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. 

White House Will Allow Marijuana Legalization Laws to Proceed in Colorado and Washington

Historic Breakthrough in Struggle to End Marijuana Prohibition

Attorney General Eric Holder informed the governors of Washington and Colorado today that the Department of Justice will allow the states to implement their ballot initiatives that legalized the production, distribution, and sale of marijuana for adults. Deputy Attorney General James Cole also issued a memo to U.S. attorneys across the country outlining priorities for federal prosecutors enforcing marijuana laws. 
 
The directive will also apply to the 20 states that have legalized marijuana for medical purposes.
 

Contact:

Tony Newman (646-335-5384)

Ethan Nadelmann (646-335-2240)

Senator Leahy to Hold Congressional Hearing on Conflicting Marijuana Laws, Reiterates Call for Federal Government to Respect States' Marijuana Reforms

Attorney General Eric Holder and Deputy AG James Cole Invited to Testify

Statement from Drug Policy Alliance Executive Director Ethan Nadelmann

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) announced Monday that he will address discrepancies between federal and state marijuana laws in an upcoming hearing on September 10. Leahy has invited Attorney General Eric Holder and Deputy Attorney General James Cole to testify. Twenty states now allow medical marijuana, and Colorado and Washington recently became the first two states to approve the legal regulation of marijuana for non-medicinal purposes.

Contact: Tony Newman 646-335-5384 or Ethan Nadelmann 646-335-2240

Regulating and Taxing Marijuana: The Fiscal Impact on NYC

August 14, 2013
New York City Comptroller John C. Liu

This groundbreaking report by the New York City Comptroller’s office estimates the value of the current illicit marijuana market in the city, and outlines a rationale and potential benefits of regulating and taxing the sale of marijuana for personal use for adults.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie Eases Restrictions on Medical Marijuana Program

Advocates Applaud Sensible and Compassionate Action

Trenton, NJ— Gov. Chris Christie drew praise from medical marijuana advocates as he announced he would remove certain restrictions from the state’s medical marijuana program.

Contact: Roseanne Scotti 609-610-8243 or Anthony Papa 646-420-7290

Why I changed my mind on weed

Watch Dr. Sanjay Gupta's groundbreaking documentary "WEED" at 8 p.m. ET August 11 on CNN.

(CNN) -- Over the last year, I have been working on a new documentary called "Weed." The title "Weed" may sound cavalier, but the content is not.

I traveled around the world to interview medical leaders, experts, growers and patients. I spoke candidly to them, asking tough questions. What I found was stunning.

City of Berkeley fights U.S. civil action against marijuana dispensary

(CNN) -- The city of Berkeley, California, is trying to stop the U.S. government from closing a medical marijuana dispensary and filed a federal court claim Wednesday, attorneys said.

In the latest strategy against federal attempts to shut down marijuana shops, the city contends the U.S. civil action would harm the city by depriving it of hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxes, paid over a period of years, according to Drug Policy Alliance, a nonprofit group whose attorneys are representing the city.

DPA, Veterans and Legislators to Launch "Freedom to Choose" Campaign to Improve Veterans' Access to Medical Marijuana for PTSD and Other Wounds of War

New Mexico Patients and Veterans Fighting Employment Discrimination and Stigma from Medical Professionals that Create Barriers to Medical Marijuana

July 9: US Rep. Lujan Grisham, New Mexico State Rep. Antonio Maestas, Veterans, Patients and the Drug Policy Alliance to Speak at Press Teleconference

The Drug Policy Alliance, veterans’ groups, elected officials and others are introducing a campaign to protect New Mexico’s military veterans’ legal access to medical marijuana. The Campaign is asking New Mexico to stand with veterans and their families to ask our state lawmakers, employers, and medical professionals to support efforts to ensure that when veterans come home they will have access to the medicine that works for them.

Contact: Tony Newman 646-335-5384 or Jessica Gelay 505-573-4422

City of Berkeley Fights Federal Action to Seize Property of City's Largest Medical Marijuana Dispensary

City Files Claim Asserting that Federal Action Harms Berkeley’s  Ability to Control and Regulate Medical Marijuana

Federal Action to Close Berkeley Patients Group will Hurt City’s Tax Revenue and Weaken Medical Marijuana Regulation, City Asserts in in Federal Court Proceeding

BERKELEY, CA - The City of Berkeley filed a claim Wednesday in the action brought by the federal government in May to seize the property used by Berkeley Patients Group at 2366 San Pablo Avenue in Berkeley, California.  Berkeley Patients Group has been providing medical marijuana to patients within the City since 1999.  It is in full compliance with the City of Berkeley’s medical marijuana ordinance, regulations, and zoning laws.

Contact: Tony Newman  646-335-5384 or Tamar Todd 510-593-4908

Long Island Patients and Community Members Rally in Long Island in Support of Medical Marijuana Bill

Senate Has Yet to Vote on Bill Supported by 82% of New Yorkers and Hundreds of New York Doctors and Patients

Advocates Urge Senate to Pass the Bill Before the End of Legislation Session Next Week

Garden City, Long Island – Today, patients and community members from across Long Island gathered at the Garden City, LIRR train station to mobilize supporters of New York’s medical marijuana bill. They collected signatures and handed out flyers urging their neighbors to contact senate leadership and demand a vote on the Compassionate Care Act (A. 6357-Gottfreid / S. 4406- Savino) before the end of the legislative session on June 20th.

Contact: Julie Netherland 347-781-5435

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