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New Jersey says yes to pot for sick kids

By GLENN TOWNES | 6/27/2013, 3:58 p.m. | Updated on 6/27/2013, 3:58 p.m.
After months of bickering and squabbling, the New Jersey state Assembly approved legislation that amends the state medical marijuana measure, ...
Pot

After months of bickering and squabbling, the New Jersey state Assembly approved legislation that amends the state medical marijuana measure, and it will now allow children to receive cannabis to treat various medical conditions, it was announced Monday in Trenton.

Under the measure, state-certified and physician-mandated adolescent patients will be able to receive up to two ounces of marijuana to treat chronic and persistent medical ailments such as cancer, HIV/AIDS and epilepsy. The legislation removes such barriers as red tape, an extensive certification process and other issues parents must face in order for children to be granted a medicinal marijuana treatment card.

“Medical marijuana is the best treatment option for our daughter,” said Brian Williams of Scotch Plains. Williams and his wife, Meghan, told a New Jersey television station that their 2-year-old daughter Vivian suffers from a rare form of epilepsy and that previous medications have become somewhat ineffective, due in part to severe side effects.

Currently, New Jersey has one medical marijuana facility: the Greenleaf Compassion Center in Montclair, which opened last year. At least two more similar treatment centers are slated to open in the state in the next year. The amended bill will be sent to Gov. Chris Christie. The governor is expected to sign off on it in the next several weeks.