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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
New Yorkers Overwhelmingly Support Fixing New York’s Broken Marijuana Policies
Drug Policy Alliance: State Senate Out of Step with New York Voters; Reform Urgently Needed
NEW YORK: In a poll released this morning, Quinnipiac University found that 88% of New Yorkers – including a strong majority across all political groups and demographics – support allowing the use of medical marijuana if a doctor recommends it. Polls have consistently found strong support for medical marijuna in New York, but this is the highest favorable poll to date and has a margin of error of only+/- 2.5 percentage point.
Under Current Law Drug Czar Must Oppose Legalization of Marijuana, Even for Medical Use, No Matter What the Science Shows or What the American People Support
Cohen Bill Would Allow Drug Czar to Take Same Positions on Marijuana Policy as President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder
WASHINGTON, DC—Representative Steve Cohen (D-TN) has introduced The Unmuzzle the Drug Czar Act of 2014 (H.R. 4046). The bill would repeal a little know provision of federal law that requires the director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), informally known as the U.S. Drug Czar, to “take such actions as necessary to oppose any attempt to legalize the use” of marijuana or any Schedule I drug for medical or non-medical use. The provision even prohibits ONDCP from studying legalization.