Each year thousands of New Jerseyans are diagnosed with cancer, HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis and other debilitating illnesses. For some patients, currently available medications will not relieve their terrible symptoms. Medical marijuana could reduce suffering and improve the quality of life for these patients.
With the urging of DPA’s Compassionate Use Campaign coalition, in 2010 New Jersey passed legislation establishing a medical marijuana program in the state. The Compassionate Use Act allows seriously ill patients for whom currently available medications are not effective access to medical marijuana with a doctor’s recommendation. There are currently six Alternative Treatment Centers (ATCs) in New Jersey where registered patients can access their medicine.
Despite the success of the program, we know that many people in New Jersey still lack access to the medicine they need because of overly burdensome rules and a tightly regulated market.
DPA advocates to:
In 2016, the Compassionate Use Campaign was successful in passing legislation to add PTSD to the list of qualifying conditions to obtain medical marijuana. Hundreds of individuals have signed up for the program as a result. DPA also successfully added chronic pain to the list of qualifying conditions through a petition filed with the Department of Health’s Medical Review Panel.
DPA also works to safeguard the rights of medical marijuana patients. In 2016, we successfully supported legislation to allow for medical marijuana patients to use their medicine in school.
We are currently working to advance Assembly Bill 1838 that will protect medical marijuana patients from adverse employment actions and losing their jobs.