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.
Drug Policy Alliance: Era of Robust State-Based Regulation Has Begun
Majority of Americans Now Support Legalizing and Regulating Marijuana like Alcohol
Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a first-ever Senate hearing on the issue of marijuana legalization and the tension between state and federal marijuana laws.
New state level regulations establish a division of the Alcoholic Beverage Control
SACRAMENTO, CA — The president of the California Senate and Chair of Assembly Public Safety introduced bills yesterday to crack down on illegal cultivation and distribution under guise of medical marijuana, and to create one of the most comprehensive regulatory structures in the country to allow bona fide patients to access medical marijuana, from state registered growers, transporters and dispensaries, and to reduce diversion to non-medical users.
Report Shows that 100,000 Seriously Ill New York City Residents Could Benefit from Medical Marijuana
Patients, Healthcare Professionals, and Advocates Call on State Legislature to Pass Compassionate Care Act Immediately
NEW YORK - Today, New York City Comptroller John Liu released a report calling on the state legislature to pass the Compassionate Care Act, a bill that would create a carefully regulated medical marijuana program in New York. The report details how more than 100,000 seriously ill New York City residents could benefit from medical marijuana. The report notes that there is strong scientific evidence that medical marijuana can help alleviate the suffering of those living with cancer, multiple sclerosis, HIV/AIDS and a number of other serious illness
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
(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.
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.