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. 

Legislators Amend Medical Marijuana Bill to Address Concerns of Gov. Cuomo

As End of Session Nears, Patients, Families and Advocates Push Senate and Cuomo to Finally Pass Compassionate Care Act

Healthcare Providers Travel to Albany to Demonstrate Support for Medical Marijuana; Available for Interviews

Albany – Today, healthcare professionals and patients continued their response to Governor Cuomo’s demands on medical marijuana. Patients and healthcare professionals are gathering in Albany today to push lawmakers to vote on the Compassionate Care Act, and healthcare professionals who couldn’t travel to Albany issued strong statements in support of the bill.

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

Governor Undermines Negotiations on Medical Marijuana, Makes Last-Minute Series of Demands in Disappointing Effort to Sink Legislation

For Years, Governor Ignored Pleas by Patients and Advocates to Work Together on Legislation

Outraged Patients and Families Demand Governor to Stop Playing Politics With Peoples Lives; Senate Should Vote Immediately

Albany – Today Governor Cuomo leaked to the media his list of changes he wants made to New York’s comprehensive medical marijuana bill – the  Compassionate Care Act – before he’ll support it.  The full list of changes  – obtained by advocates – includes many demands already addressed in the current legislation.  Additionally, bill sponsors have already agreed to make a number of changes to satisfy the governor.

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

Rock Star and Cancer Survivor Melissa Etheridge, In Albany for a Concert Saturday, Urges Passage of New York’s Comprehensive Medical Marijuana Legislation -- the Compassionate Care Act

In a Show of Support for Fellow Cancer Survivors and Other Patients, Etheridge Helps Advocates as They Enter the Final Days of the Legislative Session With Still No Action from Senate Leadership 

Albany – Legendary rock star and cancer survivor, Melissa Etheridge – who is in the state capital for a concert on Saturday at the The Egg theater -- called on Governor Andrew Cuomo and the leaders of the New York Senate to pass the Compassionate Care Act. Etheridge also arranged for patients and caregivers from Compassionate Care NY -- a coalition of patients, caregivers and organizations working for passage of the bill -- to collect signatures in support of the legislation at her concert.


Tony Newman 646-335-5384
gabriel sayegh 646-335-2264

State of New Mexico Proposes New Medical Cannabis Program Rules; Hundreds of Medical Cannabis Patients to Turn Out for Hearing

Rural Patients and Veterans Concerned They Will Lose Access to Medical Cannabis

Patients and Advocates Tell the Governor Don’t Take Away Our Medicine, Go Back to the Drawing Board

SANTA FE, NM – On Monday, June 16th, the New Mexico Department of Health will hold a hearing on proposed rule changes governing the state’s medical cannabis program. The hearing will be held in the auditorium of the Harold Runnels Building, 1190 St. Francis Dr., Santa Fe, 87502.

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

Jamaica Poised to Decriminalize Marijuana Possession, Approve Medical and Religious Use, and Expunge Past Offenses

Marijuana Reform Gaining Unprecedented Global Momentum

On Friday, Jamaican Minister of Justice Mark Golding released a statement announcing government support for a proposal to decriminalize the possession of up to two ounces of marijuana and the decriminalization of marijuana use for religious, scientific and medical purposes.

Contact: Tony Newman 646-335-5384 or Ethan Nadelmann 646-335-2240

TODAY: Faith Leaders, Patients, Caregivers, and Healthcare Providers Travel to Albany to Urge Passage of Comprehensive Medical Marijuana Legislation - the Compassionate Care Act

2 PM: Prayer Vigil for Suffering Patients and Families to be held outside of Senate Chambers;
Faith Leaders to Call on Senate Leaders to Take Action before June 19th

Faith Leaders and Patient Advocates Available for Interviews

Albany – Today,  Faith leaders from across the state and patients living with cancer, multiple sclerosis, severe seizure disorders, and other serious, debilitating medical conditions will gather in Albany for an advocacy day.  Traveling from across the state, patients will demand that the New York State Legislature pass the Compassionate Care Act -- A.6357-C (Gottfried) / S.4406-C (Savino) – before the end of this year’s legislative session on June 19th.

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

Marijuana-Infused Products ("Edibles")

June 10, 2014

Marijuana-infused products, often referred to as “edibles”, are an important part of the burgeoning marijuana market. However, proper regulation is necessary to ensure reliability and safety. DPA believes that marijuana-infused products should be regulated and tested to ensure safety, quality and accuracy of information, that they should be labeled with detailed information to ensure that consumers are informed about what they are consuming and educated on how to safely consume, and that all edibles should be kept away from children.

The DEA: Four Decades of Impeding And Rejecting Science

June 9, 2014
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.

New York First: Patients and Caregivers Build & Drive Medical Marijuana Float at Marcellus Olde Home Days Parade to Urge Action on Compassionate Care Act

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.


Tony Newman 646-335-5384
gabriel sayegh 646-335-2264

Judge Thomas Shedden Orders State of Arizona to Add PTSD to the List of Debilitating Conditions Eligible for Medical Marijuana

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.

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

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