Source: New Jersey Newsroom.com
Confusion over medical marijuana laws prevent patients from using the drug in some New Jersey hospitals.
Although the state law allows the use of marijuana under certain circumstances, federal law still considers the drug illegal. This creates a complicated situation for hospitals with federal funding, causing some to deny patients the use of the drug, according to northjersey.com.
14-year-old Jackson Stormes was hospitalized at the Hackensack University Medical Center in May where he was told he could not partake in the use of medical marijuana prescribed for epilepsy.
“We feel we would be in a legal no man’s land with the federal government. We put all our licenses in jeopardy, every grant in jeopardy, unless we get some Department of Justice guidance,” said Chairman of the children’s hospital Dr. Jeffrey Boscamp, according to northjersey.com.
According to the State of New Jersey Department of Health, in order to be eligible to register for the Medical Marijuana Program, one must be a resident of the state, have a “bona fide relationship” with a registered physician and be diagnosed with a “debilitating medical condition” by a MMP registered New Jersey physician.
Although newjersey.com reported that Stormes was a registered user under New Jersey law, similar accounts have surfaced recently about the complicated MMP program.
According to MSNBC Gov. Chris Christie refused to sign a bill last November that would have given patients the opportunity to obtain medical marijuana from other states with more established programs. “Every time you sign one expansion, then the advocates will come back and ask for another one. Here’s what the advocates want: They want legalization of marijuana in New Jersey.
“It will not happen on my watch, ever. I am done expanding the medical marijuana program under any circumstances. So we’re done,” Christie said, according to MSNBC.
Situations such as these reflect the problems that might arise as state laws conflict with federal laws as views of medicinal marijuana rapidly change and vary across the country.