23 Legal States

New Jersey Medical Marijuana Facts

New Jersey Medical Marijuana Statistics and Marijuana Facts

New Jersey has sought to establish much tougher regulations than most states on the western United States. Senate Bill 119, the New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act, easily passed the state House and Senate and was signed into law by Governor Jon Corzine in early 2010. However, once Governor Chris Christie replaced Corzine, he placed the program on hold until finally allowing it to proceed in June of 2011. The governor had confirmation that the federal government would not prosecute any state employees involved in administering the medical marijuana program; he never got it, but stated that he doubted this would happen and would thus allow the program to move ahead.

The act creates a mandatory medical marijuana registry that will issues New Jersey marijuana cards to patients suffering from seizure disorders like epilepsy, intractable muscle spasm diseases, severe chronic pain, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, cancer, Lou Gehrig’s disease, muscular dystrophy, Crohn’s disease and related severe syndromes, as well as any terminal illness with a prognosis of less than a year of life. Conditions must also be “resistant to conventional medical therapy” in order to qualify.

New Jersey Medical Marijuana Facts 2011:

  • New Jersey patients are not allowed to grow their own marijuana, a fact that distinguishes NJ from most medical marijuana states.
  • The New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services administers the program and is expected to begin issuing marijuana cards in 2012.
  • The law mandates the establishment of 6 non-profit “alternative treatment centers” which will supply medical marijuana to New Jersey patients. Any subsequent centers authorized by the state may be either non-profit or for-profit. All these centers will also be prohibited from doing home deliveries of marijuana and from carrying any cannabis food items in their menu.
  • New Jersey doctors will need to specify the amount of marijuana that a patient will require and this is the exact amount that will be dispensed by the alternative treatment center. There is however a maximum limit of 2 ounces of usable cannabis per 30-day period.
  • As of January 2014, there are 109 physicals from 19 out of 21 of New Jersey counties who have pre-registered with the state to participate in the medical marijuana program. In fact, only registered and DHSS verified doctors will be allowed to recommend medical marijuana and determine qualification.

New Jersey Marijuana Use Facts:

  • Penalties for possession are severe, with a possible 6-month sentence and $1000 fine for just one ounce. This being the 4th harshest punishment for such possession in the nation.
  • The arrest rate for marijuana is, however, the 30th in the nation. In 2007 there were 23,252 marijuana arrests out of an estimated base of 659,000 cannabis users.
  • It was estimated that marijuana arrests cost New Jersey taxpayers a total of $352 million in 2006 alone.