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(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Reed Gusciora that would declare the Christie administration’s draft regulations for New Jersey’s medicinal marijuana law as inconsistent with the law’s intent was advanced Monday by an Assembly panel.
The bill (ACR-151) would give the state health and senior services commissioner 30 days to revise the proposed medical marijuana rules.
It was released unanimously by the Assembly Regulatory Oversight and Gaming Committee.
“The name of the law includes the word compassion,” said Gusciora (D-Mercer). “I do not believe that these regulations exemplify that word. We are looking at regulations with fewer distribution centers, fewer ways for the patient to ingest marijuana and an ever longer wait time. Quite simply, they’re unacceptable and must be changed.”
Gusciora sponsored the law approved in January making New Jersey the 14th state to allow medical marijuana for conditions such as epilepsy, intractable skeletal muscular spasticity, glaucoma, HIV, AIDS, cancer, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy or inflammatory bowel disease, including Crohn’s disease.
“New Jersey already has the strictest medical marijuana laws in the nation,” Gusciora said. “The Governor’s proposed regulations unfortunately make it an impossible standard to meet for the many ill patients needing relief.”
The bill states the following draft rules are inconsistent:
· Requiring physicians to certify that each patient seeking to use medical marijuana have not responded to conventional medical treatment..
· Prohibiting alternative treatment centers from cultivating and dispensing marijuana.
· Delaying consideration of adding other medical conditions and treatments until the department has completed at least two annual reports to the governor and the Legislature.
· Limiting the permissible levels of THC that medical marijuana can contain.
“I believe that the patient should have the option in choosing a form of the drug that is most suitable for their own personal environment,” Gusciora said. “The purpose of this legislation is to make this drug accessible in order to treat patients where traditional medicines have not worked. It is unconscionable to make these patients wait any longer.”