By Andrew Kitchenman (Courtesy of NJ Spotlight)
Despite differences with Gov. Chris Christie over how to make medical marijuana more accessible for sick children, the Legislature is set to increase the variety of plants that treatment centers can grow and dispense and to let children take an ingestible form of medicinal pot.
The Assembly is scheduled to vote Monday to adopt the alterations Christie made to the bill, S-2842 and A-4241, when he issued a conditional veto of it last month. Bill sponsor Linda Stender (D-Middlesex, Somerset and Union) criticized the veto, but has decided to support the new version. The primary change that Christie made was removing part of the bill that would have allowed children to have the same requirements as adults in seeking a prescription for marijuana.
Some families and advocates have said the state regulation requiring children to have the approval of both a pediatrician and a psychiatrist is onerous. Adults only need one doctor registered with the medical marijuana program to prescribe the substance.
“I was very disappointed with the doctor requirement. I think it’s absurd to say that a sick child with epilepsy must see a psychiatrist,” Stender said. If the administration wants a second medical opinion, it should be from a specialist treating the condition the child’s condition, she added.
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