New Jersey is the 16th state in this series to have it’s Medical Marijuana Program examiner in order to share the information with all Utah lawmakers in 2014 in UtahCARE – Cannabis Awareness, Respect and Education – during their new campaign, “Educate in order to Medicate”.
The goal of the 2014 campaign is to continue to educate those who make Utah laws so they have a better understanding and appreciation of the true benefits of cannabis, specifically for medicinal purposes.
For example, New Jersey lawmakers approved Senate Bill 119, the “New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act” on January 11, 2010 (by the House 48-14 and by the Senate 25-13. The bill was signed into law by then Governor Jon Corzine on January 18, 2010 and became effective six months from enactment
The law serves to protect,
“patients who use marijuana to alleviate suffering from debilitating medical conditions, as well as their physicians, primary caregivers, and those who are authorized to produce marijuana for medical purposes” from “arrest, prosecution, property forfeiture, and criminal and other penalties.”
It also provides for the creation of alternative treatment centers,
“at least two each in the northern, central, and southern regions of the state. The first two centers issued a permit in each region shall be nonprofit entities, and centers subsequently issued permits may be nonprofit or for-profit entities.”
The following conditions were approved for treatment with cannabis: seizure disorder, including Epilepsy, intractable skeletal muscular spasticity, Glaucoma; severe or chronic pain, severe nausea or vomiting, cachexia, or wasting syndrome resulting from HIV/AIDS or cancer; amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s Disease), Multiple Sclerosis, terminal cancer, muscular dystrophy, or inflammatory bowel disease, including Crohn’s disease; terminal illness, if the physician has determined a prognosis of less than 12 months of life or any other medical condition or its treatment that is approved by the Department of Health and Senior Services.
Physicians determine how much marijuana a patient needs and give written instructions to be presented to an alternative treatment center. The maximum amount for a 30-day period is two ounces.
The New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services released draft rules outlining the registration and application process on Oct. 6, 2010. A public hearing to discuss the proposed rules was held on Dec. 6, 2010 at at the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services, according to the New Jersey Register.
On Dec. 20, 2011, Senator Nicholas Scutari (D), lead sponsor of the medical marijuana bill, submitted Senate Concurrent Resolution (SCR) 140 declaring that the “Board of Medical Examiners proposed medicinal marijuana program rules are inconsistent with legislative intent.”
The New Jersey Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens committee held a public hearing to discuss SCR 140 and a similar bill, SCR 130, on Jan. 20, 2010.
On Feb. 3, 2011, DHSS proposed new rules that streamlined the permit process for cultivating and dispensing, prohibited home delivery by alternative treatment centers, and required that
“conditions originally named in the Act be resistant to conventional medical therapy in order to qualify as debilitating medical conditions.”
On Aug. 9, 2012, the New Jersey Medical Marijuana Program opened the patient registration system on its website. Patients must have a physician’s recommendation, a government-issued ID, and proof of New Jersey residency to register. The first dispensary was expected to be licensed to open in September.
On Oct. 16, 2012, the Department of Health issued the first dispensary permit to Greenleaf Compassion Center, allowing it to operate as an Alternative Treatment Center and dispense marijuana. The center opened on Dec. 6, 2012, becoming New Jersey’s first dispensary.
An amendment was signed into law by Governor Chris Christie on September 10, 2013 following legislative adoption of his conditional veto. It now allows edible forms of marijuana only for qualifying minors, who must receive approval from a pediatrician and a psychiatrist.
The second dispensary (the first in South Jersey) opened this week in Egg Harbor Township. The Compassionate Care Foundation offers appointments only, no walk-ins are allowed.
By provide Utah lawmakers with articles such as this compassionate organizations such as UtahCARE will continue to propel the movement forward to legalize cannabis throughout Utah.
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