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.
Three 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:
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.
10 Facts about Marijuana
Why Are CBD-Focused Laws Not Enough?
The DEA: Four Decades of Impeding and Rejecting Science
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.
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.
Advocates: Program Is Only a Success If and When Patients Can Access Medicine
Significant Concerns About the Program – Including Low Physician Enrollment – Remain
New York City – Yesterday, the New York State Department of Health (DOH) announced that New York’s medical marijuana program will officially open tomorrow on Thursday, January 7th. While the state has authorized 20 dispensaries to open statewide, only eight will open on Thursday, with the rest slated to open later in January, leaving huge areas of the state without access to a dispensary.
Bill Stops Feds from Blocking Medical Marijuana Legalization and Partially Lifts Federal Ban on Funding for Syringe Access Programs to Prevent HIV/AIDS
President Obama Expected to Sign Bill
Congress passed a must-pass spending bill this morning that includes language that stops the Obama Administration’s Department of Justice from spending money to block the implementation of state medical marijuana laws. The amendment was passed last year on a temporary basis and must be renewed this year.
Bill Would Stop Feds from Blocking Medical Marijuana Legalization and Would Partially Lift Federal Ban on Funding for Syringe Access Programs to Prevent HIV/AIDS
President Obama Expected to Sign Bill
Congress is set to vote on a must-pass spending bill introduced last night that includes language that stops the Obama Administration’s Department of Justice from spending money to block the implementation of state medical marijuana laws. The amendment was passed last year on a temporary basis and must be renewed this year.
New Legislation Clarifies Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act Patient Protections
Advocates Applaud Legislation and Declare that Legislature Did Not Intend For Patients To Lose Jobs For Using Legal Medical Marijuana
Trenton—The New Jersey Legislature is poised to hold the first-ever hearing on legislation clarifying employment protections for medical marijuana patients. The Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee hearing is scheduled for Monday, December 21st at 1PM in the New Jersey State House Annex Committee Room 1. The Legislation, Senate Bill 3162, is sponsored by Senator Nicholas Scutari (DMiddlesex/Somerset/Union) and Senator Joseph Vitale (D-Middlesex).
Patients and Families Applaud Gov. Cuomo and Call on Health Department to Implement Law Quickly and Get Medicine to Critically Ill Patients
New York City – After months of pressure from patients and advocates, Gov. Cuomo signed a bill today that will expedite access to medical marijuana for critically ill patients. In June, with overwhelming bipartisan support, both houses of the legislature passed A.7060 (Gottfried) / S.5086 (Griffo), directing the state to establish a program to help critically ill patients obtain emergency access to medical marijuana as soon as possible.
Billboards to Run In Syracuse, Rochester, Albany and Other Media Markets Across the State
On the Eve of Veterans Day, Patient Advocates Ask Cuomo Administration to Grant Veterans Suffering from PTSD Access to Medical Marijuana
New York -- Today, on the eve of Veterans Day, Compassionate Care NY and the Drug Policy Alliance launched a billboard campaign to have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) added to the list of conditions covered by New York’s medical marijuana law. The first billboard was put up in Syracuse on Route 690 East, with others to follow in Rochester, Albany, and other media markets across the state.
Amendment Would Allow VA Doctors to Recommend Medical Marijuana to Their Patients in States Where It’s Legal
The Senate today passed the FY2016 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs (MilCon-VA) Appropriations Bill, which includes language to allow Veterans Administration (VA) doctors to recommend medical marijuana to their patients in states where medical marijuana is legal. The language was included as an amendment in the Senate Appropriations committee in May.
Cuomo Must Sign Bill By November 11th to Help End the Suffering of Patients
New York City – Today, patients, families, and advocates rallied outside Governor Cuomo’s Manhattan office to urge the Governor to sign a bill that would expedite access to medical marijuana for critically ill patients. In June, with overwhelming bipartisan support, both houses of the legislature passed A.7060 (Gottfried) / S.5086 (Griffo), directing the state to establish a program to help critically ill patients obtain emergency access to medical marijuana as soon as possible. The bill was delivered to Governor on October 30th.