UPDATE: Oaksterdam University Chancellor Dale Sky Jones sent this letter to California Governor Gavin Newsom to advocate for the passage of the Compassionate Access to Medical Cannabis Act, also known as Ryan’s Law. Kudos to Gov. Newsom for signing the bill into law on Sept. 28, 2021.
Senate Bill 311 will be an essential first step for terminally ill patients, who, by right, should be provided relief, compassion, and dignity. Cannabis medicine has been recognized as a necessity for a quarter of a century in California. We must demonstrate courage for dying patients with respect and human dignity intact, instead of forcing sleep-inducing opioids like fentanyl. Cannabis allows family and friends to be present in their final moments, something my Aunt Sandy was afraid to try in her last, excruciating moments dying of stage 4 cancer. Not herself, in a complete drug fog — we lost Sandy long before she passed away. We have more people we can still help to transition — maybe someone you love.
SB-311 is not in positive conflict with the Federal Supremacy Clause. It does not require a hospital or care facility to provide the medication — just not to intervene with its use. It attempts to alleviate some of those concerns by allowing hospitals to regulate how a patient stores and uses cannabis. Furthermore, the bill provides a safe harbor clause enabling healthcare facilities to suspend the program if there is federal intervention. This law aligns with California’s policies for a quarter-century on marijuana prohibition.
I believe that your leadership, Governor Newsom, will create the necessary pathway for this bill to finally be taken seriously nationally — when you sign it into law. We have a new presidential administration in office now, who has vowed: “science before politics.” It is time California takes back the lead on health equity social justice issues. I believe you can start the conversation nationally; we now have a California Attorney General up for the cause. The Board of the Marin Healthcare District voted unanimously this year in support of Ryan’s Law SB311. Additionally, the research presented to the American Medical Association Cannabis Task Force supports both the need for compassionate medical use and further physician education for a medicine prevalent among California patients and patients nationwide. It is long overdue that dying patients in hospitals and hospices have the option, and their doctors are knowledgeable and informed about the drugs they are taking. “Patients who are hospitalized and facing the end of their days should be provided with relief, compassion, and dignity,” you stated, and I wholeheartedly agree with you.
I am Chancellor for Oaksterdam University (OU), the forerunner providing quality training to patients, medical professionals, and policy thought-leaders. Our faculty comprises over 150 professionals, academics, and subject matter experts who have taught over 50,000 OU alumni from over 40 countries. Our curricula focus on federal and state law, policy, legal rights and responsibilities, horticulture, indoor and greenhouse management, the research and science of cannabis, product safety, operations, business management, economics, legal business structures, compliance, public safety, and advocacy.
Dale Sky Jones