NJ Governor Phil Murphy, a long-time advocate of medicinal cannabis, announced today a list of significant expansions to his state's medicinal cannabis program. The governor had commissioned a panel on the topic earlier this year and at a press conference earlier he unveiled their recommendations...
New Jersey's medicinal cannabis program was signed into existence in 2010 by Governor Jon Corzine, but the program has been slow to develop in the near decade since then. In recent weeks though, it appears as if New Jersey is becoming far more understanding about how badly patients need access to cannabis. With the State Assembly already looking at massive expansions to the program this month, now Governor Phil Murphy has also thrown his weight behind the cause.
He was quoted as saying, "Our administration will be guided by facts and science, not politics. It has taken eight years, and a change of administrations, for that simple principle to be restored."
At his press conference, and in a series of Tweets, Governor Murphy announced a list of recommendations from a panel he commissioned earlier this year. Effective immediately, the Governor added five additional conditions that will now be eligible for medicinal cannabis: anxiety, migraines, Tourette’s syndrome, chronic pain related to musculoskeletal disorders, and chronic visceral pain. In addition to many other positive changes, he also announced that physicians will no longer have to appear on a public registry and that the patient fee to participate in the cannabis program will be reduced from $200 to $100, with a $20 rate for veterans and seniors.
After nearly a decade of slow progress, largely due to a former governor who was skeptical about cannabis, it appears as if the Garden State is coming around to realize the need for government support of patients and physicians. Hopefully the Governor's efforts will be matched in the State Assembly and New Jersey will become an example for other states to emulate.