New reviews, access to determine direction of NJ medical marijuana program

New reviews, access to determine direction of NJ medical marijuana program

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State leaders and health experts recently called for a review of the program to improve its efficacy and increase patient access while state health officials consider adding 43 new conditions that would qualify someone for a medical marijuana card. “I think everyone should have access,” said Merrifield, 54. “I’ve seen it help so many people and make such a big difference in the quality of their lives. People don’t realize all the benefits, and not enough people are educated about it.” Gov. Phil Murphy ordered in January a 60-day review of the state’s medical marijuana program, which encompasses five operating dispensaries and more than 11,000 patients, and said he would consider allowing home delivery, increasing the purchase limit beyond 2 ounces and expanding dispensary licenses. “We look at cannabis as part of the treatment, not a cure,” said Dr. Andrew Medvedovsky, who opened a New Jersey Alternative Medicine location in Linwood last summer. “Adding new conditions is necessary. There are thousands of people who will benefit, who feel that they don’t qualify right now.” Patients who suffer from approved conditions like terminal illness, post-traumatic stress disorder, seizure disorders, multiple sclerosis and others are able to purchase marijuana from dispensaries, including Compassionate Care in Egg Harbor Township, with a recommendation from an approved doctor. Krier-Howley, who uses medical marijuana to treat a seizure disorder, said stigma surrounding participation in the program is still a huge problem. Not enough people, doctors or law enforcement are educated about the benefits, uses and legal parameters of the medical marijuana program. “My parents worked as first responders and in the military, so I grew up thinking that if you smoked (marijuana), you would die,” Krier-Howley said. “But since I became more open to medical cannabis and joined the program, I’ve learned so much and […]

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