Medical Marijuana

One of the most egregious outcomes of marijuana prohibition is that many sick people cannot legally access the medicine that works best for them. For many seriously ill people, medical marijuana is the only medicine that relieves their pain and suffering, or treats symptoms of their medical condition, without debilitating side effects.
 
Marijuana has been shown to alleviate symptoms of a huge variety of serious medical conditions including cancer, AIDS, and glaucoma, and is often an effective alternative to synthetic painkillers. 

Medical Marijuana Access and Research 

Twenty-four states and the District of Columbia have passed medical marijuana laws legalizing the use and production of medical marijuana for qualifying patients under state law. However, the medical use of marijuana remains illegal under federal law, and patients in the remaining states are without any legal access at all. Even in states where medical marijuana laws exist, patients and providers are vulnerable to arrest and interference from federal law enforcement.  
 
Marijuana prohibition has also thwarted research within the United States to uncover the best and most effective uses for marijuana as a medicine, making efforts to reform medical marijuana laws particularly difficult.
 
DPA played a primary role in the passage of medical marijuana laws in nine states, starting with California’s Proposition 215 in 1996. We seek to implement medical marijuana programs in additional states and to expand existing programs to better protect patients’ rights and to improve patient access to their medicine.  
 
The Drug Policy Alliance is committed to increasing the number of states with medical marijuana laws, supporting and improving existing state medical marijuana programs, protecting medical marijuana patients, and ending the federal ban on medical marijuana so that all patients within the United States have safe access to quality medicine and research into marijuana’s medicinal benefits can move forward. 

Mon: NJ Senate to Hold First-Ever Hearing on Legislation to Protect Medical Marijuana Patients from Discrimination and Loss of Employment

New Legislation Clarifies Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act Patient Protections

Advocates Applaud Legislation and Declare that Legislature Did Not Intend For Patients To Lose Jobs For Using Legal Medical Marijuana

Trenton—The New Jersey Legislature is poised to hold the first-ever hearing on legislation clarifying employment protections for medical marijuana patients.  The Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee hearing is scheduled for Monday, December 21st at 1PM in the New Jersey State House Annex Committee Room 1. The Legislation, Senate Bill 3162, is sponsored by Senator Nicholas Scutari (DMiddlesex/Somerset/Union) and Senator Joseph Vitale (D-Middlesex).

Contact:

Tony Newman 646-335-5384
Roseanne Scotti 609-610-8243

Breaking: Gov. Cuomo Signs Medical Marijuana Emergency Access Bill

Patients and Families Applaud Gov. Cuomo and Call on Health Department to Implement Law Quickly and Get Medicine to Critically Ill Patients

New York City – After months of pressure from patients and advocates, Gov. Cuomo signed a bill today that will expedite access to medical marijuana for critically ill patients. In June, with overwhelming bipartisan support, both houses of the legislature passed A.7060 (Gottfried) / S.5086 (Griffo), directing the state to establish a program to help critically ill patients obtain emergency access to medical marijuana as soon as possible.

Contact:

Tony Newman 646-335-5384
Julie Netherland 917-819-0309

New York Advocates for Medical Marijuana Launch Billboard Campaign Around State to Help Veterans and Others Suffering from PTSD

Billboards to Run In Syracuse, Rochester, Albany and Other Media Markets Across the State

On the Eve of Veterans Day, Patient Advocates Ask Cuomo Administration to Grant Veterans Suffering from PTSD Access to Medical Marijuana

New York --  Today, on the eve of Veterans Day, Compassionate Care NY and the Drug Policy Alliance launched  a billboard campaign to have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) added to the list of conditions covered by New York’s medical marijuana law. The first billboard was put up in Syracuse on Route 690 East, with others to follow in Rochester, Albany, and other media markets across the state.

Contact:

Tony Newman 646-335-5384
Julie Netherland 917-819-0309

Senate Approves Funding Bill That Allows Veterans to Access Medical Marijuana

Amendment Would Allow VA Doctors to Recommend Medical Marijuana to Their Patients in States Where It’s Legal

The Senate today passed the FY2016 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs (MilCon-VA) Appropriations Bill, which includes language to allow Veterans Administration (VA) doctors to recommend medical marijuana to their patients in states where medical marijuana is legal. The language was included as an amendment in the Senate Appropriations committee in May.

Contact:

Tony Newman (646) 335-5384
Michael Collins mcollins@drugpolicy.org

Patients and Families Hold Passionate Rally at Gov. Cuomo's Office to Demand He Sign Medical Marijuana Emergency Access Bill

Cuomo Must Sign Bill By November 11th to Help End the Suffering of Patients

New York City – Today, patients, families, and advocates rallied outside Governor Cuomo’s Manhattan office to urge the Governor to sign a bill that would expedite access to medical marijuana for critically ill patients. In June, with overwhelming bipartisan support, both houses of the legislature passed A.7060 (Gottfried) / S.5086 (Griffo), directing the state to establish a program to help critically ill patients obtain emergency access to medical marijuana as soon as possible. The bill was delivered to Governor on October 30th.

Contact:

Tony Newman 646-335-5384
Julie Netherland 917-819-0309

Patients & Families Rally at Cuomo's Office to Demand He Sign Emergency Access to Medical Marijuana Bill

Bill That Would Provide Faster Relief to Suffering Patients Passed NYS Legislature with Overwhelming Bipartisan Support But Needs Cuomo’s Signature to Become Law

New York City – One day before the deadline for Governor Cuomo to sign or veto a bill that would create emergency access to medical marijuana, patients and advocates will rally outside his office to demand action. Since the medical marijuana law passed a year ago, not one patient in New York has been able to access medical marijuana and at least four children, who could have likely benefited from it, have tragically died while waiting to obtain this much-needed medicine.

Contact:

Tony Newman 646-335-5384
Julie Netherland 917-819-0309

Bill to Create Emergency Access to Medical Marijuana Delivered to Governor Cuomo's Desk

Advocates: Not One Patient Has Yet Received Medical Marijuana and Four Children Have Died Waiting in the Past 15 Months; Cuomo Must Sign or Take Other Action to Provide Relief to Suffering Patients

Governor Has Ten Days to Sign or Veto the Bill

New York City – Friday, the New York State Assembly delivered to the Governor a bill to expedite access to medical marijuana for critically ill patients. In June, with overwhelming bipartisan support, both houses of the legislature passed A.7060 (Gottfried) / S.5086 (Griffo), directing the state to establish a program to help critically ill patients obtain emergency access to medical marijuana as soon as possible.

Contact:

Tony Newman 646-335-5384
Julie Netherland 347-781-5435

New York State Department of Health Launches Required Doctor Training for Medical Marijuana Program

Less Than Three Months Before the State’s Medical Marijuana Program is Supposed to Become Operational, Advocates Urge State to Move Quickly to Enroll Doctors and Patients

Advocates: No Delays or Excuses, Patients Need Medicine Now

New York -  Less than three months before New York’s medical marijuana program is supposed to become fully operational in January of 2016, the New York State Department of Health (DOH) today launched an online training program that is required for physicians to certify patients to receive medical marijuana in New York. The training course, which will be provided by TheAnswerPage, is 4.5 hours and qualifies participants to receive continuing medical education (CME) credits.

Contact:

Tony Newman 646-335-5384
Julie Netherland 347-781-5435

Federal Ruling Protects Medical Marijuana Dispensaries That Follow State Law

In Precedent-Setting Case, U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer Rules Justice Department in Violation of Federal Law and Lifts Injunction Against Medical Marijuana Dispensary

Judge Cites Recent Congressional Reforms, as Support for Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Continues to Grow in Congress

Yesterday, a federal judge lifted an injunction against one of California’s oldest medical marijuana dispensaries. The injunction can no longer be enforced in the wake of a congressional spending amendment passed by Congress last year—the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment—that precluded the Department of Justice from spending funds on prosecuting dispensaries in compliance with state law. Setting significant legal precedent, Senior Judge Charles R. Breyer of the U.S.

Contact:

Tony Newman 646.335.5384
Bill Piper 202.669.6430

S. 683 CARERS Act

August 6, 2015

The Drug Policy Alliance supports S. 683 Compassionate Access, Research Expansion, and Respect States (CARERS) Act, which would affirm the right of states to set their own medical marijuana policies, reschedule medical marijuana to Schedule II, enable access to CBD oil, allow banks to provide financial services to marijuana dispensaries, permit VA physicians to recommend medical marijuana to veterans, and eliminate barriers to medical marijuana research.

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