New Jersey Senators are scheduled to vote this Monday, November 22, on a resolution to compel state health officials to revise proposed regulations for the state’s nascent medical cannabis program. Please contact your state Senator and urge them to vote Ã¢â‚¬ËœyesÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ on SCR 130.
Last month, New Jersey Department of Health officials released onerous draft regulations regarding the implementation of the state’s Compassionate Medical Marijuana Act, which was initially signed into law in January. The proposed rules violate the intent of the law by limiting the manufacture of medical cannabis to two licensed facilities, restricting the percentage of THC that may be present in the plant to no more than ten percent, and limiting the varieties of legally available cannabis to no more than three strains. They further demand that doctors who authorize their patients to use marijuana must Ã¢â‚¬Å“make reasonable efforts at least every three months to wean them off the drug Ã¢â‚¬â€ a requirement that presently exists for no other controlled therapeutic substance.
Several patient advocacy groups, including New Jersey NORML and the Coalition for Medical Marijuana — New Jersey, and lawmakers have criticized the proposed program as being unduly restrictive, and “not consistent with the intent of the legislature.” Various editorial boards, such as the New Jersey Star Ledger and the Asbury Park Press, have also opined against the proposed regulations.
The Senate and Assembly resolutions, if approved by both chambers, would give state health officials 30 days to revise these unduly burdensome regulations.