One of the most egregious outcomes of marijuana prohibition is that many sick people cannot legally access the medicine that works best for them. The Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) is committed to legalizing marijuana at the state and federal levels and improving medical marijuana programs to better protect patients’ rights and access to medicine.
Current Medical Marijuana Laws in the U.S.
Two states will consider initiatives that allow access to cannabis for those with qualifying medical conditions and establish state regulatory systems for the cultivation and distribution of cannabis to qualified patients. Read more about the initiatives:
Find out about all the initiatives this year.
The CARERS Act is the first-ever bill in the U.S. Senate to let states legalize marijuana for medical use. Tell your Senators to legalize medical marijuana nationwide!
Why Should We Legalize?
Provide effective medicine
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.
Marijuana prohibition has thwarted research within the United States to uncover the best and most effective uses for marijuana as a medicine. Legalization would allow research into marijuana’s medical benefits to move forward.
Why Are CBD-Focused Laws Not Enough?
The DEA: Four Decades of Impeding and Rejecting Science
New Report Finds Massive Drop in Marijuana Arrests, No Increase in Youth Marijuana Use, No Increase in Traffic Fatalities, and Major Fiscal Benefits in States With Legalized Marijuana
Tens of Thousands of People Spared from Harmful Marijuana Arrests and Collateral Consequences; $552 Million in Tax Revenue Raised in Colorado, Washington and Oregon
As Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada prepare to vote on marijuana legalization next month, all eyes are on the initial outcomes of those states that have already legalized marijuana. In 2012, Colorado and Washington became the first two U.S. states – and the first two jurisdictions in the world – to approve ending marijuana prohibition and legally regulating marijuana production, distribution and sales. In the 2014 election, Alaska and Oregon followed suit, while Washington D.C.
In 2012, Colorado and Washington became the first two U.S. states – and the first two jurisdictions in the world – to approve ending marijuana prohibition and legally regulating marijuana production, distribution and sales. In the 2014 election, Alaska and Oregon followed suit, while Washington D.C. passed a more limited measure that legalized possession and home cultivation of marijuana (but did not address its taxation and sale due to D.C. law).
Governor Heeds Advocates’ Call to Expand New York's Medical Marijuana Program, Adopts Recommendations From Dept. of Health
NEW YORK—Today, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced his office will sign off on all 12 recommendations made by the Department of Health in its recent two-year report evaluating the rollout and current status of New York’s medical marijuana program.
Agency Removes Separate Research Barrier, Ending Monopoly on Research
Drug Policy Alliance: Next Administration Must End Federal Marijuana Prohibition
Today, the DEA announced that it was not rescheduling marijuana, in effect refusing to recognize marijuana's medicinal benefits. But in what is viewed as a victory for the marijuana reform movement, the DEA said that it was ending its monopoly on marijuana research.
Prescription drug overdose is now the leading cause of accidental death in the United States. Many of these overdoses are related to the increasing number of people taking opiate-based medications for pain related conditions. Marijuana has been shown as an effective treatment for pain, and has a better safety profile than opiates with less risk for dependence and no risk of fatal overdose.
Addresses Most Commonly-Asked Questions About Marijuana Use and Its Effects
Several States Preparing for Historic Votes on Marijuana Law Reform this November
Today, the Drug Policy Alliance released Marijuana Facts, intended for non-expert audiences seeking answers to some of the most common questions asked about marijuana use, its effects, and the rapidly-shifting legal landscape.
Senators Booker and Gillibrand Invited as Guest Witnesses to Testify
Congress under Pressure to Protect Patients and Move CARERS Act
Today at 2:30pm, the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism will hold a hearing entitled, “Researching the Potential Medical Benefits and Risks of Marijuana.” Senators will hear from witnesses from the FDA, NIDA, as well as medical professionals who will discuss the pros and cons of medical marijuana. Senators Booker (D-NJ) and Gillibrand (D-NY) are also scheduled to testify as guest witnesses.
July 1, 2016 - By Joy Haviland
Seventy-seven Percent of Patients & Caregivers Surveyed, Who Accessed the Program, Say They Cannot Afford the Medicine They Need
Advocates Call On New York State Legislature to Pass Bills to Increase Patient Access to Medical Marijuana
New York – Today, the Drug Policy Alliance issued a report assessing the first four months on the state’s medical marijuana program. The report is in response to demand for information in the face of the absence of all but the most limited public information from the New York State Department of Health.
New York became the 23rd state to roll out its medical marijuana program on January 7, 2016. The law has been criticized as being one of the most restrictive and burdensome programs in the country. This report, an assessment of the first four months of the program, found that patients and caregivers face significant barriers to accessing medical marijuana.