Her direct experience with the medical benefits of cannabis and her political organizing background led Steph to form ASA in 2002 with the purpose of building a strong grassroots movement to protect patients and their rights. As a powerful advocate, a skilled spokesperson, and an energetic initiator of campaigns, Steph has trained over 100,000 individuals across the country on civic engagement.
Since its inception, ASA has successfully shifted the national debate around medical cannabis, which has focused solely on the legality and ethics of arresting and prosecuting patients for cannabis use, to the real concerns of patients, such as access and civil protections. ASA works with lawmakers across the US to adopt and improve medical cannabis legislation and regulatory policy in 34 states and the District of Columbia. In 2014, ASA passed federal legislation prohibiting the federal government from interfering with state laws which has created a “cease-fire” in 19-year-old battle between state and federal governments.
Steph has become the foremost international leader and expert on medical cannabis patient advocacy and, alongside American Herbal Products Association (AHPA), has created the first US industry standards in the areas of Distribution, Cultivation, Analytics, and Manufacturing, Packaging and Labeling.