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. 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.

Upcoming Initiatives

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:


Take Action

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.

Advance research
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.

Featured Resources

Medical Marijuana
10 Facts about Marijuana
Why Are CBD-Focused Laws Not Enough?
Marijuana Concentrates
The DEA: Four Decades of Impeding and Rejecting Science

Regulating and Taxing Marijuana: The Fiscal Impact on NYC

August 14, 2013
New York City Comptroller John C. Liu

This groundbreaking report by the New York City Comptroller’s office estimates the value of the current illicit marijuana market in the city, and outlines a rationale and potential benefits of regulating and taxing the sale of marijuana for personal use for adults.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie Eases Restrictions on Medical Marijuana Program

Advocates Applaud Sensible and Compassionate Action

Trenton, NJ— Gov. Chris Christie drew praise from medical marijuana advocates as he announced he would remove certain restrictions from the state’s medical marijuana program.

Contact: Roseanne Scotti 609-610-8243 or Anthony Papa 646-420-7290

Why I changed my mind on weed

Watch Dr. Sanjay Gupta's groundbreaking documentary "WEED" at 8 p.m. ET August 11 on CNN.

(CNN) -- Over the last year, I have been working on a new documentary called "Weed." The title "Weed" may sound cavalier, but the content is not.

I traveled around the world to interview medical leaders, experts, growers and patients. I spoke candidly to them, asking tough questions. What I found was stunning.

City of Berkeley fights U.S. civil action against marijuana dispensary

(CNN) -- The city of Berkeley, California, is trying to stop the U.S. government from closing a medical marijuana dispensary and filed a federal court claim Wednesday, attorneys said.

In the latest strategy against federal attempts to shut down marijuana shops, the city contends the U.S. civil action would harm the city by depriving it of hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxes, paid over a period of years, according to Drug Policy Alliance, a nonprofit group whose attorneys are representing the city.

DPA, Veterans and Legislators to Launch "Freedom to Choose" Campaign to Improve Veterans' Access to Medical Marijuana for PTSD and Other Wounds of War

New Mexico Patients and Veterans Fighting Employment Discrimination and Stigma from Medical Professionals that Create Barriers to Medical Marijuana

July 9: US Rep. Lujan Grisham, New Mexico State Rep. Antonio Maestas, Veterans, Patients and the Drug Policy Alliance to Speak at Press Teleconference

The Drug Policy Alliance, veterans’ groups, elected officials and others are introducing a campaign to protect New Mexico’s military veterans’ legal access to medical marijuana. The Campaign is asking New Mexico to stand with veterans and their families to ask our state lawmakers, employers, and medical professionals to support efforts to ensure that when veterans come home they will have access to the medicine that works for them.

Contact: Tony Newman 646-335-5384 or Jessica Gelay 505-573-4422

City of Berkeley Fights Federal Action to Seize Property of City's Largest Medical Marijuana Dispensary

City Files Claim Asserting that Federal Action Harms Berkeley’s  Ability to Control and Regulate Medical Marijuana

Federal Action to Close Berkeley Patients Group will Hurt City’s Tax Revenue and Weaken Medical Marijuana Regulation, City Asserts in in Federal Court Proceeding

BERKELEY, CA - The City of Berkeley filed a claim Wednesday in the action brought by the federal government in May to seize the property used by Berkeley Patients Group at 2366 San Pablo Avenue in Berkeley, California.  Berkeley Patients Group has been providing medical marijuana to patients within the City since 1999.  It is in full compliance with the City of Berkeley’s medical marijuana ordinance, regulations, and zoning laws.

Contact: Tony Newman  646-335-5384 or Tamar Todd 510-593-4908

Long Island Patients and Community Members Rally in Long Island in Support of Medical Marijuana Bill

Senate Has Yet to Vote on Bill Supported by 82% of New Yorkers and Hundreds of New York Doctors and Patients

Advocates Urge Senate to Pass the Bill Before the End of Legislation Session Next Week

Garden City, Long Island – Today, patients and community members from across Long Island gathered at the Garden City, LIRR train station to mobilize supporters of New York’s medical marijuana bill. They collected signatures and handed out flyers urging their neighbors to contact senate leadership and demand a vote on the Compassionate Care Act (A. 6357-Gottfreid / S. 4406- Savino) before the end of the legislative session on June 20th.

Contact: Julie Netherland 347-781-5435

Patients, Doctors and Nurses Gather in Albany for Press Conference and Rally to Demand NY Senate Pass Medical Marijuana Bill Immediately

Overwhelming Majority of New Yorkers Support Allowing Medical Marijuana for Patients in Need

Albany -- Today, dozens of patients living with cancer, multiple sclerosis, osteoarthritis, and other serious, debilitating medical conditions travelled from around the state to demand that the New York State Senate pass the Compassionate Care Act (S.4406/Savino) immediately. 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 under the supervision of their healthcare provider.

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

New York State Assembly Passes Bill to Allow Medicinal Use of Marijuana in New York State

Passage Follows New Poll: 82% of New Yorkers Support Medical Marijuana, Including 81% of Both Democrats and Republicans

Healthcare Practitioners and Patients Urge New York Senate to Pass Bill Without Delay 

New York: Earlier today, the New York State Assembly passed the Compassionate Care Act (A.6357/Gottfried) by a vote of 95 to 38.  The bill, which would create one the most tightly regulated medical marijuana programs in the country, would alleviate the suffering of thousands of seriously ill New Yorkers by allowing the use of marijuana to treat debilitating, life-threatening illnesses under a doctor’s supervision.

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

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