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-three 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. 

Marijuana Policy Project Resource Collection

Handouts, reports, briefing papers and other resources collected by the Marijuana Policy Project.

Americans for Safe Access

Americans for Safe Access (ASA) is the largest national member-based organization of patients, medical professionals, scientists and concerned citizens promoting safe and legal access to cannabis for therapeutic use and research. ASA works to overcome political and legal barriers by creating policies that improve access to medical cannabis for patients and researchers through legislation, education, litigation, grassroots actions, advocacy and services for patients and the caregivers. ASA has over 30,000 active members with chapters and affiliates in more than 40 states.

Drug Policy Alliance Joins Opposition to Proposed De Facto Ban on Medical Cannabis Dispensaries in San Diego City

San Diego – On March 28, the San Diego City Council will vote on an ordinance that amounts to a de facto ban on medical cannabis facilities in the City of San Diego. If passed as currently written, this unduly restrictive ordinance would threaten the quality of life for some of the most vulnerable members of our community and would deny safe access for thousands of patients in the city. The Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) urges the City Council to oppose this ordinance.

Margaret Dooley-Sammuli at 213-291-4190

Department of Health to Hold Hearings Monday, March 7th on Draft Regulations for New Jersey's Medical Marijuana Program

Patients, Families and Advocates Express Frustration with the Regulatory Process and Fear the Overly Restrictive Regulations Will Limit Adequate Access to Medical Marijuana

Tony Newman at 646-335-5384 or Roseanne Scotti at 609-610-8243

House Bill Threatening to End New Mexico's Medical Marijuana Program will Not Advance

Bill's Sponsor Pulls Legislation in Lieu of a Memorial to Study Program's Effectiveness

Santa Fe - Today, freshman Representative Jim Smith confirmed he will be pulling his legislation to end New Mexico's Medical Marijuana Program. House Bill 593 was scheduled for debate in the House of Representative's Consumer and Public Affairs Committee this Saturday. Instead, he has introduced a memorial to study the effectiveness of the program.

Emily Kaltenbach at 505-920-5256 or Tony Newman at 646-335-5384

Montel Williams Cited for Marijuana Pipe at Wisconsin Airport

Williams, a Medical Marijuana Patient, Uses Marijuana to Treat Multiple Sclerosis

Drug Policy Alliance to TSA: Look for Bombs, Not Marijuana

Medical marijuana activist and former talk show host Montel Williams was cited for possession of a marijuana pipe at the International Airport in Milwaukee yesterday. TSA employees found the pipe as he passed through a security checkpoint. He paid a $484 citation and was released.

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

NM Department of Health to License Eight More Medical Marijuana Producers, Increase Limits on Plants

Advocates Applaud Effort to Maintain Adequate Supply for Thousands of Seriously Ill Patients

Sheila Lewis at 505-470-3535 (c) or Jill Harris at 212-613-8050 (o)

Compassionate Use Campaign Supporters

New Jersey State Nurses Association

New Jersey Academy of Family Physicians

New Jersey Hospice and Palliative Care Organization

New Jersey League for Nursing

American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey

The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society --Southern New Jersey/Shore Region Chapter

The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society--Northern New Jersey Chapter

Faith is Our Pathway

Desperate for Relief

Yearning to reduce both his own suffering and the burden MS has placed on his family, Charles Kwiatkowski decided to try medical marijuana.

Read Charles' story.

Marijuana Myths, Marijuana Facts

June 1, 1997
Lynn Zimmer, PhD, and John P. Morgan, MD
The Lindesmith Center

This book provides reliable information about marijuana's effects on people. This book is for everyone interested in the drug itself, and for everyone concerned about people who use it.  It is for parents and adolescents, for school counselors and police officers, for drug treatment specialists and drug policy reformers. It is for people who love marijuana and people who hate it.

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