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. 

Drug Policy Alliance Releases B-Roll Footage for Television Outlets and Online News Featuring 'Everyday' People Using Marijuana

New Open-License Footage Shatters Stereotypes and Captures the Responsible, Modern-Day Marijuana Consumer

B-Roll Project Follows DPA Stock Photo Series Depicting Regular People Using Marijuana

To combat the predominant, stereotypic images of people who use marijuana, and to encourage news outlets to use images that accurately reflect modern-day marijuana consumers, the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) is releasing free, open-license B-roll footage for editorial use.


Tony Newman, 646-335-5384
Sharda Sekaran, 347-480-8798

As Clock Runs Out on Legislative Session, Patients & Families Rally in Albany to Demand Emergency Access to Medical Marijuana Before More Loved Ones Needlessly Die

Abandoned by Cuomo, Families Turn to Legislature to Pass a Bipartisan Bill

Bill Would Create Emergency Access Program to Provide Relief to Critically Ill Patients, including Children with Epilepsy

Albany– Patients, family members, and advocates stood with legislators from both sides of the aisle today in support of A.7060 (Gottfried) / S.5086 (Griffo), a bill that would direct the state to establish a program to help critically ill patients obtain emergency access to medical marijuana as soon as possible. The bill, introduced by Assembly Health Committee Chair Richard N. Gottfried and Assembly Minority Leader Brian M.


Tony Newman 646-335-5384
Julie Netherland 347-781-5435

Tuesday in Albany: Elected Officials Join Patients & Families in Support of Emergency Access to Medical Marijuana

Abandoned by Cuomo, Families Turn to Legislature for Relief in Final Days of Legislative Session

Bill Would Create Emergency Access Program to Provide Relief to Suffering Children

Albany -- Nearly a year since the medical marijuana law passed in New York in June 2014, patients and families will gather in Albany to urge lawmakers to pass a bill that would create an emergency access program so that critically ill patients could access medical marijuana. Since the law passed, not one patient has been able to access medical marijuana and at least four children from across New York State have tragically died while waiting to obtain this much-needed medicine.


Tony Newman 646-335-5384
Julie Netherland 347-781-5435

Congress Passes Three Amendments to Stop DEA from Undermining State Marijuana Laws

Important Victories Build on Last Night’s Votes to End DEA's Controversial Bulk Data Collection Program, Cut DEA's Budget

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Legislators passed three amendments today to prohibit the DEA and U.S. Department of Justice from undermining state marijuana laws, as part of the U.S. House of Representatives' consideration of the Fiscal Year 2016 Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations bill. A fourth amendment failed. The House also passed an amendment last night ending the DEA’s controversial bulk data collection program.


Tony Newman 646-335-5384
Bill Piper 202-669-6430

TODAY: Congress Voting on Numerous Amendments to Reign in Troubled Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)

Amendments Would Prohibit DEA from Undermining State Marijuana Laws; Shut Down DEA’s Controversial Bulk Collection Surveillance Programs; Cut Agency’s Budget

Amendments Come in Wake of Recent Forced Resignation of Agency’s Head, Michele Leonhart

WASHINGTON, D.C.—As the U.S. House of Representatives considers the Fiscal Year 2016 Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations bill today and tomorrow, legislators could vote on at least seven amendments designed to reduce the power of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and cut its budget.


Tony Newman 646-335-5384
Bill Piper 202-669-6430

Thursday Event: Everything You Wanted to Know About Marijuana Reform in New York

Leading Elected Officials, Advocates, and Industry Experts Answer Questions About NY’s Medical Marijuana Law, How to End Marijuana Arrests, and Upcoming Legislation to Tax and Regulate Marijuana

Event at abc home to Benefit the Drug Policy Alliance’s Work to Fix New York’s Broken Marijuana Policies

What is the status of medical marijuana in New York? How can one get a medical card or a dispensary license? How can we end racially biased marijuana arrests in New York? Will NY tax and regulate marijuana like Colorado and Washington? Come get the answers to these questions and more. Join the Drug Policy Alliance, along with leaders in the marijuana industry, policymakers, experts, and patients to get an insider perspective on the state of marijuana policy reform in New York.


Tony Newman 646-335-5384
Tony Papa 646-420-7290

Marijuana Concentrates

May 21, 2015

There are over 500 chemicals in the marijuana plant and about 80 of those are cannabinoids, which are the active ingredients. Concentrate producers harvest these from the plant and create a substance made up of only these active ingredients, similar to juicing an orange. Concentrates are usually ingested via inhalation, but can also be ingested orally and are often used as an ingredient in infused edible products.

In Historic Vote, Senate Appropriations Committee Approves Veterans Medical Marijuana Amendment

First Time Senate Has Voted on Marijuana Law Reform

Amendment Would Allow VA Doctors to Recommend Medical Marijuana to Their Patients in States Where It’s Legal

The Senate Appropriations Committee passed a bipartisan amendment today, 18 to 12, allowing Veterans Administration (VA) doctors to recommend medical marijuana to their patients in states where medical marijuana is legal. The vote is the first time the U.S. Senate has ever moved marijuana law reform legislation forward.


Tony Newman (646) 335-5384
Bill Piper (202) 669-6430

Governor of Puerto Rico Signs Executive Order to Legalize Medical Marijuana

Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla of Puerto Rico signed an executive order yesterday legalizing medical marijuana in the U.S. territory. The order enables the Puerto Rican Health Department to authorize the use of marijuana and its derivatives for medical purposes. The Health Secretary now has three months to produce a report etching out the details of the new system. In 2013, a medical marijuana bill was introduced into the Puerto Rican legislature but remains stuck in the House of Representatives.


Tony Newman 646-335-5384
Hannah Hetzer 212-613-8060

TODAY: U.S. House Voting on Bipartisan Amendment Allowing Veterans Administration (VA) Doctors to Discuss Medical Use of Marijuana

36 States Allow Use of Some Form of Marijuana for Medical Reasons, but VA Doctors Prohibited from Recommending Medical Marijuana to Patients

Amendment Comes as Support for Medical Marijuana Increases in Congress

As early as this afternoon the U.S. House could vote on an amendment that would allow doctors that work for the Veterans Administration to discuss medical marijuana and recommend its use in states where it is legal. The bipartisan amendment is being offered by Reps. Blumenauer (D-OR), Heck (R-NV), Farr (D-CA), Rohrabacher (R-CA), Reed (R-NY), Titus (D-NV), Gabbard (D-HI), Lee (D-CA) and Gallego (D-AZ).  


Tony Newman, 646-335-5384
Bill Piper, 202-669-6430

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