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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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).
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.
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.
Patients, Advocates, Elected Officials and Major Newspaper Editorials Praise Cuomo and Urge Him to Back Comprehensive Medical Marijuana Legislation
Patients and Advocates will be in Albany for State of State and Are Available for Interviews
NEW YORK: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo will use his State of the State address to announce his support for medical marijuana for patients in New York. After years of opposing medical marijuana, the turnaround by Gov. Cuomo is making national headlines. As an immediate step, the Governor will bypass the Legislature – where comprehensive legislation has stalled for years in the Senate – and take executive action to revive a 1980 law that allows the state to establish a limited medical marijuana research program.
DPA Statement: Bold Step to Help Some Patients Builds Momentum for Needed Comprehensive Legislation