New Jersey follows New York’s lead with news on their expansion on past marijuana-related legislation. After lawmakers failed in March to pass legalized recreational cannabis, Gov. Phil Murphy signed a bill Tuesday expanding on the state’s medical marijuana program. The bill was brought forth with the memory of 7-year-old Jake Honig who died of brain cancer last year. The Howell boy utilized cannabis oil as a method of treatment for coping with the pain. The Garden State is showing progress by passing The Jake Honig Compassionate Use Medical Cannabis Act.
“Today’s legislation creates a medical marijuana program that is modernized, compassionate, progressive, and meets the needs of patients,” Murphy said who signed the bill on stage next to the parents and sister of Jake Honig.
Medical Marijuana Programs
The most common use of medical marijuana in the United States is for pain control. Studies have shown that marijuana can be very beneficial for those who suffer from a number of different conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, Epilepsy, and a variety of mental illnesses as well. However, not all conditions which would benefit greatly from the use of cannabis are listed as an acceptable reason to receive a card. It also varies by state. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, thirty-four states have medical marijuana programs, including the District of Columbia.
New Jersey’s Medical Marijuana Program
The expansion of the medical marijuana program expands on the number of illnesses eligible for cannabis use. It also makes it easier for health care officials which include physician assistants and nurse practitioners to prescribe the drug. Before, only doctors could give out prescriptions. It also increases the legal amount of marijuana that can be dispensed, and boosts a patient’s supply from 90 days to one year, allowing for home delivery as well. The law will allow the creation of three categories of licenses: cultivators, manufacturers, and dispensaries. The application for the new licenses for NJ can be found here.
New Jersey is taking small steps towards the legalization of recreational marijuana, and hopefully by 2020, the Garden State will officially be green!