Please visit our new site compassionforpatients.com for information regarding the implementation of the medical marijuana initiative and how you can help!
Mass. Patient Advocacy Alliance works with medical marijuana patients, their family members, medical professionals, and other public health groups to support regulated access to medical marijuana for people who have a doctor’s recommendation.
We are a primarily volunteer driven group, and our focus is on legislative reform. While we work in coalition with other NGOs, our strength is in the number of individual volunteers who work together to visit legislators, maintain a presence in the press, conduct panel discussions in communities across the state, and educate their own communities about urgent need for safe access to medical marijuana for people suffering with cancer, HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, severe chronic pain, ALS, and other serious conditions.
There is a subpopulation of people suffering from cancer, HIV/AIDS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), chronic pain and other debilitating illnesses for whom existing medications are ineffective or cause dangerous side effects. For many of these patients, medical marijuana can provide a superior treatment alternative. Under current policies, many patients who could benefit from medical marijuana are denied access altogether. Those who decide to seek medical marijuana on the street face not only the dangers inherent to the criminal market, but also prosecution from law enforcement. Patients who grow their own medical marijuana face being charged with possession with intent to distribute, which can lead to civil penalties beyond the criminal charge, including eviction from public housing and loss of custody of children.
“The accumulated data suggest a variety of indications, particularly for pain relief, antiemesis, and appetite stimulation. For patients such as those with AIDS or who are undergoing chemotherapy, and who suffer simultaneously from severe pain, nausea, and appetite loss, cannabinoid drugs might offer broad-spectrum relief not found in any other single medication." (Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing the Science Base, Insitute of Medicine, 1999.)
Clinical studies commissioned by the California legislature and completed by the Center for Medical Cannabis Research at the University of California, most of which have been FDA approved, double-blind, and placebo controlled, have have found that medical marijuana can provide relief for patients experiencing pain from nerve damage associated with injury, HIV, and multiple sclerosis. (Report to the Legislature and Governor of the State of California, Center for Cannabis Research, University of California, 2010.)
A 2004 study found that “nearly all of the 33 published controlled clinical trials conducted in the United States have shown significant and measurable benefits in subjects receiving the treatment.” (Aggarwal et al. Medicinal Use of Cannabis in the United States: Historical Perspectives, Current Trends, and Future Directions. Journal of Opiod Management, 2009.)
A study of results from unpublished clinically controlled trials completed by state departments of health in six states included 1,093 patients and found that “Patients who smoked marijuana experienced 70-100% relief from nausea and vomiting." (Richard Musty and Rita Rossi. Effects of Smoked Cannabis and Oral THC on Nausea, 2001.)
“[A] federal policy that prohibits physicians from alleviating suffering by prescribing marijuana for seriously ill patients is misguided, heavy-handed, and inhumane.” (Dr. Jerome Kassirer, Federal Foolishness and Marijuana, New England Journal of Medicine, 1997.
More than 6,500 reports and journal articles from around the world support the medical value of marijuana. For more information visit Americans for Safe Access