Vol. 2, Number 11
November 1, 2010
cheryl riley, editor & writer
Gradi Jordan, writer
Who's Who
What's New
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AAMC California
AAMC El Dorado County CA
AAMC Idaho
AAMC Kansas
AAMC Oregon
AAMC Washington

Americans for Safe Access (ASA) - by c.a. riley

Working with and for other patients, medical cannabis patient Steph Sherer founded Americans for Safe Access in Oakland in 2002 in response to heavy-handed federal raids on patients and providers in California.

Patients, medical professionals, scientists and concerned citizens make up the membership of ASA. It is the leading medical cannabis advocacy organization in the US and Sherer is currently Executive Director.

From their beginning, ASA have worked with state, local and national legislatures to influence the political and legal environment of medical cannabis. Through lobbying, media exposure and cooperation with government entities at all levels, the organization has succeeded in establishing more compassionate policies toward patients, setting positive court precedents and new sentencing standards. They continue to pursue their primary mission of overcoming remaining barriers to safe, legal access for patients as well as researchers.

This exemplary organization, which has more than 30,000 active members in 40 states, provides many services to patients, caregivers, attorneys, healthcare professionals and lawmakers. A few such services are legal training, medical information, advocacy training and organizing media support.

ASA has been working to facilitate meetings of patients and advocates around the country as a part of their national strategy to assist grassroots efforts to pass federal, state, and local legislation. But they don’t stop there. They also work to make sure the laws are implemented in a manner that effectively meets the needs of patients.

Incredibly, as more states around the country begin to look into establishing or improving existing medical cannabis programs, the Obama Administration continues to allow DEA raids on patients and their providers. Recently, several dispensaries in Las Vegas were simultaneously subjected to the DEA’s heartless raids less than two months after similar raids in California and Michigan. This prompted ASA a few weeks ago to hold a statewide stakeholders’ meeting in Las Vegas.

Executive Director Steph Sherer declares, "The Obama Administration promised change on this issue, but we're seeing the same 'shock and awe' tactics being used to intimidate patients and the communities that support them. We're not going to tolerate it."

Sherer continued, “The Justice Department has said individuals in compliance with state law are not targets. If that's the case, the DEA must leave enforcement to the appropriate state and local authorities. They understand state law and community standards better than Washington."

ASA’s accomplishments to date are considerable. Listed here are just a few of them:

  • An ASA lawsuit against the California Highway Patrol (CHP) forced the agency to stop seizing medical cannabis from patients and comply with the directives of Proposition 215.

  • ASA has partnered with local and state authorities to pass sensible ordinances regulating medical cannabis dispensaries. To date, 24 cities and seven counties have passed local laws confirming and protecting dispensaries.

  • ASA’s professional approach to shape the national dialogue on medical cannabis issues has changed media bias and indifference, making medical cannabis a major story across the nation.

  • As mentioned above, the organization provides outreach services such as peer counseling and media spokesperson training to medical cannabis groups around the country.

  • ASA protects the rights of cannabis patients and continues to work through legislation, education and grassroots actions to create long-range strategies for safe access for patients and researchers alike. The organization often organizes alerts, hearings and protests concerning patients’ rights.
For more complete lists of ASA’s achievements please see:
http://safeaccessnow.org/section.php?id=27 and

Who's Who in Medical Cannabis - Steph Sherer - by c.a. riley

In spite of her often debilitating medical condition, Steph Sherer has several years’ experience managing and servicing non-profit and community organizations. She is a respected advocate, an articulate spokesperson and a tireless campaigner.

Never idle, Sherer is nationally recognized for her work in the global justice movement and has been honored for her work in community development, social justice, human rights, youth programs and more. She has received a number of community awards, and in 2003 she received the San Diego Peacemaker of the Year Award.

Sherer regularly suffers pain, muscle spasms and inflammation from a neurological movement disorder called torticollis, in which certain muscles controlling the neck undergo repetitive or sustained contraction which causes the neck to jerk or twist to the side. This abnormal posture is often debilitating and usually painful. The disorder is also sometimes called wry neck and may spread to involve other muscles, especially in the jaw, arm, or leg. In spite of her condition, and in addition to her other activities, Sherer is a guest lecturer at UC Berkeley and George Washington University in Washington, DC.

In 2002, outraged by DEA raids on patients and medical cannabis cooperatives, Sherer was led to create ASA (see above) in Oakland, California for the purpose of educating people on the medicinal use of cannabis and offering patients some much-needed resources.

Before founding ASA Sherer spent three years in San Diego, where she began working with the global justice movement, becoming well known for her local activism and nationally recognized for her effective leadership in challenging the biotechnology industry and other critical social and public safety threats.

Today, Sherer spends a good portion of her time in Washington, DC, where she and ASA continue their work to get federal cannabis policies changed so patients’ immediate needs may be met, and to create long-term programs to foster research.

The medical cannabis movement would be far behind where we are today, and patients much worse off, without the dedicated work of Steph Sherer and ASA, and I for one would like to say thank you so very much for your kindness and compassion. Godspeed.

What's New

Alabama: Considering a medical marijuana law.
   HB642 - The Michael Phillips Compassionate Care Act of Alabama

Arizona: Arizona voters approve medical marijuana measure

Arkansas: Considering a medical marijuana law.

Connecticut: Considering a medical marijuana law.

Delaware: Considering a medical marijuana law.

Florida: Medical marijuana petition drive underway.

Idaho: Considering a medical marijuana law.

Illinois: Considering a medical marijuana law.
   Bill Status of SB1381

Iowa: Considering a medical marijuana law.

Kansas: Medical marijuana petition drive underway.
   Marijuana Bill Reaches House

Maryland: Considering a medical marijuana law.
   Bill Status of SB 627

Massachusetts: Considering a medical marijuana law.

Minnesota: Considering a medical marijuana law.

Missouri: Considering a medical marijuana law.
   HOUSE BILL NO. 1670 - An Act relating to the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes
   Cottleville Mayor Don Yarber hopes Missouri legislature passes medical marijuana law

New Hampshire: Considering a medical marijuana law.

New York: Considering a medical marijuana law.

North Carolina: Considering a medical marijuana law.

Ohio: Considering a medical marijuana law.
   HB 478

Pennsylvania: Considering a medical marijuana law.
   HB 1393

South Carolina: Considering a medical marijuana law.

South Dakota: Medical marijuana petition drive underway.

Tennessee: Considering a medical marijuana law.

Texas: Considering a medical marijuana law.

Wisconsin: Considering a medical marijuana law.
   The Jacki Rickert Medical Marijuana Act

Featured Recipe - Cajun Bud Stuffing by Jay R. Cavanaugh, PhD

We love the holiday season. What a wonderful excuse to just go cook your brains out. There are tons of recipes out there in the newspapers, magazines, books, and television. Help yourself!

Here’s a recipe that you won’t find in Emeril’s cookbook or anyone else for that matter with the exception of The Canny Bus Trip Kit. What’s Thanksgiving without turkey and what’s turkey without stuffing? It’s Mutt and Jeff, Yin and Yang, Martin and Lewis, you get the picture.

Our stuffing is made outside of the bird. You’ll say but how then do you get all of those great turkey juices into the stuffing? Don’t worry, there is a way. The trick is that all you want from your turkey in your stuffing is flavor and not nasty old E. Coli. That turkey cavern that some folks use to cook their stuffing is a fertile breeding ground for bacteria that are somewhat common in poultry. So, hey, we won’t go there but we will save some turkey juice to add to our “stove top” Cajun stuffing at the end.

You can get very creative with this simple recipe. We use Andouille sausage but you can substitute bacon, Italian sausage, or even chorizo or linguica so long as it is precooked. We’re going to brown the vegetables in Black Out Bud Butter so we don’t want to expose it too long to too high a heat and we don’t want raw sausage J

If you don’t like celery leave it out and try chopped bell pepper instead (Nancy Wife doesn’t like either and I like both). The apple in this recipe is really optional as is the diced Serrano chilies.

For those patients who rarely sleep well a couple of helpings of this stuffing along with all of that tryptophan from the turkey and all the calories will send them to dreamland by midnight.

1 pound Andouille sausage- diced
½ cup Black Out Butter (or Better Bud Butter)
1 large Texas Yellow sweet onion (Maui is even better)
½ to 1 cup of chopped celery
2 apples (Granny’s are good so are McIntosh) cored and diced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
1 table spoon chopped fresh thyme
3-4 cups crumbled corn bread (we cheated and made a box of Marie Callender brand kicked up with a tablespoon of Dr. Jay’s Essence)
3-4 cups whole grain bread croutons (we make our own-hey it’s just dry bread)
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cracked black pepper
2 ½ cups of chicken broth (we use “Better than Bullion” and it is the bomb)
½ cups of turkey drippings

½ cup of diced fresh Serrano or Jalapeno chili


Bake the corn bread mix following package directions and set aside to cool. We buttered our bake pan with Plugra butter. You could also use Black Out Butter.

Sautee the sausage, drain the fat off and set aside to cool. In the same pan melt the Black Out Butter and gently sauté the onion, celery, salt, and pepper until soft then add the apple and continue to gently cook until the apples pieces are slightly soft.

Bring 3 cups of water to a low boil and add 1 tablespoon of Chicken Better Than Bullion. Add the sage and thyme and cook until dissolved.

Place the corn bread crumbles and whole grain croutons into a large mixing bowl. Add the onions, celery, etc. from the sauté pan. Fold in the browned diced Andouille. Add enough seasoned broth to moisten the stuffing but not too much or it will be mushy.

Bake in an oven preheated to 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and fold in the turkey juice. Voila!

Recommended accompaniment:

A full course sage roasted turkey dinner. This could include Serenity Garlic Roasted Mashed Potatoes with Bud Butter or even Purple Passion Mashed Potatoes. Yikes! Don’t forget the baked sweet potatoes, steamed green beans with French fried onions, and heck, we even roasted a smoked Virginia ham.

Recommended Beverage: Nevada City Winery 1999 Vintage Zinfandel. This is one delicious wine that will stand up with all of the flavors of your stuffing, other side dishes, and both roast turkey and ham. For those white wine lovers I’d recommend a Sterling Vineyards Chardonnay.

Follow AAMC on:
6th National Clinical Conference on Cannabis Therapeutics
April 15-17, 2010
Providence, RI USA

Medical Marijuana States

District of Columbia
New Jersey
New Mexico
Rhode Island