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-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. 

S. 683 CARERS Act

August 6, 2015

The Drug Policy Alliance supports S. 683 Compassionate Access, Research Expansion, and Respect States (CARERS) Act, which would affirm the right of states to set their own medical marijuana policies, reschedule medical marijuana to Schedule II, enable access to CBD oil, allow banks to provide financial services to marijuana dispensaries, permit VA physicians to recommend medical marijuana to veterans, and eliminate barriers to medical marijuana research.

New York State Department of Health Announces Five Medical Marijuana Producers

Statement by the Drug Policy Alliance and Compassionate Care NY

Contact:

Tony Newman 646-335-5384
 
Julie Netherland 347-781-5435

New York's Senator Schumer Throws Weight Behind Federal Medical Marijuana Legislation

Senator Schumer Joins NY Senator Gillibrand in Sponsoring the CARERS Act, a Bill that Would End Federal Prohibition of Medical Marijuana

New York Patients and Families Applaud Schumer for His Support

New York - Today, Senator Schumer (D-NY) added his name to the Senate’s sweeping medical marijuana bill. The CARERS Act, introduced in March by Sens Gillibrand (D-NY), Booker (D-NJ), and Paul (R-KY) would end federal prohibition of medical marijuana, and remove barriers for research, veterans, and banking.

Contact:

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

Today: Patients & Families Rally in Front of Cuomo's Office to Demand Emergency Access to Medical Marijuana On One Year Anniversary of Medical Marijuana Bill Signing

An Emergency Access Bill Passed NYS Legislature with Overwhelming Bipartisan Support But Needs Cuomo’s Signature to Become Law

Advocates: Not One Patient Has Yet Received Medical Marijuana; Cuomo Must Sign a Bill or Take Other Action to Provide Relief to Suffering Patients

New York City – On the one year anniversary of the signing of New York’s medical marijuana law, patients and families gathered in front of Governor Cuomo’s New York City Office to urge him to sign a new bill to expedite access to medical marijuana for critically ill patients. Since the medical marijuana law passed a year ago, not one patient in New York has been able to access medical marijuana, and at least four children, who could have likely benefited from it, have died while waiting to obtain this much-needed medicine.

Contact:

Tony Newman 646-335-5384
Julie Netherland 347-781-5435

Tuesday in California: Patients & Advocates Hand-Deliver Petition to Senator Feinstein on Medical Marijuana

Over 10,000 Signatories Tell Feinstein to Stop Opposing Medical Marijuana

Petition Follows Feinstein's Recent Vote Against Protecting Californian Residents from Federal Interference in Medical Marijuana Laws

California – A groups of California-based advocates will hand-deliver a petition to the San Francisco office of Sen. Feinstein (D-CA). Feinstein has been a leading opponent of marijuana reform, and recently spoke out against an amendment that would protect state medical marijuana programs from federal interference. The amendment passed the Senate Appropriations Committee 21-9, with Feinstein as the only Democrat to oppose the measure, with 8 Republicans voting in support.

Contact:

Tony Newman 646-335-5384
Amanda Reiman 510-730-2811

Tuesday in NYC: Patients & Families Rally at Cuomo's Office to Demand Emergency Access to Medical Marijuana

Tomorrow Marks One-Year Anniversary of Medical Marijuana Bill Signing

New Bill to Provide Faster Relief to Suffering Patients Just Passed NYS Legislature with Overwhelming Bipartisan Support – But Needs Cuomo’s Signature to Become Law

New York City – On the one year anniversary of the signing of New York’s medical marijuana law, patients and families will gather in front of Governor Cuomo’s New York City Office to urge him to sign a new bill that would create an emergency access program so that critically ill patients could access medical marijuana as soon as possible.

Contact:

Tony Newman 646-335-5384
Julie Netherland 347-781-5435

Obama Administration Removes Crucial Barrier to Marijuana Research

Big Win for Marijuana Reform Advocates but More Has to Be Done

Senate Hearing on Medical Marijuana Scheduled for Wednesday

In a long-sought move anticipated by many marijuana reform advocates, the White House today announced that it was removing a major obstacle to marijuana research – the Public Health Service (PHS) Review. “This announcement shows that the White House is ready to move away from the war on medical marijuana, and enable the performance of legitimate and necessary research,” said Bill Piper, Director of Drug Policy Alliance’s Office of National Affairs.

Contact:

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

Medical Marijuana Laws Do Not Lead to Increases in Teen Use

Lancet Study Dismantles Main Argument of Opponents of Medical Marijuana

A new Columbia University study published in Lancet Psychiatry shows that teen marijuana use does not increase after the passage of medical marijuana laws. The study, led by Dr. Debra Hasin, looked at past-30-day marijuana use among over one million adolescents over a 24-month period. While rates of use were higher to begin with in medical marijuana states, rates of use did not change after laws went into effect.

Contact:

Tony Newman 646-335-5384
Amanda Reiman 510-847-2405

New York State Legislature Passes Bipartisan Bill to Create Emergency Access to Medical Marijuana for Critically Ill Patients

Frustrated with Inaction by Cuomo, Patients and Families Returned to Legislature for Help

Patients and Families Demand Governor Sign the Bill into Law Immediately

Albany– Last night, in an unusual show of bipartisan support, the New York Senate voted 50 to 12 in favor of a bill, sponsored by Senator Joe Griffo, that directs the state to establish a program to help critically ill patients obtain emergency access to medical marijuana as soon as possible. The Assembly version, sponsored by Assemblyman Dick Gottfried, passed last week by an overwhelming majority (130-18). The bill now goes to Governor Cuomo for his signature or veto.

Contact:

Tony Newman 646-335-5384
gabriel sayegh 646-335-2264

Colorado Supreme Court Affirms Employers Rights to Fire Medical Marijuana Patients for Off-Duty Marijuana Use

Advocates Call for State and Federal Reform Protecting Medical Marijuana Patients and Legal Adult Users of Marijuana

Today the Colorado Supreme Court affirmed lower court decisions allowing employers to fire employees for marijuana use while off-duty.  The decision hinged on the state’s lawful off-duty activities statute.  The Court held that in order for the off-duty conduct to be considered “lawful,” it must be legal under both state and federal law.  The unanimous decision was not a surprise to advocates working to reform marijuana law and policy in Colorado.

Contact:

Art Way 720-288-6924
Tony Newman 646-335-5384

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