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.
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:
Find out about all the initiatives this year.
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.
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Bill Would Stop Feds from Blocking Medical Marijuana Legalization and Would Partially Lift Federal Ban on Funding for Syringe Access Programs to Prevent HIV/AIDS
President Obama Expected to Sign Bill
Congress is set to vote on a must-pass spending bill introduced last night that includes language that stops the Obama Administration’s Department of Justice from spending money to block the implementation of state medical marijuana laws. The amendment was passed last year on a temporary basis and must be renewed this year.
New Legislation Clarifies Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act Patient Protections
Advocates Applaud Legislation and Declare that Legislature Did Not Intend For Patients To Lose Jobs For Using Legal Medical Marijuana
Trenton—The New Jersey Legislature is poised to hold the first-ever hearing on legislation clarifying employment protections for medical marijuana patients. The Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee hearing is scheduled for Monday, December 21st at 1PM in the New Jersey State House Annex Committee Room 1. The Legislation, Senate Bill 3162, is sponsored by Senator Nicholas Scutari (DMiddlesex/Somerset/Union) and Senator Joseph Vitale (D-Middlesex).
Patients and Families Applaud Gov. Cuomo and Call on Health Department to Implement Law Quickly and Get Medicine to Critically Ill Patients
New York City – After months of pressure from patients and advocates, Gov. Cuomo signed a bill today that will expedite access to medical marijuana for critically ill patients. In June, with overwhelming bipartisan support, both houses of the legislature passed A.7060 (Gottfried) / S.5086 (Griffo), directing the state to establish a program to help critically ill patients obtain emergency access to medical marijuana as soon as possible.
Billboards to Run In Syracuse, Rochester, Albany and Other Media Markets Across the State
On the Eve of Veterans Day, Patient Advocates Ask Cuomo Administration to Grant Veterans Suffering from PTSD Access to Medical Marijuana
New York -- Today, on the eve of Veterans Day, Compassionate Care NY and the Drug Policy Alliance launched a billboard campaign to have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) added to the list of conditions covered by New York’s medical marijuana law. The first billboard was put up in Syracuse on Route 690 East, with others to follow in Rochester, Albany, and other media markets across the state.
Amendment Would Allow VA Doctors to Recommend Medical Marijuana to Their Patients in States Where It’s Legal
The Senate today passed the FY2016 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs (MilCon-VA) Appropriations Bill, which includes language to allow Veterans Administration (VA) doctors to recommend medical marijuana to their patients in states where medical marijuana is legal. The language was included as an amendment in the Senate Appropriations committee in May.
Cuomo Must Sign Bill By November 11th to Help End the Suffering of Patients
New York City – Today, patients, families, and advocates rallied outside Governor Cuomo’s Manhattan office to urge the Governor to sign a bill that would expedite access to medical marijuana for critically ill patients. In June, with overwhelming bipartisan support, both houses of the legislature passed A.7060 (Gottfried) / S.5086 (Griffo), directing the state to establish a program to help critically ill patients obtain emergency access to medical marijuana as soon as possible. The bill was delivered to Governor on October 30th.
Bill That Would Provide Faster Relief to Suffering Patients Passed NYS Legislature with Overwhelming Bipartisan Support But Needs Cuomo’s Signature to Become Law
New York City – One day before the deadline for Governor Cuomo to sign or veto a bill that would create emergency access to medical marijuana, patients and advocates will rally outside his office to demand action. Since the medical marijuana law passed a year ago, not one patient in New York has been able to access medical marijuana and at least four children, who could have likely benefited from it, have tragically died while waiting to obtain this much-needed medicine.
Advocates: Not One Patient Has Yet Received Medical Marijuana and Four Children Have Died Waiting in the Past 15 Months; Cuomo Must Sign or Take Other Action to Provide Relief to Suffering Patients
Governor Has Ten Days to Sign or Veto the Bill
New York City – Friday, the New York State Assembly delivered to the Governor a bill to expedite access to medical marijuana for critically ill patients. In June, with overwhelming bipartisan support, both houses of the legislature passed A.7060 (Gottfried) / S.5086 (Griffo), directing the state to establish a program to help critically ill patients obtain emergency access to medical marijuana as soon as possible.
Less Than Three Months Before the State’s Medical Marijuana Program is Supposed to Become Operational, Advocates Urge State to Move Quickly to Enroll Doctors and Patients
Advocates: No Delays or Excuses, Patients Need Medicine Now
New York - Less than three months before New York’s medical marijuana program is supposed to become fully operational in January of 2016, the New York State Department of Health (DOH) today launched an online training program that is required for physicians to certify patients to receive medical marijuana in New York. The training course, which will be provided by TheAnswerPage, is 4.5 hours and qualifies participants to receive continuing medical education (CME) credits.
In Precedent-Setting Case, U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer Rules Justice Department in Violation of Federal Law and Lifts Injunction Against Medical Marijuana Dispensary
Judge Cites Recent Congressional Reforms, as Support for Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Continues to Grow in Congress
Yesterday, a federal judge lifted an injunction against one of California’s oldest medical marijuana dispensaries. The injunction can no longer be enforced in the wake of a congressional spending amendment passed by Congress last year—the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment—that precluded the Department of Justice from spending funds on prosecuting dispensaries in compliance with state law. Setting significant legal precedent, Senior Judge Charles R. Breyer of the U.S.