Opponents rap restriction on N.J. medical marijuana

Medical marijuana advocates in New Jersey are concerned about the latest rule issued by the Christie administration on implementing the program.The state attorney general’s office wants doctors who prescribe medial marijuana to make reasonable efforts every three months to wean their patients from the drug.Chris Goldstein with the Coalition for Medical Marijuana of New Jersey says that requirement is harshly restrictive.”This is effective treatment for people who are going to use marijuana over a lifetime really, over decades, as a companion therapy to treat things like MS and AIDS,” said Goldstein Tuesday. “We don’t want to wean patients off of this. This helps them through their other medical therapies.”The primary sponsors of the medical marijuana law want it to take effect as written. The  state Health Department wants to limit the drug’s potency and the number of locations for it to be grown and sold. Rosanne Scotti, the director of the Drug Policy Alliance of New Jersey, said all the proposed regulations could end up making the program unworkable.”We’re very concerned at this point that doctors are just going to shy away from recommending medical marijuana,” said Scotti. “That it’s going to be so expensive and so burdensome to patients that they’re simply going to continue to go to an illegal market.”The primary sponsors of the medical marijuana law want it to take effect as written. The  state Health Department wants to limit the drug’s potency and the number of locations for it to be grown and sold. Advocates say they don’t expect medical marijuana to be made available until next summer at the earliest.

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