This year marked a historic moment for New Jersey drug law. In January, the governor signed a law legalizing the use of marijuana as a medicinal treatment. This makes New Jersey the fourteenth state to legalize the drug for medical reasons. With regard to who can use medical marijuana, the scope of the law is very narrow.
Under the new law, patients with various terminal diseases will be eligible to use medical marijuana in New Jersey. For example, patients suffering from Crohn’s disease, cancer, and Lou Gehrig’s disease, may be eligible to use marijuana legally is their doctor has given them a prognosis of a year or less. This list may be expanded once the Dept. of Health is able to come up with some rules to implement medical marijuana for additional medical conditions.
It is also important to note under the new law that individuals may NOT grow their own marijuana. This ban remains regardless of whether or not the individual is eligible to use marijuana for the treatment of a medical condition. The purpose of this restriction is to make sure that legally distributed marijuana goes through registered treatment centers. Further, those individuals who are taking care of patients eligible to use medicinal marijuana must undergo a background check.
Despite the fact that there are now certain permissible uses for marijuana in the state of New Jersey, as with any change of law, there will be a period where law enforcement must adjust. Therefore, just because you may be legally permitted to use medical marijuana, doesn’t mean you may not still be arrested. As with any arrest situation, there are additional non-criminal factors at play (i.e. your job, your reputation, your position in your community). That is why, if you’re arrested, it is so important to talk with a New Jersey criminal defense lawyer sooner rather than later.
You can find out more about this new medical marijuana law on nj.com. Look to nj.com for all your up to the minute news in and around the state.