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.
More Than Half of All States Have Some Kind of Medical Marijuana Law
Support for Changing Federal Law at Unprecedented Level in Congress
As early as this Thursday the U.S. House could vote on a bipartisan amendment to the Commerce-Justice-Science spending bill that would prohibit the federal government from wasting taxpayer money interfering with state medical marijuana laws. The amendment is being offered by five Republicans and five Democrats. A vote several weeks ago on allowing Veteran Administration doctors discuss medical marijuana with their patients received 195 yes votes. Support for letting states set their own marijuana policy without federal interference is rising quickly.
Patients and Caregivers from Across New York Come to Albany to Attend Floor Vote and Demand Passage in Senate
Patients, Service Providers, and Caregivers Available for Interviews
Albany – Today, The New York State Assembly will vote on the Compassionate Care Act -- A.6357-B (Gottfried), New York’s comprehensive medical marijuana bill. The bill will help provide relief to thousands of New Yorker’s who are currently suffering with debilitating medical conditions such as, cancer, multiple sclerosis, severe seizure disorders, and other serious conditions. Traveling from New York City, Westchester, and Central New York, patients will gather in Albany for an advocacy day and to hear the Assembly debate and vote on the bill.
Patients, Drug Policy Alliance Re-Launch Campaign Asking the Governor and Secretary of Health to Postpone Rule Hearing and Go Back to the Drawing Board to Include Stakeholders in Their Process
Rural Patients and Veterans are Concerned They Will Lose Access to Medical Cannabis
SANTA FE, NM – Late last Friday the New Mexico Department of Health released proposed rule changes governing the medical cannabis program. If the new rules are adopted, thousands of patients, many of whom are New Mexico’s Military Veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic pain, are worried that their medical cannabis will be taken away by making it harder for them to access their medicine.
In December 2013, Uruguay became the first country in the world to fully legalize the production, sale and consumption of marijuana for personal use. This document is a summary of the key provisions of the law.
New York Takes Major Step Toward Becoming Medical Marijuana State
Patients and Families Cheer Step Forward, Call for Vote in Full Senate
Albany — Today, the New York State Senate Health Committee passed (S.4406-B/Savino) by a bipartisan vote of 9 – 8. This is the first time in years that the Senate has taken up the issue of medical marijuana. The bill, known as the Compassionate Care Act, would alleviate the suffering of thousands of seriously ill New Yorkers by allowing the use of marijuana to treat debilitating, life-threatening illnesses under a doctor’s supervision.
Dozens of Patients, Caregivers, and Healthcare Providers from Across New York Come to Albany to Attend Hearing, Demand Passage of the Bill
Patients and Caregivers Available for Interviews
Rapidly Building Republican Support for Bi-Partisan Bill Comes as Republican Senator Phil Boyle Introduces Inadequate Measure
Patients, Families and Advocates Respond: Good that Boyle Supports Medical Marijuana; Now He Can Support Patients by Endorsing the Compassionate Care Act
New York : Today in a meeting with patients, caregivers and providers, Senator John Bonacic (R-Middletown) announced his support for the comprehensive medical marijuana bill known as the Compassionate Care Act ( S.4406-B (Savino) / A.3567-A (Gottfried)). With this announcement, Bonacic becomes the fifth Republican state senator to publicly endorse the bill, which would allow eligible patients with serious and debilitating conditions to access medical marijuana under the supervision of their healthcare provider.
Attendees Include Erie County GOP Chair Nick Langworthy, Who is Calling on GOP to Support Compassionate Care Act
Patients, Families and Advocates Applaud Langworthy and Encourage GOP Leaders to Follow
New York : As Republicans gather in Westchester this week to nominate their statewide ticket, they should congratulate Erie County Republican Chairman Nick Langworthy for supporting the Compassionate Care Act. Chairman. Langworthy’s leadership on medical marijuana should make it easier for other Party leaders to do the right thing, for the right reasons.
Advocacy Day Follows Announcement of Growing List of Supporters for the Compassionate Care Act, including The New York Academy of Medicine
Providers, Patients and Family Members from Across NY Available for Interviews
Albany – Today, more than a dozen patients, families, caregivers and healthcare providers from across New York are gathering in Albany to press for passage of a comprehensive medical marijuana bill known as the Compassionate Care Act. The advocacy day follows a recent wave of growing support for the measure, including from The New York Academy of Medicine.
Veterans With PTSD Who Use Legal Marijuana in Colorado Can Lose VA Medical Care and Benefits
Legislation to Add PTSD As Qualifying Condition for Medical Marijuana Rejected By Colorado Legislature
DENVER - Yesterday, a bill failed to pass the Colorado House State, Veterans, and Military Affairs committee that would have added post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to the list of ‘debilitating medical conditions’ that qualify for a medical marijuana recommendation. This timely bill (HB14-1364) would have addressed a major gap in access to medical marijuana in Colorado for veterans and all those suffering from PTSD.