New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy is ordering a review of the state’s medical marijuana program.
Murphy says the Christie administration put roadblocks in place that have stifled the spirit of the eight-year-old program.
“The ability of dispensaries to open has been slow-footed. Doctors have faced stigmatization for participating. And non-smokable and edible products that could benefit patients have been blocked from the market. Quite simply, politics replaced compassionate care.”
Murphy says the goal of his executive order is to have a compassionate program that puts the needs of patients first.
“Parents deserve the ability to do what they and their doctors agree is right for their children. The countless many other New Jerseyans who suffer from serious illnesses currently left off the list of approved conditions eligible for medical marijuana deserve access.”
South River resident Jean Lucas says her 9-year-old has epilepsy and medical marijuana prevents him from having uncontrollable seizures. She’s hoping the review Murphy ordered will make more types of the drug available.
“It would help by ending a 15-hour process of buying flower, cooking flower, making flower for him into an oil. It would also help my daughter possibly get off her Enbrel medication she’s been taking since 18 months, once juvenile rheumatoid arthritis could be maybe one of the ailments in the program.”
Ken Wolski is executive director of the Coalition For Medical Marijuana in New Jersey. He says there are many potential improvements that could be made.
“We’d like to see home cultivation restored. We’d also like to see advanced nurse practitioners or dentists, anyone who has prescription privileges in the state, be able to recommend medical marijuana. I’d like to see workplace protection. What sense does it make to have a person get well enough to go to work because he’s using marijuana, and then fire him because he’s using marijuana.”
Governor Murphy says many aspects of the medical marijuana program are written in statute, and he’s committed to working with the legislature to pass comprehensive marijuana reform.