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-five 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. 

State of New Mexico Proposes New Medical Cannabis Program Rules; Program Becomes Less Transparent and Accountable to Patients

Patients, Drug Policy Alliance Re-Launch Campaign Asking the Governor and Secretary of Health to Postpone Rule Hearing and Go Back to the Drawing Board to Include Stakeholders in Their Process

Rural Patients and Veterans are Concerned They Will Lose Access to Medical Cannabis

SANTA FE, NM – Late last Friday the New Mexico Department of Health released proposed rule changes governing the medical cannabis program. If the new rules are adopted, thousands of patients, many of whom are New Mexico’s Military Veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic pain, are worried that their medical cannabis will be taken away by making it harder for them to access their medicine.

Contact: Emily Kaltenbach 505-920-5256 or Jessica Gelay 505-573-4422

Marijuana Legalization in Uruguay (English/Spanish)

May 22, 2014

In December 2013, Uruguay became the first country in the world to fully legalize the production, sale and consumption of marijuana for personal use. This document is a summary of the key provisions of the law.

Senate Health Committee Passes Comprehensive Bi-Partisan Medical Marijuana Bill

New York Takes Major Step Toward Becoming Medical Marijuana State

Patients and Families Cheer Step Forward, Call for Vote in Full Senate

Albany — Today, the New York State Senate Health Committee passed (S.4406-B/Savino) by a bipartisan vote of 9 – 8. This is the first time in years that the Senate has taken up the issue of medical marijuana. The bill, known as the Compassionate Care Act, would alleviate the suffering of thousands of seriously ill New Yorkers by allowing the use of marijuana to treat debilitating, life-threatening illnesses under a doctor’s supervision.

Contact: Tony Newman 646-335-5384 or gabriel sayegh 646-335-2264

Today: Senate Health Committee to Vote on Compassionate Care Act - New York's Comprehensive Medical Marijuana Bill

Dozens of Patients, Caregivers, and Healthcare Providers from Across New York Come to Albany to Attend Hearing, Demand Passage of the Bill  

Patients and Caregivers Available for Interviews

Contact:  Tony Newman 646-335-5384 or gabriel sayegh 646-335-2264

BREAKING: State Senator Bonacic Becomes Fifth Republican Senator to Announce Support for Compassionate Care Act, New York's Comprehensive Medical Marijuana Bill

Rapidly Building Republican Support for Bi-Partisan Bill Comes as Republican Senator Phil Boyle Introduces Inadequate Measure  
Patients, Families and Advocates Respond: Good that Boyle Supports Medical Marijuana; Now He Can Support Patients by Endorsing the Compassionate Care Act 

 New York : Today in a meeting with patients, caregivers and providers, Senator John Bonacic (R-Middletown) announced his support for the comprehensive medical marijuana bill known as the Compassionate Care Act ( S.4406-B (Savino) / A.3567-A (Gottfried)). With this announcement, Bonacic becomes the fifth Republican state senator to publicly endorse the bill, which would allow eligible patients with serious and debilitating conditions to access medical marijuana under the supervision of their healthcare provider.


Tony Newman 646-335-5384
gabriel sayegh 646-335-2264

Republican Support for Medical Marijuana Grows as GOP Gathers for Convention in Westchester

Attendees Include Erie County GOP Chair Nick Langworthy, Who is Calling on GOP to Support Compassionate Care Act 
Patients, Families and Advocates Applaud Langworthy and Encourage GOP Leaders to Follow 

New York : As Republicans gather in Westchester this week to nominate their statewide ticket, they should congratulate Erie County Republican Chairman Nick Langworthy for supporting the Compassionate Care Act. Chairman. Langworthy’s leadership on medical marijuana should make it easier for other Party leaders to do the right thing, for the right reasons.


Tony Newman 646-335-5384
gabriel sayegh 646-335-2264

Today: Providers, Patients and Caregivers from Across State Travel to Albany to Urge Legislature to Pass Comprehensive Medical Marijuana Legislation

Advocacy Day Follows Announcement of Growing List of Supporters for the Compassionate Care Act, including The New York Academy of Medicine 
Providers, Patients and Family Members from  Across NY Available for Interviews
Albany – Today, more than a dozen patients,  families, caregivers and healthcare providers from across New York are gathering in Albany to press for passage of  a comprehensive medical marijuana bill known as the Compassionate Care Act. The advocacy day follows a recent wave of growing support for the measure, including from The New York Academy of Medicine. 


Tony Newman 646-335-5384
gabriel sayegh 646-335-2264

Colorado Veterans Suffering From PTSD Denied Legal Marijuana in Colorado

Veterans With PTSD Who Use Legal Marijuana in Colorado Can Lose VA Medical Care and Benefits

Legislation to Add PTSD As Qualifying Condition for Medical Marijuana Rejected By Colorado Legislature

DENVER - Yesterday, a bill failed to pass the Colorado House State, Veterans, and Military Affairs committee that would have added post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to the list of ‘debilitating medical conditions’ that qualify for a medical marijuana recommendation. This timely bill (HB14-1364) would have addressed a major gap in access to medical marijuana in Colorado for veterans and all those suffering from PTSD.

Contact:  Tony Newman 646-335-5384 or Art Way 720-288-6924 or Jessica Gelay 505-573-4422

Today: Patients and Caregivers from Across State Travel to Albany to Urge Legislature to Pass Comprehensive Medical Marijuana Legislation

Compassionate Care Act Would Establish Tightly Controlled and Regulated Access to Medical Marijuana to Relieve Suffering in New York

Patients and Family Members from  Across NY Available for Interviews

Albany – Today, the first day the legislature resumes it session following their spring recess, nearly two dozen patients,  families, caregivers and healthcare providers from across New York will gather in Albany to press for passage of  a comprehensive medical marijuana bill known as the Compassionate Care Act.

Contact:  Tony Newman 646-335-5384 or gabriel sayegh 646-335-2264

New Mexico Medical Cannabis Program's Medical Advisory Board Recommends Adding Alzheimer's Disease to the List of Eligible Conditions

If Approved by the Dept. of Health, New Mexico Would Join 13 Other States Where Patients Can Access Medical Cannabis for Alzheimer’s Disease

SANTA FE—Yesterday, the New Mexico Medical Cannabis Program’s Medical Advisory Board voted unanimously to add neurodegenerative dementia including Alzheimer’s disease (AD) to the list of medical conditions eligible for the Medical Cannabis Program. The Secretary of Health will have the final decision.  Medical cannabis is currently available to Alzheimer’s patients in thirteen of the states that authorize its use.

Contact: Jessica Gelay 505-573-4422 or Emily Kaltenbach 505-920-5256

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