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-five 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. 

Report Finds Too Few Patients Can Access Medicine Through New York's Overly Restrictive, Expensive Medical Marijuana Program

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.

Contact:

Tony Newman 646-335-5384
Julie Netherland 917-819-0309

Assessing New York’s Medical Marijuana Program: Problems of Patient Access and Affordability

June 13, 2016
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.

New Mexico's Department of Health Administrative Delays are Preventing Thousands of Patients from Accessing Medical Cannabis

Delays Violate State Law and Put Patients at Risk of Criminal Prosecution

SANTA FE— New Mexico’s Department of Health administrative shortfalls are leaving medical cannabis patients without access to medicine and unprotected from criminal liability for purchase, possession, and cultivation across New Mexico.

According to law, the Department of Health (DOH) is required to process medical cannabis program patient enrollment applications (26-2B-7 C NMSA 1978) in 30 days, but for several months the department has not been able to comply. Current wait time for medical cannabis enrollment processing exceeds 60 days.

Contact:

Jessica Gelay 505-573-4422
Emily Kaltenbach 505-920-5256

House Votes to Allow Veterans to Access Medical Marijuana

Amendment Will Allow VHA Doctors to Recommend Medical Marijuana to Patients in Medical Marijuana States

Amendment Already Passed Senate Appropriations Committee, Will Likely Become Law Later This Year

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The House passed a bipartisan amendment today, 233 to 189, allowing Veterans Administration (VA) doctors to recommend medical marijuana to their patients in states where medical marijuana is legal. The vote already passed the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee, but narrowly failed in the House last year. The amendment will likely now make the final spending bill.

Contact:

Bill Piper 202-669-6430
Tony Newman: 646-335-5384

Colorado Legislature Approves Bill to Help Young Medical Marijuana Patients

School Districts Must Now Establish Policies to Facilitate On-Campus Administration of Medical Marijuana

Governor Hickenlooper Expected to Sign Bill

Today, in a unanimous vote, the Colorado Senate approved legislation mandating that school districts establish a policy to ensure that young medical marijuana patients can take their medicine on school grounds. As a show of respect, the Senate directed their ‘yes’ votes to families and proponents in the gallery.  Last week the Senate Education Committee passed the legislation via a rare standing vote.

Contact:

Art Way (720) 288-6924
Stacey Linn (303) 520-6429

Senate Appropriations Committee Votes to Prevent DEA from Undermining State Medical Marijuana Laws

Vote Comes Just a Week After Committee Voted to Allow Veterans Administration Doctors to Recommend Marijuana to Veterans

Nationwide Bi-partisan Momentum for Drug Policy Reform Grows Stronger

In yet another huge victory for marijuana reform, the Senate Appropriations Committee voted today by 21 to 8 to approve an amendment offered by Senator Mikulski (D-MD) to protect state medical marijuana laws from federal interference by the Department of Justice and Drug Enforcement Administration.

Contact:

Tony Newman 646-335-5384
Bill Piper 202-669-6430

Senate Appropriations Committee Approves Veterans Access to Medical Marijuana

Amendment Passes for Second Year Running, but Must Pass House before Becoming Law

Amendment Would Allow VA Doctors to Recommend Medical Marijuana to Patients in Medical Marijuana States

The Senate Appropriations Committee passed a bipartisan amendment today, 20 to 10, allowing Veterans Administration (VA) doctors to recommend medical marijuana to their patients in states where medical marijuana is legal. The vote is the second time the U.S. Senate has advanced this issue. The amendment did not make the final appropriations bill last year after narrowly losing in the House.

Contact:

Tony Newman (646) 335-5384

Patients and Their Families Gather in Albany to Demand Changes to New York's Broken Medical Marijuana Law

Advocates: Too Few Patients Can Access Medicine Through the Overly Restrictive, Expensive Program

Slate of Bills Would Remove Barriers to Participating in the Program and Expand Patient Access

Albany – Today, dozens of advocates gathered in Albany to urge legislators to support a slate of bills that would amend the Compassionate Care Act, New York’s medical marijuana law. The law, which was passed in June of 2014, took eighteen months to implement and has been criticized for being one of the most restrictive and burdensome programs in the country. Launched in January of this year, to date, only 494 of the state’s 79,000 physicians have agreed to participate and only 2,390 patients have been certified by their doctors to enroll in the program.

Contact:

Tony Newman 646-335-5384
Kassandra Frederique 646-209-0374

TUESDAY: Patients and Their Families Will Gather at State Capitol to Demand Changes to New York’s Broken Medical Marijuana Program

Advocates: Too Few Patients Can Access Medicine Through the Overly Restrictive, Expensive Program

Slate of Bills Would Remove Barriers to Participating in the Program and Expand Patient Access

Albany – On Tuesday, April 12th, dozens of advocates gathered in Albany to urge legislators to support a slate of bills that would amend the Compassionate Care Act, New York’s medical marijuana law. The law, which was passed in June of 2014, took eighteen months to implement and has been criticized for being one of the most restrictive and burdensome programs in the country. Launched in January of this year, to date, only 514 of the state’s 79,000 physicians have agreed to participate and only 2,494 patients have been certified by their doctors to enroll in the program.

Contact:

Tony Newman 646-335-5384
Kassandra Frederique 646-209-0374

Bipartisan Group of Senators and U.S. Representatives Call for VA to Allow Vets Access to Medical Marijuana

Current Policy Preventing VA Doctors from Recommending Medical Marijuana Set to Expire

Push Comes Amid Broad Bipartisan Support for Medical Marijuana in House and Senate

Today, a broad group of legislators from both parties sent a letter to the Veterans’ Administration (VA) demanding a change in policy to allow veterans to access medical marijuana. Currently, veterans are prevented from having full conversations about medical marijuana with VA doctors, and the same VA physicians are prohibited from recommending medical marijuana, even in states where medical marijuana is legal.

Contact:

Michael Collins (404) 539-6437
Tony Newman (646) 335-5384

Page 1 of 25
Syndicate content