Americans for Safe Access (ASA), based in Washington DC, USA, 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 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.
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.