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
"March for Compassion" Includes Actions and Events Across New York in Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Capitol Region, Westchester, New York City, and Long Island
Major Push by Patients and Families to Pass Compassionate Care Act
NEW YORK: Today, patients, families, caregivers and healthcare providers gathered in Albany to launch March for Compassion, a month of activities and events held around New York to demand the State Senate to past the Compassionate Care Act -- A.6357-A (Gottfried) / S.4406-A (Savino) – by April 1. The patients are living with cancer, multiple sclerosis, 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. They are available for interviews.
Momentum for Compassionate Care Act Builds as Three Senate Republicans Announce Support for the Bill
Patients and Family Members in Albany, Available for Interviews
Albany – Today, over a dozen 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, 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.
Republican State Senator, Joe Robach, and Former U.S. Senator Al D’Amato, Announce Support for Compassionate Care Act
Patients, Families, Doctors, Advocates: No More Delays, It’s Time for the State Senate to Vote
NEW YORK: Today, in meeting with the Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester, Senator Joseph Robach (R, C, IP – Rochester) stated his support for the Compassionate Care Act, a bill that would allow New Yorkers with serious and debilitating conditions to access to medical marijuana under the supervision of their healthcare provider. Senator Robach is the third senate Republican to announce his support for the Compassionate Care Act.
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.
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.
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.”