Cannabis regulators in every state.
This report has actually been released yearly beginning in 2014 by Americans for Safe Access. The only states that did not get a score were Idaho, Nebraska, Kansas, and South Dakota. Americans for Safe Access has members in all fifty states, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the District of Columbia. The full 2018 report is readily available here.