Moving forward with one of his campaign pledges, Gov. Phil Murphy has signed an Executive Order aimed at eliminating onstacles faced by patients whose illnesses might be mitigated by medical marijuana.
Those barriers, Murphy said, were put in place by his predecessor, Chris Christie.
Murphy’s order directs the Department of Health and the state Board of Medical Examiners to review New Jersey’s existing medical marijuana program within the next sixty days.
“We need to treat our residents with compassion,” Murphy said. “We cannot turn a deaf ear to our veterans, the families of children facing terminal illness, or to any of the other countless New Jerseyans who only wish to be treated like people, and not criminals. And, doctors deserve the ability to provide their patients with access to medical marijuana free of stigmatization.”
The Murphy administration says current rules limit prescriptions to certain state-approved conditions and that 15,000 people enrolled in the program have access to just five in-state dispensaries. Murphy also wants to eliminate the stigma that many doctors feel when prescribing medical marijuana. That issue is exacerbated by state law requiring medical professionals to publicly register to become certified prescribers of medicinal marijuana.
“Many aspects of New Jersey’s medical marijuana program are written in statute,” said Murphy. “But our law is eight years old. Since it took effect, significant medical research has been conducted. Our goal is to modernize the program in New Jersey, bring it up to current standards, and put patients first.”