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.
While Assembly Included Compassionate Care Act in Budget Proposal, the Senate and Governor Failed to Act
Advocates: To Alleviate Patient Suffering in New York, State Senate Must Immediately Bring Compassionate Care Act to Floor for a Vote
Albany – On Saturday, Governor Cuomo, Speaker Sheldon Silver, and Senate Co-Presidents Dean Skelos and Jeffrey Klein announced that they had reach a budget agreement, but the deal excluded the Compassionate Care Act, a bill that would allow seriously ill New Yorkers access to medical marijuana under the supervision of their healthcare provider. The Assembly had included the proposal as part of their one-house budget bill, but the Senate and Governor refused to include the bill in the final budget.
Dozens of Patients, Caregivers, Providers and Faith Leaders Travel from Across the State to Demand Passage of Compassionate Care Act
Advocates Call on New York Senate Leaders to Stop Delays and Allow a Vote to Stop the Needless Suffering of Sick New Yorkers
NOTE: Likely press conference today at 2:30 outside the LCA with Faith Leaders, Patients, Healthcare Providers and Families.
Marijuana Decriminalization and Medical Marijuana Legislation Recently Introduced
Unprecedented Momentum for Drug Policy Reform Continues to Spread Throughout Latin America
This week, legislators from the Mexican Congress and the Mexico City Assembly will be in DC and NY to discuss the bills they introduced to decriminalize the consumption and purchase of marijuana for personal use in Mexico City and to legalize medical marijuana countrywide.
Advocates Say There Are Enough Votes to Pass Medical Marijuana in NY: Senate Must Act Now
East Syracuse - Wednesday, patients, families, advocates, and doctors will host an educational forum in East Syracuse. 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).
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).
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.
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.
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.
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).
"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.