New Jersey

In January 2010, the New Jersey Senate signed a bill authorizing the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes. The legislation protects those suffering from debilitating medical conditions, their physicians and primary caregivers and those authorized to produce marijuana for medicinal purposes from arrest, prosecution, forfeiture and criminal penalties related to the production and consumption of marijuana. The law also allows for the creation of marijuana treatment centers.

Patients eligible for medical marijuana use include those suffering from AIDS, cancer, Lou Gehrig’s disease, muscular dystrophy, Crohn’s disease and any terminal illness where a physician has determined that the patient has fewer than 12 months to live. Diseases causing seizures, severe or chronic pain, nausea or cachexia are also eligible for medical marijuana treatment. Upon approval, patients receive a prescription from their treating physician. The physician determines how much marijuana a patient requires and provides written instructions to a treatment center. Physicians may not prescribe more than 2 ounces or marijuana per 30-day period. Patients then visit treatment centers to receive medical marijuana.

Though the law was suppose to take effect in June 2010, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie asked for more time to implement the new legislation. Christie sought to develop a centralized production and distribution system that postponed the program until January 2011. It has not yet been determined if the program, run by the Department of Health and Senior Services, will require patient registration, a registration fee or whether or not New Jersey will accept other states’ registry cards.