Medical Pot Users Beware

Promoted from the diaries by Rosi

The Compassionate Marijuana Medical Use Act takes effect in July.  I suspect, however, it might be as much as another six months before legally purchasing medical marijuana will be a reality.  Be careful about not jumping the gun. First, regulations have to be clarified and issued, distribution sites have to be approved, meet rigid standards, and set up, users have to be certified by a doctor, and, where a caregiver will purchase the marijuana, the care giver needs to undergo a criminal background check.  

Our Governor-General, through his buddies in the legislature, assured that New Jersey’s law is the most restrictive in the nation. Unlike other states, individuals can not grow their own medicinal pot, are limited to only 2 oz per month, and will likely have fewer sites from which to purchase.

There are also significant work-related issues.


The act, for example, doesn’t allow the use in the workplace. What it does is protect users from being arrested. Under a strict reading of the law a company can fire someone who tests positive for medical marijuana even if it was used outside of work. Discrimination claims at this point are problematic because the act does not require the employer to accommodate any medical use.  

These and other issues might well be litigated at some point, but it would helpful if the NJ Department of Health & Senior Services (DH&SS) issue further clarifications in their regulations.  DH&SS at some point will post proposed regulations on their website.  People who want to have a say in the regulations can review 2008-2009 Bill S119 and address comments to the attention of the DH&SS Commissioner.  

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