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What Are the Effects of NJ’s New Medical Marijuana Law?

The seriously ill children who benefit from the use of medical marijuana are a far cry from the stereotypes of partying pot smokers getting high. For children suffering from debilitating diseases such as Dravet syndrome, a severe form of epilepsy for which conventional anti-seizure medicine is not effective, edible medical marijuana may be the only source of relief. Despite compelling results in Colorado and California that suggest this treatment stops seizures, New Jersey has been slow to legalize medical marijuana for minors.

Governor Christie signs new law to help children

In what some see as a courageous move to help the sick children of New Jersey, Governor Chris Christie signed a bill that many hope can improve the availability and ease with which children can be treated with medical marijuana. The most significant changes included in the bill, which amends existing regulations that permit medical marijuana for adults, relate to regulations that now permit state-sanctioned marijuana growers to produce as many strains of the drug as they choose to cultivate.

The bill also allows vendors to offer edible marijuana products to children that are more palatable than traditional means of consumption. Governor Christie did not, however, agree to reduce the number of doctors from two (one pediatrician and one psychiatrist) to one, which advocates promoted as a boon to parents forced to resort to medical marijuana treatments for their children.

Does legalized medical marijuana mean the drug is now legal?

While this new legislation may represent a victory for ailing children and medical marijuana advocates seeking to promote increased availability of the treatment, possession of marijuana by those without a prescription in New Jersey is still against the law. Those charged with crimes related to marijuana may face incarceration and major fines, depending upon the amount possessed and other circumstances pertaining to the arrest.

Those facing drug charges can rely on the lawyers of Hoffman DiMuzio for help seeking justice and minimizing the effects of drug arrests.

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