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STRATEGIC
PLAN.

Below we detail our draft strategic plan which will evolve according to the needs of patients.

Alternatively you can download the PDF here.

Introduction 

Patients for Safe Access (PSA) is a nonprofit organisation dedicated to improving the country’s medical cannabis laws and policies while reducing stigma and discrimination against patients. Stakeholders founded the organisation to bring the voice of patients to the table in the national conversation about medical cannabis. Our grassroots approach to advocacy and education starts with what patients and other stakeholders need and want. Membership in PSA indicates support for the mission and goals of the organisation. 

 

This strategic plan is a work in progress. We anticipate ongoing feedback from members as the context for medical cannabis in Ireland evolves in the months and years ahead. The strategic plan’s goal is to ensure that PSA stays focused on our member’s priorities and the most effective avenues for reform. We encourage members’ feedback on an ongoing basis via email, social media, and PSA events. The Board of Directors may invite some members to participate as Ambassadors of the organisation. The role of the Ambassador is to be a public voice for PSA and a community leader on the issue of medical cannabis. 

 

We can bring a variety of tools and strategies to bear to meet our goals. These may include  legislation, education, litigation, research, grassroots activism, direct advocacy. Member participation is the key to effective campaigns. By assembling an effective team of grassroots advocates, we can amplify our voice in the Oireachtas, media, and community. 

 

Board Members are already active in the grassroots campaign for medical cannabis - attending events, speaking in public venues, using social media, and more. We invite our members and Ambassadors to join us in speaking up and taking action. PSA will host its inaugural stakeholders’ conference in Dublin in October of 2021. The conference’s goals are to galvanize our base, educate members, and formally ratify our patient-led National Medical Cannabis Policy Agenda. We will provide details of the conference on our website at https://www.PatientsForSafeAccess.com and our email mailing list soon. 

Mission Statement

 

 

The mission of Patients for Safe Access is to overcome barriers to the legal use of cannabis for clinical research and medical use by those suffering from chronic pain, HIV/AIDS, cancer, and other serious conditions. The organisation strives to reduce the stigma that justifies discrimination against medical cannabis patients. 

Vision

 

We envision a time when medical cannabis patients have safe, affordable, and reliable access to medical cannabis goods from licensed and well-regulated local suppliers. In addition, we want to create an environment where the stigma surrounding cannabis use is reduced, and discrimination against cannabis patients is eliminated.

 

Values

The programmes and projects of Patients for Safe Access are guided by the core values of our Board of Directors and constituents, including:

 

  • Compassion for the sick and dying should be the foundation of medical cannabis laws and policies.  

  • Cannabis laws and policies should be informed by the needs and wants of patients, caregivers, healthcare providers, and other stakeholders.

  • The safety of medical cannabis patients is a top priority. The cannabis marketplace must be regulated and monitored for patient safety, including best practices for cultivation and manufacturing, science-based safety standards, and laboratory testing of cannabis goods. 

  • Stigma against medical cannabis use and patients justifies discrimination. Therefore, it must be reduced or eliminated with public education and legal reforms to protect patients against discrimination in access to health care, employment, housing, parental rights, and more. 

  • Medical cannabis laws and policies should be informed by the principles of Harm Reduction, a range of public health policies designed to lessen the negative social and physical consequences associated with various human behaviors, both legal and illegal. 

  • Access to medical cannabis goods and participation in the medical cannabis marketplace should be fair and impartial to every person in Ireland. 

  • Patients for Safe Access is committed to integrity in our messaging and operations, including our conduct, fiduciary responsibilities, public messaging, and more. 

  • The organisation does not discriminate in the provision of services or the execution of projects and programmes based on gender, civil status, family status, religion, sexual orientation, age, disability, race (including colour, nationality, ethnic or national origins), or membership of the Traveller community. 

  • Medical cannabis laws and policies should be based on objective, empirical science. 

 

Conditions/Determiners

 

Members of the Board of Directors include medical cannabis patients, organizers, advocates, and medical experts. The Board met on several occasions to discuss the current situation (Conditions) for patients in Ireland. The Conditions summarized in the table below represent common themes in those conversations. However, other patients and stakeholders may experience differing Conditions. The Conditions tell us “where we’re at” at this moment in time.

 

The Determiners are the individuals or organisations that have the power to influence the Condition for the benefit of patients and stakeholders. Identifying the Determiners ensures that PSA’s projects and campaigns target the right audience to address a given Condition on which the organisation chooses to focus. Identifying Determiners also helps shape priorities by illustrating which Determiner is most commonly influential. For example, note that elected officials are Determiners for most of the Conditions listed below. This indicates that projects and campaigns designed to educate or influence elected officials should be a high priority.

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Goals for 2021-2022

 

Our goals are the milestones by which we measure success. The strategies and tools described below are designed to help us reach our goals. PSA’s goals are to:

 

  • Recruit 50,000 new members via the webpage and social media before the end of 2022.

  • Invite 100 members to be Ambassadors.

  • Publish 1,000 self-generated patients’ stories online.

  • Publish a book with 20-30 professionally edited patients’ stories.

  • Host one or more national conferences.

  • Host and participate in at least twenty medical cannabis-themed events. 

  • Create and ratify the patient-led National Medical Cannabis Policy Agenda.

  • Reframe the national conversation about medical cannabis to focus on the needs of patients and science. 

  • Create streaming training videos on advocacy, media, and community organizing. 

  • Personally engage at least twenty lawmakers and regulators on legislative solutions based on the National Medical Cannabis Policy Agenda.

  • Generate a significant amount of grassroots participation in political actions and medical cannabis events.

  • Generate content for twenty-five unique media events (e.g., press releases, press conferences, articles, interviews, etc.). 

  • Identify and engage allies in government, health care, entertainment, media, clinical research, education, and other fields. 

  • Grow the public awareness of PSA to make the organisation more visible and effective.

  • Publish an annual report discussing campaign milestones, the organisation’s budget, and more in the fall of 2022.

  • Raise  EUR 100.000 for the organisation’s projects, campaigns, and operations using direct solicitation, event sponsorships, grants, and major donor development.

 

Strategies and Tools

 

 PSA will actively recruit new members using one-on-one networking, public events, and online promotion. The organisation will build a database of patient, caregiver, and advocate members to support cannabis law reform. The members signify their support for the organisation’s mission and National Policy Agenda by joining. PSA will also rally member support for specific legislative or media campaigns. The organisation will leverage its database using tags and behavioral targeting for maximum campaign participation. Tags and behavioral targeting help identify particular points of interest for members and track their actions to more precisely solicit participation. 

 

PSA will develop, publish, and promote a patient-led National Medical Cannabis Policy Agenda. Those affected directly by medical cannabis policy must have a seat at the table when discussing the issue. Medical cannabis patients and their loved ones know what they need. They are experts when it comes to their welfare. The best outcomes for patients result from listening to what patients need. We need to hear from patients, caregivers, doctors, researchers, cultivators, lawmakers, and others to frame the agenda for Ireland. Stakeholders from every segment of society are also necessary. Our National Medical Cannabis Policy Agenda includes:

 

  • Expand the list of conditions for which medical cannabis may be lawfully used.

  • Increase the variety of medical cannabis goods available to patients in Ireland.

  • Reduce the cost of medical cannabis and allow for reimbursements. 

  • Establish an emergency access programme to provide medical cannabis to patients immediately.

  • Enact legislation to license and regulate the medical cannabis marketplace to serve the needs of patients.

  • Create a national agency to oversee medical cannabis licensure, regulatory compliance, and administrative enforcement. 

  • Adopt scientific standards for purity and potency to protect patient welfare. 

  • Develop educational materials, policies, and legislation that reduce stigma and prevent discrimination against medical cannabis patients based on disinformation. 

  • Local initiative and leadership are essential for a national campaign. PSA will train selected members to be Ambassadors for the organisation. An Ambassador is an individual volunteer in Ireland empowered to speak to the media, elected officials, and the public about the organisation’s mission, projects, and campaigns. The role of the Ambassador is to be a public voice for PSA and a community leader on the issue of medical cannabis. Ambassadors may be involved in press conferences, public events, meetings with elected officials, rallies, conferences, and other activities approved by the Executive Director. The Directors will provide expanded media, spokesperson, and advocacy training to the Ambassadors. 

  • PFSA will build and develop an Internet website with resources for the community and members, including patient stories, news, event announcements, educational materials, action alerts, training, and more. Aspects of the website will be featured on social media accounts regularly. 

  • PFSA will host a national conference in 2021 to inaugurate our campaign and to:

  • Ratify the patient-led National Medical Cannabis Policy Agenda.

  • Provide a national platform for medical cannabis patients to discuss their use of medical cannabis, the barriers to safe access in Ireland, and reforms to address those needs. 

  • Learn and share practical strategies for talking to lawmakers, the media, and the community about medical cannabis.

  • Discuss patient access and well-being issues, including medical cannabis science, efficacy, safety, testing, legal consequences and precautions, and more.

  • Share experiences and insights into overcoming misinformation, stigma, and discrimination against patients.

  • PFSA will distribute educational and campaign literature at public events. Topics include information about the country’s medical cannabis laws, proposals for patient-focused reform, scientific information about cannabis, and educational materials to reduce stigma and discrimination against patients. 

  • PFSA will sell and distribute branded merchandise to raise public awareness of the issue and the organisation. 

  • PFSA will host and sponsor speaking engagements and public events, including live entertainment, to educate the public, raise awareness, and raise funds for the organisation’s campaigns. 

Evaluation

Accountability to the strategic plan is important for the Board of Directors and the members. The Board will meet quarterly to evaluate the progress on implementing the plan. The evaluation includes reviewing progress towards meeting each stated goal. The Board will also discuss what changes in the goals, tools, and strategies may be necessary to fulfill the organisation’s vision in the current political, social, and economic context. The Board will publish an update about progress on the strategic plan and any changes for members and other stakeholders following the quarterly meeting.