Wednesday, March 25, 2020
Advocacy groups urge governors to ensure "medical cannabis patients do not experience disrupted access to crucial medicine" during COVID crisis
I just saw that, earlier this week, an array of advocacy groups sent this short letter to the National Governors Association headed "Emergency Call To Action To Governors In States With Medical Cannabis Programs." Here is the heart of the letter (which also attaches a similar letter from last week from Americans for Safe Access):
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the undersigned national drug policy, HIV/AIDS, and public health organizations write to all U.S. governors and medical cannabis program directors to amplify a letter sent last week by the nation’s leading medical cannabis and patient advocacy group, Americans for Safe Access (ASA). We are joining their call for necessary, immediate actions and safeguards to ensure that medical cannabis patients do not experience disrupted access to crucial medicine.
Thirty-three states and the District of Columbia have medical cannabis laws enacted and, cumulatively, these states serve over three million patients. Medical cannabis patients often live with debilitating ailments, such as cancer, HIV/AIDS, and chronic pain that significantly affect quality of life. It is critical that policymakers and other decision makers who are working to address the current COVID-19 pandemic are also considering the public health consequences that will follow the decision to abruptly interrupt the legal supply chain for medical cannabis patients. We are especially worried about vulnerable patients being unintentionally pushed to the unregulated market, where there will not be access to lab-tested, tightly controlled products. This could endanger the health of those who rely on cannabis as medicine.
The undersigned organizations -- who support research and access to medical cannabis -- join ASA in calls for the recognition of medical cannabis as necessary medicine and for the recommendations below to be implemented to ensure that patients’ access to medicinal cannabis will continue.