One of the most egregious outcomes of marijuana prohibition is that many sick people cannot legally access the medicine that works best for them. The Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) is committed to legalizing marijuana at the state and federal levels and improving medical marijuana programs to better protect patients’ rights and access to medicine.
Current Medical Marijuana Laws in the U.S.
2016 Initiative Results
Election Day was a watershed moment for the movement to end marijuana prohibition — no other reform was approved by so many citizens on so many ballots this year. Legalization initiatives prevailed in four out of five states, and medical marijuana initiatives prevailed in all four states.
But the prospect of Donald Trump as our next president is profoundly troubling. While Trump has repeatedly pledged to respect state marijuana laws, his rhetoric on broader criminal justice issues has been largely unfriendly.
Read more about the impact of the 2016 election on our blog.
The CARERS Act is the first-ever bill in the U.S. Senate to let states legalize marijuana for medical use. Tell your Senators to legalize medical marijuana nationwide!
Why Should We Legalize?
Provide effective medicine
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.
Marijuana prohibition has thwarted research within the United States to uncover the best and most effective uses for marijuana as a medicine. Legalization would allow research into marijuana’s medical benefits to move forward.
Why Are CBD-Focused Laws Not Enough?
The DEA: Four Decades of Impeding and Rejecting Science
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Drug Policy Alliance: Rescheduling Is Small Step In Right Direction, But Wouldn’t Protect People From Being Arrested or Punished for Marijuana Possession
DPA Supports De-Scheduling Marijuana and Legally Regulating It
Attorney General Eric Holder said Friday that the Obama administration would be willing to work with Congress if lawmakers want to reschedule marijuana.
Re-categorizing marijuana would not legalize the drug under federal law, but it could ease restrictions on research into marijuana's medical benefits and allow marijuana businesses to take tax deductions.