On Tuesday, Governor Chris Christie made history by signing a law that would allow sick children under pain in New Jersey to access edible marijuana.
The new law would also remove the limit on the number of marijuana strains allowed for cultivation and would increase the variety of treatment options available to minors who qualify for pain medication according to the law.
Parental permission would be required in order to make edible marijuana available to minors in the form of capsules, tablets, drops or syrups.
The Governor had vetoed the original bill earlier in August and had said that he would sign the legislation only if it included provisions for a psychiatrist and a physician to approve eligibility, before a minor could join the program.
The bill that Christie signed into law on Tuesday includes the amendments that he demanded.
Christie issued a statement after signing the law saying, “I’m pleased the legislature accepted my recommendations so that suffering children can get the treatment they need.”
He also said, “Parents, not government regulators, are best suited to decide how to care for their children, and this law advances that important principle.”
Christie had expressed concerns last month that without the provisions he intended for inclusion in the bill, it might become easier for others to abuse the program and gain access to marijuana.”
He said, “protection of our children remains my utmost concern, and this new law will help sick kids access the program while also keeping in place appropriate safeguards.”
The bill was proposed by the parents of a 2-year old girl who has a severe form of epilepsy for which commonly available anti-seizure medicine is ineffective. Their campaign finally led to a group of Democrats backing the proposal, and finally see the law to allow children access to medical marijuana where the need is justified.