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.

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.


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

Tuesday in Albany: Elected Officials Join Patients & Families in Support of Emergency Access to Medical Marijuana

Abandoned by Cuomo, Families Turn to Legislature for Relief in Final Days of Legislative Session

Bill Would Create Emergency Access Program to Provide Relief to Suffering Children

Albany -- Nearly a year since the medical marijuana law passed in New York in June 2014, patients and families will gather in Albany to urge lawmakers to pass a bill that would create an emergency access program so that critically ill patients could access medical marijuana. Since the law passed, not one patient has been able to access medical marijuana and at least four children from across New York State have tragically died while waiting to obtain this much-needed medicine.

Contact:

Tony Newman 646-335-5384
Julie Netherland 347-781-5435

Congress Passes Three Amendments to Stop DEA from Undermining State Marijuana Laws

Important Victories Build on Last Night’s Votes to End DEA's Controversial Bulk Data Collection Program, Cut DEA's Budget

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Legislators passed three amendments today to prohibit the DEA and U.S. Department of Justice from undermining state marijuana laws, as part of the U.S. House of Representatives' consideration of the Fiscal Year 2016 Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations bill. A fourth amendment failed. The House also passed an amendment last night ending the DEA’s controversial bulk data collection program.

Contact:

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

TODAY: Congress Voting on Numerous Amendments to Reign in Troubled Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)

Amendments Would Prohibit DEA from Undermining State Marijuana Laws; Shut Down DEA’s Controversial Bulk Collection Surveillance Programs; Cut Agency’s Budget

Amendments Come in Wake of Recent Forced Resignation of Agency’s Head, Michele Leonhart

WASHINGTON, D.C.—As the U.S. House of Representatives considers the Fiscal Year 2016 Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations bill today and tomorrow, legislators could vote on at least seven amendments designed to reduce the power of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and cut its budget.

Contact:

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

Thursday Event: Everything You Wanted to Know About Marijuana Reform in New York

Leading Elected Officials, Advocates, and Industry Experts Answer Questions About NY’s Medical Marijuana Law, How to End Marijuana Arrests, and Upcoming Legislation to Tax and Regulate Marijuana

Event at abc home to Benefit the Drug Policy Alliance’s Work to Fix New York’s Broken Marijuana Policies

What is the status of medical marijuana in New York? How can one get a medical card or a dispensary license? How can we end racially biased marijuana arrests in New York? Will NY tax and regulate marijuana like Colorado and Washington? Come get the answers to these questions and more. Join the Drug Policy Alliance, along with leaders in the marijuana industry, policymakers, experts, and patients to get an insider perspective on the state of marijuana policy reform in New York.

Contact:

Tony Newman 646-335-5384
Tony Papa 646-420-7290

Marijuana Concentrates

May 21, 2015

There are over 500 chemicals in the marijuana plant and about 80 of those are cannabinoids, which are the active ingredients. Concentrate producers harvest these from the plant and create a substance made up of only these active ingredients, similar to juicing an orange. Concentrates are usually ingested via inhalation, but can also be ingested orally and are often used as an ingredient in infused edible products.

In Historic Vote, Senate Appropriations Committee Approves Veterans Medical Marijuana Amendment

First Time Senate Has Voted on Marijuana Law Reform

Amendment Would Allow VA Doctors to Recommend Medical Marijuana to Their Patients in States Where It’s Legal

The Senate Appropriations Committee passed a bipartisan amendment today, 18 to 12, allowing Veterans Administration (VA) doctors to recommend medical marijuana to their patients in states where medical marijuana is legal. The vote is the first time the U.S. Senate has ever moved marijuana law reform legislation forward.

Contact:

Tony Newman (646) 335-5384
Bill Piper (202) 669-6430

Governor of Puerto Rico Signs Executive Order to Legalize Medical Marijuana

Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla of Puerto Rico signed an executive order yesterday legalizing medical marijuana in the U.S. territory. The order enables the Puerto Rican Health Department to authorize the use of marijuana and its derivatives for medical purposes. The Health Secretary now has three months to produce a report etching out the details of the new system. In 2013, a medical marijuana bill was introduced into the Puerto Rican legislature but remains stuck in the House of Representatives.

Contact:

Tony Newman 646-335-5384
Hannah Hetzer 212-613-8060

TODAY: U.S. House Voting on Bipartisan Amendment Allowing Veterans Administration (VA) Doctors to Discuss Medical Use of Marijuana

36 States Allow Use of Some Form of Marijuana for Medical Reasons, but VA Doctors Prohibited from Recommending Medical Marijuana to Patients

Amendment Comes as Support for Medical Marijuana Increases in Congress

As early as this afternoon the U.S. House could vote on an amendment that would allow doctors that work for the Veterans Administration to discuss medical marijuana and recommend its use in states where it is legal. The bipartisan amendment is being offered by Reps. Blumenauer (D-OR), Heck (R-NV), Farr (D-CA), Rohrabacher (R-CA), Reed (R-NY), Titus (D-NV), Gabbard (D-HI), Lee (D-CA) and Gallego (D-AZ).  

Contact:

Tony Newman, 646-335-5384
Bill Piper, 202-669-6430

Bipartisan Legislation Introduced in New York to Expedite Access to Medical Marijuana for Critically Ill Patients

Assembly Health Committee Chair Richard N. Gottfried and Assembly Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb Join as Co-Sponsors

Patients & Families Rally in Albany to Demand Emergency Access Before More Loved Ones Die

Albany– Patients, family members and activists stood with legislators today as they announced the introduction of Assembly bill A.7060 that would direct the state to establish a program to help critically ill patients obtain emergency access to medical marijuana as soon as possible. The bill, introduced by Assembly Health Committee Chair Richard N. Gottfried and Assembly Minority Leader Brian M.

Contact:

Tony Newman 646-335-5384
Julie Netherland 347-781-5435

New York Bill to Create Emergency Access to Medical Marijuana

Patients & Families Hold Press Conference in Albany as Bill Reviewed by Assembly Health Committee

The 2014 limited medical marijuana law leaves many New Yorkers continuing to suffer from severe and debilitating conditions that could be made better by use of marijuana under medical supervision.  As the Compassionate Care Act (CCA) will not take effect until at least 2016, new legislation has been introduced to create an emergency access program for patients with the most urgent needs – including children suffering from severe epilepsy.  The new bill – A.7060 – is sponsored by Assembly Health Committee Chair Richard N.

Contact:

Tony Newman 646-335-5384
Julie Netherland 347-781-5435

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