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Medical Pot For Kids Bill Heads to Gov Christie

A bill that would allow minors to have access to medical marijuana has received final legislative approval. 

Medical Marijuana
Justin Sullivan, Getty Images

Lawmakers passed a bill in June, but Gov. Chris Christie last month issued a conditional veto. He said he will approve the bill if it does not eliminate the requirement that at least two doctors sign off before children can have access to medical cannabis.

The final version of the bill approved today by a vote of 70-1-4 will allow edible forms of marijuana to be available to minors only and remove the limit on the number of marijuana strains that can be cultivated. Under the bill, edible forms of medical marijuana to be made available to minors include tablets, capsules, drops or syrups and any other form authorized by the commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Health.

“While not the ideal legislation I would like to have seen enacted, there are a number of components in this bill that will still make this program work better for children who are desperately in need of relief,” said Assemblywoman Linder Stender, co-sponsor of the bill.

A doctor who wants to authorize medical marijuana for a minor still has get written confirmation from pediatrician and a psychiatrist that the patient would get therapeutic or palliative benefits from the medical use of marijuana.

“This bill will help make the program work better for children in a number of ways,” says Assemblyman Reed Gusciora, another sponsor of the measure. “However, I’m disappointed that the Governor decided to strike out several components that would have helped make life easier for both sick children and the elderly.”

The legislation now heads back to Gov. Chris Christie’s desk to be signed into law.

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