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. 

New Mexico Medical Cannabis Program's Medical Advisory Board Recommends Adding Alzheimer's Disease to the List of Eligible Conditions

If Approved by the Dept. of Health, New Mexico Would Join 13 Other States Where Patients Can Access Medical Cannabis for Alzheimer’s Disease

SANTA FE—Yesterday, the New Mexico Medical Cannabis Program’s Medical Advisory Board voted unanimously to add neurodegenerative dementia including Alzheimer’s disease (AD) to the list of medical conditions eligible for the Medical Cannabis Program. The Secretary of Health will have the final decision.  Medical cannabis is currently available to Alzheimer’s patients in thirteen of the states that authorize its use.

Contact: Jessica Gelay 505-573-4422 or Emily Kaltenbach 505-920-5256

Obama Administration "Willing to Work" With Congress to Reschedule Marijuana

Drug Policy Alliance: Rescheduling Is Small Step In Right Direction, But Wouldn’t Protect People From Being Arrested or Punished for Marijuana Possession

DPA Supports De-Scheduling Marijuana and Legally Regulating It

Attorney General Eric Holder said Friday that the Obama administration would be willing to work with Congress if lawmakers want to reschedule marijuana.

Re-categorizing marijuana would not legalize the drug under federal law, but it could ease restrictions on research into marijuana's medical benefits and allow marijuana businesses to take tax deductions.

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

Arizona State Senator Blocks Funding for Long-Sought Medical Marijuana Research

Clinical Trial for Veterans with PTSD Has Already Obtained Approval from U.S. Food and Drug Administration, U. Arizona Institutional Review Board, and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Wednesday, April 2: Veterans, Military Family Members and Supporters to Rally at Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza

After 22 years of hard-fought efforts, the non-profit pharmaceutical company MAPS has finally obtained approval from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for a FDA clinical trial to examine the medical safety and efficacy of marijuana. The trial would study military veterans suffering from treatment-resistant post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Yet the study’s ability to receive Arizona state funding is in jeopardy due to State Senator Kimberly Yee.

Contact:  Jessica Gelay (505) 573-4422 or Scott Cecil (480) 252-8387 or Sue Sisley (480) 326-6023

Medical Marijuana Dropped from State Budget, Leaving Patients to Suffer

While Assembly Included Compassionate Care Act in Budget Proposal, the Senate and Governor Failed to Act

Advocates: To Alleviate Patient Suffering in New York, State Senate Must Immediately  Bring Compassionate Care Act to Floor for a Vote

Albany – On Saturday, Governor Cuomo, Speaker Sheldon Silver, and Senate Co-Presidents Dean Skelos and Jeffrey Klein announced that they had reach a budget agreement, but the deal excluded the Compassionate Care Act, a bill that would allow seriously ill New Yorkers access to medical marijuana under the supervision of their healthcare provider. The Assembly had included the proposal as part of their one-house budget bill, but the Senate and Governor refused to include the bill in the final budget.

Contact:  Tony Newman 646-335-5384 or gabriel sayegh 646-335-2264

Albany Today: Faith Leaders Join Patients and Families in Calling on Legislature to Show Compassion and Immediately Pass Medical Marijuana Bill

Dozens of Patients, Caregivers, Providers and Faith Leaders Travel from Across the State to Demand Passage of Compassionate Care Act

Advocates Call on New York Senate Leaders to Stop Delays and Allow a Vote to Stop the Needless Suffering of Sick New Yorkers

NOTE:  Likely press conference today at 2:30 outside the LCA with Faith Leaders, Patients, Healthcare Providers and Families.

Contact:  Tony Newman 646-335-5384 or gabriel sayegh 646-335-2264

DC and NY: Mexican Legislators to Discuss Mexico's Marijuana Reform Proposals

Marijuana Decriminalization and Medical Marijuana Legislation Recently Introduced

Unprecedented Momentum for Drug Policy Reform Continues to Spread Throughout Latin America

This week, legislators from the Mexican Congress and the Mexico City Assembly will be in DC and NY to discuss the bills they introduced to decriminalize the consumption and purchase of marijuana for personal use in Mexico City and to legalize medical marijuana countrywide.

Contact: Tony Newman (646)335-5384 or Sarah Aguilar Flaschka:

Wednesday: Patients, Families, Doctors Host Medical Marijuana Educational Forum in Syracuse, New York

Advocates Say There Are Enough Votes to Pass Medical Marijuana in NY: Senate Must Act Now

East Syracuse - Wednesday, patients, families, advocates, and doctors will host an educational forum in East Syracuse. The public forum is part of the March for Compassion—a month-long series of actions and events across the state to educate New Yorkers about medical cannabis and build support for New York’s comprehensive medical marijuana proposal – the Compassionate Care Act (A.6357-A -Gottfried) / S.4406-A -Savino).

Contact:  Tony Newman 646-335-5384 or gabriel sayegh 646-335-2264

Patients, Families, Doctors Host Educational Medical Marijuana Forum Tonight in Mineola, Long Island

March for Compassion Continues Throughout the State as Support for the Compassionate Care Act Grows

Long Island - Tonight, patients, families, advocates, and doctors will host an educational forum in Mineola, Long Island. The public forum is part of the March for Compassion — a month-long series of actions and events across the state to educate New Yorkers about medical cannabis and build support for New York’s comprehensive medical marijuana proposal – the Compassionate Care Act (A.6357-A -Gottfried) / S.4406-A -Savino).

Contact:  Tony Newman 646-335-5384 or gabriel sayegh 646-335-2264

For First Time Ever, Assembly Includes Comprehensive Medical Marijuana Bill in Their One-House Budget Bill, Jumpstarting Negotiations With Senate and Governor

As Assembly Gathers to Vote, Patients, Caregivers and Healthcare Providers from Across NY Descend on Albany to Demand Senate Join Assembly and Deliver the Compassionate Care Act to Cuomo for Signature

Day of Actions Include Public Hearing on Bill, Evening Event in Nearby Latham, and Powerful New Video About Patients, Doctors and the Compassionate Care Act

Albany – Today, the State Assembly is introducing and passing their one-house budget proposal, which, for the first time ever, includes the New York’s comprehensive medical marijuana proposal – the Compassionate Care Act (A.6357-A -Gottfried) / S.4406-A -Savino). As the Assembly gathers to pass the measure, dozens of patients, families, caregivers and healthcare providers are descending on Albany to press the State Senate to pass the Compassionate Care Act.

Contact:  Tony Newman 646-335-5384 or gabriel sayegh 646-335-2264

NY State Assembly to Include Comprehensive Medical Marijuana in State Budget Bill; Patients, Families, Caregivers Call on Senate To Do Same

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.

Contact: Tony Newman 646-335-5384 or gabriel sayegh 646-335-2264

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