When incoming Governor Phil Murphy took the reins from the disgraced outgoing Chris Christy, cannabis supporters, among others, heaved a collective sigh of relief.
Governor Murphy has wasted no time in keeping his campaign promise to overhaul New Jersey’s medical marijuana program.
An audit of the state’s extremely limited MMJ program is recommending that Governor Murphy, who took office in January, launch a massive expansion of the program. And he’s all for it.
Suggested changes such as loosening requirements and adding medical marijuana shops across the state are already underway, according to the NJ.Com.
Further recommendations include expanding MMJ businesses and getting new companies involved in the industry as well as adding dozens more medical conditions to be approved for the program.
Last year, the state's MMJ review panel approved 43 conditions to be added to the program - anxiety, chronic pain and migraines – but they were never added. Expanding the list would make medical marijuana an option for thousands more.
At the moment, New Jersey’s program is limited to people with epilepsy, glaucoma, ALS, severe vomiting from AIDS or cancer treatment, multiple sclerosis, Crohn's disease, and other terminal illnesses.
The Democratic governor also suggests that people should be able to see their own doctor rather than the current situation in which only doctors who register with the state are allowed to recommend MMJ. Only 536 doctors have registered, out of New Jersey’s 28,000 physicians.
“We need to treat our residents with compassion,” Governor Murphy said in January when he ordered a review of the state’s MMJ program. “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."
Oh, and did we mention that Governor Murphy wants legal weed in New Jersey by the end of the year?