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ACTION ALERT from ASA

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TAKE ACTION with Americans for Safe Access

HHS ACTION ALERT: CALL YOUR REGIONAL HHS DIRECTOR ON MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, 2005. URGE RESPONSE TO THE DQA APPEAL!

In 2002, Americans for Safe Access (ASA) submitted a formal petition to the federal department of Health and Human Services (HHS) demanding marijuana be reclassified from a Schedule I drug. Following the submission of the rescheduling petition, ASA filed a Data Quality Act Petition (DQA), in October 2004, requesting that HHS correct information disseminated by the agency regarding the medical value of marijuana.

HHS declined their requests under the DQA. In May 2005, ASA filed an appeal with the agency. Although HHS was supposed to answer their appeal within 60 days, the agency is stalling and continues to send delay after delay. Meanwhile, patients across the country continue to wait in pain while the Bush administration plays politics with their medicine.

Time is up! September 26th, 2005, marks the anniversary of the DQA filing, and beginning of a 60-day countdown before ASA pursues legal action against HHS for unnecessarily dragging its feet. Call your Regional HHS Director on Monday, September 26, 2005. Urge your Director to demand Secretary Leavitt answer ASA’s Data Quality Act petition now!

WHAT ACTION SHOULD YOU TAKE:

1. CALL MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, 2005: Call on your Regional HHS Director to demand Secretary Leavitt to answer ASA’s Data Quality Act appeal and rescheduling petition. Find out “Who to call” and “What to say” below.

2. ORGANIZE A REGIONAL ACTION: They need local organizers in DC and the ten HHS regions to coordinate an action at each of HHS’s regional offices on October 26, 2005 . The goal is to increase the pressure on HHS: Time is up - the sick and dying should NOT be made to wait for safe, effective medicine! Click this link to find your local HHS office:

http://www.safeaccessnow.org/article.php?id=2564

If you are interested in organizing an action, please contact Rebecca: (510) 251-1856 or rebecca@safeaccessnow.org

3. ATTEND A REGIONAL ACTION: Patients, doctors and advocates are invited to join us at local actions on October 26, 2005. To find out who is organizing the regional action in your area, contact Rebecca at (510) 251-1856 or rebecca@safeaccessnow.org

4. SIGN AND CIRCULATE THE PETITION FOR RESCHEDULING: Sign the petition online or or download the petition to circulate in your community. Please collect these and send them to the ASA office no later than October 17th, 2005.

5. SPREAD THE WORD: Print and Forward this email to your friends, family and colleagues. Urge them to duplicate your efforts.

WHO SHOULD YOU CALL:

IF YOU LIVE IN:

AK, ID, OR or WA
PLEASE CALL:
Patrick O'Carroll, MD, MPH,
FACPM
Regional Health Administrator,
Region X
Office: (206) 615-2469
- AND -
Jim or Trista
for Rally info !

CT, ME, MA, NH, RI or VT
PLEASE CALL:
Michael Milner,
HHS Regional Health
Administrator, Region I
Office: (617) 565-1505

NJ, NY, PR or VI
PLEASE CALL:
Robert W. Amler, MD, MS
HHS Regional Health
Administrator, Region II
Office: (212) 742-7036 or 264-2560

DE, DC, MD, PA, VA or WV
PLEASE CALL:
Dalton G. Paxman, PhD
HHS Regional Health
Administrator, Region III
Office: (215) 861-4631

AL, FL, GA, KY, MS, NC, SC, or TN
PLEASE CALL:
Clara H. Cobb, MS, RN
Acting Regional Health
Administrator, Region IV
Office: (404) 562-7894

IL, IN, MI, MN, OH, or WI
PLEASE CALL:
Steven R. Potsic, MD, MPH,
FACPM
Regional Health Administrator,
Region V
Office: (312) 353-1385

AR, LA, NM, OK or TX
PLEASE CALL:
Ronald Banks, MD, MPH
Acting Regional Health
Administrator, Region VI
Office: (214) 767-3879

IA, KS, MO or NE
PLEASE CALL:
Linda Vogel
Regional Health Administrator,
Region VII
Office: (816) 426-3291

CO, MT, ND, SD, UT, or WY
PLEASE CALL:
Jane Wilson
Acting Regional Health
Administrator, Region VIII
Office: (303) 844-7859

AZ, CA, HI, or NV
PLEASE CALL:
Ronald Banks, MD, MPH
Regional Health Administrator,
Region IX
Office: (415) 437-8096

WHAT YOU CAN SAY:

Suggested Script:

"My name is __________. I live in ( City, State ). I am calling the office of my Regional Health Administrator to ask for help on behalf of countless cancer, AIDS, MS and other patients in our region who might benefit from medical marijuana.

HHS Director, Secretary Leavitt, promised to respond to a Data Quality Act appeal filed by Americans for Safe Access no later than today (September 26, 2005). For more than a year, Secretary Leavitt has delayed response to multiple requests to reclassify marijuana and to correct information disseminated by the agency regarding the medical use of marijuana.

The bottom line is marijuana is medicine. More than 6,500 reports and journal articles from around the world support the medical efficacy of marijuana. Even the Institute of Medicine, in the most comprehensive study of medical marijuana's efficacy, concluded that, “nausea, appetite loss, pain and anxiety…all can be mitigated by marijuana.” The U.S. is one of the few countries in the world continuing to classify marijuana as a Schedule I drug like heroine, PCP and GHB.

Marijuana should be reclassified immediately! Another year is too long for patients to wait. As my Regional Health Administrator, I am calling to urge you to demand Secretary Leavitt answer ASA’s Data Quality Act and Rescheduling petitions now!

Thanks for listening to me. Have a great day."


Background/More Information:

In 2002, Americans for Safe Access, as part of a larger coalition known as the Coalition for Rescheduling Cannabis, submitted a petition to the federal government demanding marijuana be rescheduled from a Schedule I drug. Schedule I is reserved for the most dangerous drugs, typically those with no accepted medical value and high abuse potential. Other Schedule I drugs include heroine, PCP and GHB. As evidenced by the more than 6,500 studies and journal articles from around the world marijuana does have accepted medical value, marijuana is not highly abusive, and it has been wrongly classified as a Schedule I drug.

Last October, ASA activists gathered at the Health and Human Services (HHS) building in Washington DC to launch a Data Quality Act Petition (DQA), requesting that HHS correct information disseminated by the agency regarding the medical use of marijuana. The DQA requires federal agencies, like HHS, to ensure that the information it distributes is fair, objective and meets certain quality guidelines. HHS declined their requests under the DQA petition, refusing to recognize the mountain of evidence demonstrating marijuana’s medical value. In May, ASA filed an appeal. Although HHS was supposed to answer our appeal within 60 days, the agency continues to delay.

September 26th, 2005 marks the beginning of a 60-day countdown until we take legal action against HHS! It also falls a month before ASA activists take action at regional HHS offices around the country. Call your Regional HHS Director to demand Secretary Leavitt answer ASA’s Data Quality Act petition now! Another year is too long for patients to wait for safe and legal access to medical marijuana.

For more info visit: http://www.safeaccessnow.org/article.php?list=type&type=144 - and/or - http://www.safeaccessnow.org/article.php?list=type&type=160

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