An Overview of the New Jersey Law Regulating Medical Use of Marijuana
In 2010, New Jersey joined several states by enacting legislation allowing the limited use of cannabis for medical purposes, making in legal for persons to “use marijuana to alleviate suffering from a debilitating condition.” There are now 23 states, including New Jersey, with some form of medical marijuana laws.
Under the New Jersey statute (N.J. Stat. Ann. §24:61-3), a person may be prescribed no more than two ounces per month. The recipient must be a New Jersey resident. The state does not have reciprocity with other states.
The prescription must be issued by a licensed physician and may be used only to treat specific qualifying conditions, including:
- Cancer and the effects of treatment for cancer, including severe nausea or vomiting
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Seizure disorders, such as epilepsy
- Any terminal illness where the doctor believes the patient will die within a year
The law allows the creation of up to six state-licensed dispensaries (two in each of the northern, central and southern sections of the state), which are currently operational. A person may not grow his or her own marijuana for medical purposes, however.
New Jersey’s law allows medical marijuana to be administered by a primary caregiver, who must be a resident of New Jersey and may not be the patient’s treating physician. The primary caregiver must be at least 18 years of age and will be ineligible to serve in that capacity if he or she has any prior felony drug convictions. The statute also limits primary caregivers to one qualified medical marijuana patient at a time.
At the law offices of attorney Gregg A. Wisotsky, Esq., Partner, Javerbaum Wurgaft Hicks Kahn Wikstrom & Sinins, PC, we offer prospective clients charged with crimes a free phone consultation. We can answer your questions, explain your rights, and help you understand your options relating to a criminal charge.