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
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.
This is an English translation of the regulations signed on May 6, 2014 to accompany Uruguay’s marijuana legalization law, passed in December 2013, making Uruguay the first country in the world to legalize the production, distribution and sale of marijuana for adults. In the regulations, specifics of the system - beyond what was captured in the bill (Law 19.172) - are fleshed out, providing details on forms of access, restrictions and regulatory specifics.
New York One Step Closer Becoming 23rd Medical Marijuana State
Patients and Families Cheer Assembly Action, Call for Vote in the Senate
Albany — Today, the New York State Assembly passed (A.6357-B/Gottfried) by a bipartisan vote of 91 – 34. This is the fifth time that the Assembly has passed a medical marijuana bill, and comes just months after the Assembly included the measure in their one-house state budget proposal.
More Than Half of All States Have Some Kind of Medical Marijuana Law
Support for Changing Federal Law at Unprecedented Level in Congress
As early as this Thursday the U.S. House could vote on a bipartisan amendment to the Commerce-Justice-Science spending bill that would prohibit the federal government from wasting taxpayer money interfering with state medical marijuana laws. The amendment is being offered by five Republicans and five Democrats. A vote several weeks ago on allowing Veteran Administration doctors discuss medical marijuana with their patients received 195 yes votes. Support for letting states set their own marijuana policy without federal interference is rising quickly.
Patients and Caregivers from Across New York Come to Albany to Attend Floor Vote and Demand Passage in Senate
Patients, Service Providers, and Caregivers Available for Interviews
Albany – Today, The New York State Assembly will vote on the Compassionate Care Act -- A.6357-B (Gottfried), New York’s comprehensive medical marijuana bill. The bill will help provide relief to thousands of New Yorker’s who are currently suffering with debilitating medical conditions such as, cancer, multiple sclerosis, severe seizure disorders, and other serious conditions. Traveling from New York City, Westchester, and Central New York, patients will gather in Albany for an advocacy day and to hear the Assembly debate and vote on the bill.
Patients, Drug Policy Alliance Re-Launch Campaign Asking the Governor and Secretary of Health to Postpone Rule Hearing and Go Back to the Drawing Board to Include Stakeholders in Their Process
Rural Patients and Veterans are Concerned They Will Lose Access to Medical Cannabis
SANTA FE, NM – Late last Friday the New Mexico Department of Health released proposed rule changes governing the medical cannabis program. If the new rules are adopted, thousands of patients, many of whom are New Mexico’s Military Veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic pain, are worried that their medical cannabis will be taken away by making it harder for them to access their medicine.