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Americans for Safe Access

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Title: Americans for Safe Access  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Removal of cannabis from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act, Buffalo Cannabis Movement, National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, Committee for Sensible Marijuana Policy, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition
Collection: 2002 Establishments in the United States, 2002 Establishments in Washington, D.C., Cannabis Law Reform Organizations Based in the United States, Drug Policy Organizations Based in the United States, Medical Associations Based in the United States, Medicinal Use of Cannabis Organizations Based in the United States, Non-Profit Organizations Based in California, Organizations Established in 2002
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Americans for Safe Access

Americans for Safe Access (ASA)
Formation 2002
Purpose Ensure safe and legal access to cannabis for therapeutic uses and research
Leader Steph Sherer

Americans for Safe Access (ASA), based in Washington DC, cannabis for therapeutic uses and research. Americans for Safe Access works in partnership with state, local and national legislators to create policies that heighten access to medicinal marijuana for both patients and researchers. ASA has over 30,000 active members with chapters and affiliates in more than 40 states.


  • Media and activism 1
  • Founding 2
  • Accomplishments 3
  • External links 4

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 polices 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.

External links

  • Radio interview with Joe Elford, Staff Attorney for Americans for Safe Access. (Soapbox Derby on KALX-FM, January 24, 2008)

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