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. 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.

Upcoming Initiatives

Three states will consider initiatives that allow access to cannabis for those with qualifying medical conditions and establish state regulatory systems for the cultivation and distribution of cannabis to qualified patients. Read more about the initiatives:

  • Arkansas
  • Florida
  • North Dakota

Find out about all the initiatives this year.


Take Action

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.

Advance research
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.

Featured Resources

Medical Marijuana
Marijuana Facts
Why Are CBD-Focused Laws Not Enough?
Marijuana Concentrates
The DEA: Four Decades of Impeding and Rejecting Science

National Epilepsy Foundation Calls for Federal and State Policy Change to Increase Access to Medical Marijuana

Foundation Support Adds to Growing Number of Organizations Calling for Passage of the Compassionate Care Act, including Upstate and Long Island Cancer and MS Support Groups

Doctors, Patients and Parents of Children with Epileptic Disorders Applaud Foundation and New York Groups,  Call for New York Senate to Vote on the Comprehensive Medical Marijuana Bill

New York – Yesterday, the National Epilepsy Foundation issued a release calling for federal and state-level policy changes to increase access to medical marijuana. Citing the injustice that patients in some states are being denied treatment that is available to patients in other states, the foundation called for changes to state and federal laws to increase access to medical marijuana.

Contact:  Tony Papa 646-420-7290 or gabriel sayegh 646-335-2264

Two NY Republican State Senators Announce Support for Compassionate Care Act

Support Growing: New Poll  Shows NY Voters Back Medical Marijuana 10 to 1

NY One Step Away From Becoming the 21st State With a Medical Marijuana System to Help Patients

NEW YORK: Yesterday, State Senator George Maziarz (R - Newfane) became the second Republican senator in two days to declare support for the Compassionate Care Act, along with State Senator Mark Grisanti (R, IP - Buffalo). The Republicans were joined by their Western Region colleague Senator Tim Kennedy (D, IP, WF -  Buffalo), who also announced his support for the Compassionate Care Act.

Contact:  gabriel sayegh 646-335-2264 or Tony Papa 646-420-7290

New Quinnipiac University Poll: New York Voters Back Medical Marijuana 10 to 1

New Yorkers Overwhelmingly Support Fixing New York’s Broken Marijuana Policies
 
Drug Policy Alliance: State Senate Out of Step with New York Voters; Reform Urgently Needed

NEW YORK: In a poll released this morning, Quinnipiac University found that 88% of New Yorkers – including a strong majority across all political groups and demographics – support allowing the use of medical marijuana if a doctor recommends it. Polls have consistently found strong support for medical marijuna in New York, but this is the highest favorable poll to date and has a margin of error of only+/- 2.5 percentage point.

Contact:  gabriel sayegh 646-335-2264 or Tony Papa 646-420-7290

Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) Introduces Bill Allowing Drug Czar to Speak the Truth about Marijuana

Under Current Law Drug Czar Must Oppose Legalization of Marijuana, Even for Medical Use, No Matter What the Science Shows or What the American People Support

Cohen Bill Would Allow Drug Czar to Take Same Positions on Marijuana Policy as President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder

WASHINGTON, DC—Representative Steve Cohen (D-TN) has introduced The Unmuzzle the Drug Czar Act of 2014 (H.R. 4046). The bill would repeal a little know provision of federal law that requires the director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), informally known as the U.S. Drug Czar, to “take such actions as necessary to oppose any attempt to legalize the use” of marijuana or any Schedule I drug for medical or non-medical use. The provision even prohibits ONDCP from studying legalization.

Contact: Tony Newman 646-335-5384 or Bill Piper 202-669-6430

Today: Patients, Caregivers and Healthcare Providers from Across NY Travel to Albany to Urge Senate to Pass Comprehensive Medical Marijuana Legislation

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

Patients and Family Members Are Available for Interviews

Albany – Today, patients,  families, caregivers and healthcare providers will gather in Albany to press the State Senate to pass the Compassionate Care Act -- A.6357-A (Gottfried) / S.4406-A (Savino) . The patients are living with cancer, severe seizure disorders, and other serious, debilitating medical conditions, and the families include parents of children who suffer from severe forms of epilepsy, such as Dravet’s syndrome.

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

New Poll: Clear Majority of New Yorkers Support Passing Legislation to Establish Patient Access to Medical Marijuana

Patients and Advocates: Now It's Time for the Senate to Pass the Compassionate Care Act

A poll released today by Siena College found that a clear majority of New Yorkers -- including 60% of Republicans and 65% of Conservatives -- support passing legislation as the best way to "proceed on this issue" of establishing patient access to medical marijuana in New York. 

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

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid: Marijuana Has Medical Value and Marijuana Possession Arrests are Waste of Law Enforcement Time and Resources

Statement from Drug Policy Alliance: More Senators Should Follow Reid’s Lead

In an interview today with the Las Vegas Sun, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said Nevada cities should move in the direction of making medical marijuana legal.

“If you’d asked me this question a dozen years ago, it would have been easy to answer – I would have said no, because (marijuana) leads to other stuff,” the Senate majority leader told the Sun today. “But I can’t say that anymore.”

Contact: Tony Newman 646-335-5384 or Bill Piper 202-669-6430

Patients, Families, Caregivers and Healthcare Providers Rally in Albany to Urge Senate and Governor Cuomo to Pass Comprehensive Medical Marijuana Legislation

Tuesday: Assembly Health Committee to Vote on “Compassionate Care Act”

Broad Coalition Unites Behind Comprehensive Bill

Albany -- Today – the first full day of the 2014 New York State Senate session -- dozens of patients, families, caregivers and healthcare providers gathered in Albany for a press conference and lobby day to call on the State Senate to pass and Governor Andrew Cuomo to sign the Compassionate Care Act -- A.6357-A (Gottfried) / S.4406-A (Savino).

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

January 13th: Patients, Caregivers and Healthcare Providers Travel to Albany to Urge Cuomo and Senate to Pass Comprehensive Medical Marijuana Legislation to Effectively Relieve Patient Suffering

NY Patients, Families and Medical Experts: We Do Not Need "Feasibility Research Pilot Program," We Need Comprehensive System

Albany – On Monday, January 13th, dozens of patients,  families, caregivers and healthcare providers will gather in Albany for a press conference and lobby day to call upon Governor Andrew Cuomo and the State Senate to pass the Compassionate Care Act -- A.6357-A (Gottfried) / S.4406-A (Savino) . The patients are living with cancer, multiple sclerosis, severe seizure disorders, and other serious, debilitating medical conditions, and the families include parents of children who suffer from severe forms of epilepsy, such as Dravet’s syndrome.

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

NY Governor Andrew Cuomo's Medical Marijuana Plan in State of State Speech Falls Short

Patients and Advocates Disappointed that Cuomo Doesn’t Call for Comprehensive Legislation to Effectively Help Patients Get Medicine

Drug Policy Alliance: Governor Needs to Push Senate to Get Bill to His Desk

NEW YORK: After making national headlines for his support of medical marijuana, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s State of the State only briefly mentioned his medical marijuana plan.  Cuomo administration officials said that the program would involve distributing medical marijuana through 20 hospitals statewide, and the Department of Health would be charged with promulgating regulations.

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

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