A measure was approved in January of 2010 that will make New Jersey the 14th state in the U.S. to allow medical marijuana use for treatment in many illnesses. It was passed with a comfortably large margin, signaling that many in government recognize the obvious benefits marijuana offers to chronically ill patients.
Unlike a similar law passed in California, the New Jersey medical marijuana measure proposes a stricter guideline on usage amounts, as well as less leeway with what illnesses are eligible for medical marijuana. Patients suffering from multiple sclerosis, Cancer, AIDS, or other neurological diseases would be able to receive prescription medical marijuana to alleviate pain, as well as other side effects and complications from their disease. So far, the use of medical marijuana in New Jersey would not cover less degenerative conditions, such as depression or anxiety.
New Jersey is also restricting the amount of medical marijuana a patient is permitted to use per month, not unlike the way prescription drugs are already regulated. Whatever the restrictions placed on the law, New Jersey medical marijuana is still greatly significant, as it has become one of only a very few states on the east coast to pass such a measure.
Medical marijuana has long been supported by many physicians as more beneficial to patient health and well being in the case of many illnesses. Many critically ill patients in New Jersey have been forced to travel outside the state to obtain a prescription both they and their doctors agreed would improve their quality of life.
Like most states, New Jersey will issue ID cards certifying the patient legally able to use and carry medical marijuana, provided they are registered with the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services. An unknown number of alternative treatment centers will be established. These centers are where New Jersey patients will be able to obtain their medical marijuana.
It is ironic to note that as the Garden State, New Jersey will be the only state that allows the use of medical marijuana, but prohibits the personal cultivation of marijuana plants by patients.
New Jersey medical marijuana will be carefully regulated, but the measure will mean a lot of comfort to a lot of very sick people.