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. 

Patients, Families, Doctors Host Educational Medical Marijuana Forum Tonight in Mineola, Long Island

March for Compassion Continues Throughout the State as Support for the Compassionate Care Act Grows

Long Island - Tonight, patients, families, advocates, and doctors will host an educational forum in Mineola, Long Island. The public forum is part of the March for Compassion — a month-long series of actions and events across the state to educate New Yorkers about medical cannabis and build support for New York’s comprehensive medical marijuana proposal – the Compassionate Care Act (A.6357-A -Gottfried) / S.4406-A -Savino).

Contact:  Tony Newman 646-335-5384 or gabriel sayegh 646-335-2264

For First Time Ever, Assembly Includes Comprehensive Medical Marijuana Bill in Their One-House Budget Bill, Jumpstarting Negotiations With Senate and Governor

As Assembly Gathers to Vote, Patients, Caregivers and Healthcare Providers from Across NY Descend on Albany to Demand Senate Join Assembly and Deliver the Compassionate Care Act to Cuomo for Signature

Day of Actions Include Public Hearing on Bill, Evening Event in Nearby Latham, and Powerful New Video About Patients, Doctors and the Compassionate Care Act

Albany – Today, the State Assembly is introducing and passing their one-house budget proposal, which, for the first time ever, includes the New York’s comprehensive medical marijuana proposal – the Compassionate Care Act (A.6357-A -Gottfried) / S.4406-A -Savino). As the Assembly gathers to pass the measure, dozens of patients, families, caregivers and healthcare providers are descending on Albany to press the State Senate to pass the Compassionate Care Act.

Contact:  Tony Newman 646-335-5384 or gabriel sayegh 646-335-2264

NY State Assembly to Include Comprehensive Medical Marijuana in State Budget Bill; Patients, Families, Caregivers Call on Senate To Do Same

Statewide Coalition Launches Month of Actions With Weekly Lobby and Education Days in Albany and Community Forums in Buffalo, Syracuse, Capital Region, Westchester, NYC, Long Island

Momentum Builds as Assembly Jumpstarts Negotiations and Four Senate Republicans Announce Support for Compassionate Care Act

New York: Today, Assembly Health Committee Chairman Richard Gottfried (D, WFP – Manhattan) announced that the Assembly would include the comprehensive medical marijuana bill in their state budget proposal. The move assures that, for the first time ever, the Compassionate Care Act will be formally discussed in state budget negotiations between the Assembly, Senate and Governor.

Contact: Tony Newman 646-335-5384 or gabriel sayegh 646-335-2264

Fourth Republican State Senator, Thomas O'Mara, Announces His Support for Comprehensive Medical Marijuana Bill – the Compassionate Care Act

Support to Pass Compassionate Care Act Continues to Grow

Patients and Families: We Cannot Wait Any Longer for Relief

NEW YORK: Yesterday, Senator Tom O’Mara (R, C – Big Flats, Elmira) 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. Sen.

Contact:  Tony Newman 646-335-5384 or gabriel sayegh 646-335-2264

New Mexico Medical Cannabis Program Adds Two Qualifying Conditions, Announces Plan to Address Severe Supply Shortage

After Vowing to Repeal the Law, Governor Martinez's Position on Medical Marijuana is Evolving

SANTA FE: On Friday, New Mexico’s Secretary of Health Retta Ward announced the Martinez Administration’s decision to approve adding Parkinson’s disease and Huntington’s disease to the list of medical conditions for which New Mexicans are allowed to seek medical marijuana. Last fall, the Drug Policy Alliance petitioned the Department of Health (DOH) to add these two neurological conditions in addition to traumatic brain injury (TBI).

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

Patients, Family Members Gather in Albany to Launch Month of Actions in Support of Comprehensive Medical Marijuana Bill

"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.  

Contact:  gabriel sayegh 646-335-2264 or Tony Newman 646-335-5384

TODAY: Patients, Caregivers and Healthcare Providers from Across NY Travel to Albany to Urge Senate to Pass Comprehensive Medical Marijuana Legislation

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.

Contact:  Tony Newman 646-335-5384 or gabriel sayegh 646-335-2264

Republican Support for Comprehensive Medical Marijuana Bill Continues to Grow

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.

Contact:  gabriel sayegh 646-335-2264 or Tony Newman 646-335-5384

National Epilepsy Foundation Calls for Federal and State Policy Change to Increase Access to Medical Marijuana

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.

Contact:  Tony Papa 646-420-7290 or gabriel sayegh 646-335-2264

Two NY Republican State Senators Announce Support for Compassionate Care Act

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.

Contact:  gabriel sayegh 646-335-2264 or Tony Papa 646-420-7290

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