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.
2016 Initiative Results
Election Day was a watershed moment for the movement to end marijuana prohibition — no other reform was approved by so many citizens on so many ballots this year. Legalization initiatives prevailed in four out of five states, and medical marijuana initiatives prevailed in all four states.
But the prospect of Donald Trump as our next president is profoundly troubling. While Trump has repeatedly pledged to respect state marijuana laws, his rhetoric on broader criminal justice issues has been largely unfriendly.
Read more about the impact of the 2016 election on our blog.
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
Drug Policy Alliance, MAPS
This report, co-published by DPA and MAPS, illustrates a decades-long pattern of behavior that demonstrates the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA’s) inability to exercise its responsibilities in a fair and impartial manner or to act in accord with the scientific evidence. The report’s case studies reveal a number of DEA practices that maintain the existing, scientifically unsupported drug scheduling system and obstruct research that might alter current drug schedules.
Comprehensive Bill Currently Stalled in Senate Finance Committee Chaired by Senator John DeFrancsico, Who Represents Marcellus and Surrounding Areas
As Senate Leadership Delays Action, Patients and Families Continue to Suffer
Marcellus, NY -- Today, dozens of parents of children with epilepsy and patients living with multiple sclerosis and other serious, debilitating medical conditions paraded down Main Street in Marcellus with a float to draw attention to the Compassionate Care Act (S.4406-C/Savino and A.6357-B). The group also hosted a booth at the festival following the parade to educate parade goers about how the bill could help alleviate the suffering of New Yorkers with serious illnesses or debilitating conditions.
Arizona On the Road to Becoming Twelfth State to Provide PTSD Patients Access to Medical Marijuana
Veterans, Medical Professionals and Advocates Winning in Three Year Quest To Change Arizona Law and Acknowledge Medical Marijuana’s Benefit for PTSD
Phoenix, AZ - After years of hard-fought efforts a coalition of patients, medical professionals, and advocates succeeded in demonstrating the medical safety and efficacy of marijuana for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), according to the Administrative Law Judge who heard the case. The Arizona Dept. of Health has denied all petitions submitted previously.
Compassionate Care Act is Being Held in Senate Finance Committee by Senator John DeFrancsico Who Represents Marcellus and Surrounding Areas
As Legislative Clock Winds Down, Senate Delays Means Patients and Families Continued to Suffer
Marcellus, NY -- Tomorrow, dozens of parents of children with epilepsy and patients living with multiple sclerosis and other serious, debilitating medical conditions will parade down Main Street in Marcellus with a float to draw attention to the Compassionate Care Act (S.4406-B/Savino and A.6357-B/Gottfried). The group will also have a booth at the festival following the parade to educate parade goers about how the bill could help alleviate the suffering of New Yorkers with serious illnesses or debilitating conditions.
Senate Leadership is Holding Up a Vote on the Bill, Leaving Sick New Yorkers to Needlessly Suffer
Senate Refuses to Act on Bill Supported by More Than 80% of New York Voters and Thousands of New York Patients, Doctors & Caregivers
Rockville Centre, Long Island -- Today, parents of children with epilepsy and patients living with multiple sclerosis and other serious, debilitating medical conditions will rally at the Rockville Centre LIRR station across from Senate Co-president Dean Skelos’ office to demand a vote on the Compassionate Care Act (S.4406-B/Savino and A.6357-B) in the New York Senate. The bill, which would create one of the nation’s most tightly regulated medical marijuana programs, would allow seriously ill patients access to a small amount of marijuana un
Comprehensive Legislation is Needed to Relieve Suffering in New York; Research Should Augment, Not Replace, Legislative Solution
Strong Statements from Patients, Caregivers and Physicians Calling on Governor to Support Compassionate Care Act
NEW YORK: Today, the Buffalo News reported on an agreement with Britain-based GW Pharmaceuticals to pursue clinical trials in New York for Epidiolex, a investigational new marijuana-derived drug that is intended for children with severe seizure disorders. The proposal is limited to research studies only, must go through the lengthy FDA-approval process, and would be focused solely on children under 18 years of age with severe seizure disorders who have not responded to other medications.
New York: In a another strong sign of growing GOP support for medical marijuana, Senate Vice President Pro Tempore George Maziarz (R-Lockport) has signed on as co-sponsor of the Compassionate Care Act ( S.4406-B (Savino)), which would allow eligible patients with serious and debilitating conditions to access medical marijuana under the supervision of their healthcare provider. In February, Maziarz became one of the first Senate Republicans to publicly announce his support for the Compassionate Care Act along with Senators Grisanti and Robach.
First Time Ever Congress Approves Major Marijuana Law Reform
Bipartisan Rebuke of U.S. Drug War, DEA Overreach and Mismanagement by DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart
Teleconference Today at Noon ET with Members of Congress, Medical Marijuana Patients and Advocates
In a series of historic votes, the U.S. House voted to prohibit the DEA from undermining state marijuana laws. The House approved a bipartisan measure prohibiting the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) from undermining state medical marijuana laws; the amendment passed with 219 yes votes. An amendment prohibiting the DEA from interfering with state hemp production laws passed with 237 yes votes. An amendment prohibiting the DEA from interfering with state hemp research programs passed with 246 yes votes.
Amendments Prohibit DEA from Undermining State Medical Marijuana Laws; Prohibit DEA from Blocking Production of Hemp; Deny Proposed DEA Budget Increase
DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart Increasingly At Odds With President Obama, Justice Dept and Congress; Lawmakers and Advocates Call for Her to be Fired
Today, the House is set to vote on at least four amendments checking the DEA’s power and cutting its budget.