In January 2010, then-Gov. Jon Corzine signed the Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act, making New Jersey the 19th state to legalize marijuana for medicinal use.
It wasn’t until this past December, however, that qualified patients could actually get prescribed pot on a consistent basis, thanks to administrative delays on the state level, supply issues and local zoning challenges. But three of six approved Alternative Treatment Centers (ATCs) have opened or reopened, and Trenton lawmakers have added some flexibility to the program, so medicinal-marijuana advocates are hopeful that the the program will now run smoothly.
What is it?But in part because New Jersey has the nation’s strictest medicinal-marijuana regulations, and in part because Gov. Chris Christie has not been supportive of the law and very rigid about its implementation, only 1,500 residents had registered as of mid-November. The so-called “Compassionate Care Act” permits certain New Jersey residents with certain chronic ailments to register for the Medicinal Marijuana Program (MMP), which allows them to legally possess and ingest limited quantities of marijuana.
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