New Jersey to review medical marijuana program to expand cannabis access to patients
Governor Phil Murphy has called for a 60-day review of New Jersey’s medical marijuana program. Terming it constrained and limited, he promised to make it more inclusive by expanding access to more patients. The governor feels that the current programs are creating unnecessary problems in accessing care for patients, which has been confirmed by the medical marijuana advocates as well. Rather than bringing people in its fold, it has been alleged that it fails to meet the immediate needs of the patients.
The review would include reconsidering the permission of home delivery, purchase of substance beyond the 2-ounce limit and expansion of the number of licensed dispensaries to allow access to improved care to patients. The review of the approved program is likely to introduce a number of changes that would benefit the masses. Some of these are as mentioned below:
- Access to medical marijuana for other medical conditions
The existing program in New Jersey allows access to medical marijuana to patients dealing with only certain chronic and debilitating conditions like epilepsy, AIDS, cancer or other forms of terminal illness. On the other side, other American states allow its access to patients dealing with conditions like anxiety, pain and other similar conditions.
It is very likely that the review of the existing program would allow the cannabis access for 43 other conditions recommended by the Medical Marijuana Review Panel of New Jersey last year. The approval of these conditions would help in the enrollment of over 15,000 individuals in the state’s medical marijuana program.
- Set up more dispensaries
The New Jersey currently has only five dispensaries selling medical marijuana to the users. What doubles the trouble for the users is the location of these dispensaries, increasing their travel time. It is expected that the revised program would allow the opening of new dispensaries all across the state, as well as permit the existing dispensaries to open their branches.
- Increase purchase limit
The current program permits every user to purchase maximum 2 ounces of cannabis every month. This quantity is enough to take three healthy-sized joints in a day. However, this amount is not sufficient for an individual dealing with seizures or glaucoma, as they need the drug to maintain a steady blood level 24 hours. Therefore, this limit is expected to be expanded in the revised program.
- Enable home delivery service and availability of edibles
During certain adverse circumstances, it becomes really difficult for a person to move out and buy the drug. To end this trouble, the Governor plans to allow home delivery of this drug. Making this drug available in the form of edibles can be a great idea, as one can be more precise about the dosage compared to the dry marijuana.
- End doctors’ registration process
While the current program requires doctors to register with the state so that he or she may be able to prescribe marijuana to his or her patients, the Governor wants to end the entire process. He believes that the concept of listing is leading to a certain form of stigma, which prohibits other doctors from joining the program.
- Reduce cost to patients
At present, the cost to get the prescription for medical marijuana is very high. Besides a $200 registration fee with the state, they have to shell out some $100 for consultation with a registered doctor and other multiple visits. Unfortunately, none of these costs is covered under insurance, since the drug remains illegal on the federal level.
Recovery is possible
While using marijuana for medicinal purposes is fine, its long-term use can lead to dependency and addiction. Therefore, it is essential to ensure monitoring of the use of marijuana for medical purposes. Consumption of cannabis or marijuana for recreational purposes leads to adverse repercussions on health and life.
It you or someone you know is addicted to marijuana or any other form of drugs, contact the 24/7 Drug Addiction Helpline for assistance. Call at our 24/7 drug addiction helpline 866-403-5607 or chat online with one of our experts to connect with some of the best inpatient drug abuse treatment centers in your vicinity.