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Americans for Safe Access Online Training Center and Policy Shop Goes Live

Daily Dose 2011-05-27 0 comments

Steph Sherer, Founder of ASA, teaching peace officers what peace means during an act of civil disobedience.

When Americans for Safe Access began in 2002, most of the medical cannabis community was working on proving the therapeutic benefits of cannabis to their state legislators and highlighting the continued federal interference with state law.

In California, the medical cannabis community was creating laws, policies, and regulations that formalized access programs.

Since then, the political landscape has change dramatically and now medical cannabis advocates across the country are weighing in on state and local legislative proposals.

Americans for Safe Access believes that good policy is created when those who are most affected are at the table. Just because you are medical cannabis patient, it doesn’t mean that you automatically have a degree in public policy.

ASA has always been committed to demystifying political systems and providing advocates the tools they need to participate in the processes in a meaningful way.

For the past nine years ASA has been providing capacity building trainings to support the medical cannabis community.

Over the years, ASA has added new trainings to meet the evolving needs of the advocates.

“We cannot create good policy without including the voices and experience of patients and those who provide them with access to care and with these trainings, we hope to give you the tools you need to most effectively make your voice heard,” says Don Duncan.  Mr. Duncan is a Co-founder and the California Campaigns Director for the nation’s largest patient advocacy group and has been instrumental in seeing California implement their medical marijuana program.

How to use the training center:

We have provided videos for each of ASA’s trainings that are accompanied by a handbook and worksheets. Depending on where you are in your political campaign, some of these trainings may be more relevant than others. You utilize the trainings as you need them in your local work.

You can watch these individually or at your ASA chapter meetings.

Activist Boot Camp 

ASA has created a DVD with an accompanying workbook that is organized into a two-day capacity training. This is a great way for chapters and affiliates to develop skills in your community.
A. The Informed Advocate 

The best advocate is an informed advocate. The history of medical cannabis advocacy is a rich one, filled with brave individuals like you. The key to being an effective advocate is a firm understanding of our history, the political landscape in which you are operating, the rules of engagement and the ability to articulate your needs.
A Patient’s History of Medical Cannabis
Strategic Planning
Know Your Rights
Legislating Compassion
Know the Rules of Engagement: Civics 101

B. Finding Your Voice 

In order to be an effective advocate, you will need to find your voice. The training in this section will help you merge your personal experiences with strategic messages that will help you meet your political goals.
Medical Cannabis Spokesperson
Strategic Messaging
Talking to the Media
Testifying before Civic Bodies
Public Speaking

C. Using Your Voice 

This section will expose you to several strategies you can utilize in your advocacy and give you step by step instructions on how to master them.
The Tools in your Toolkit
Citizen Lobbying
Media 101
Organizing a Demonstration
Organizing Turnout for Civic Meetings
Participating in Implementation
ASA Campaigns

D. Building a Movement 

This section will give you the tools you need to build a strong movement that will help you reach your political goals.
Working with ASA
Outreach and Recruitment
Volunteer and Leadership Development
Coalition Building

E. Joining a Movement 

In our movement, our brothers and sisters are vulnerable to criminal sanctions. This section will go over programs and projects you can incorporate into your advocacy that support our movement.
Organizing Court Support
Supporting POWs
Organizing Raid Responses
10 Ways to Get Involved

To access the Policy Shop and Training Center for Americans for Safe Access, please click here.