Medical marijuana has been sweeping the nation as one of the newest forms of pain management, offering victims of cancer, epilepsy and other debilitating diseases the chance to control their symptoms and deal with their pain.
New Jersey has been operating a medical marijuana program since December of 2012, and has 5,500 residents currently signed up. Many of the participants are patients and some are caregivers who are licensed to pick up prescriptions for people in their care.
In New Jersey, the Compassionate Sciences Alternative Treatment Center is now open to provide medical marijuana for patients in south Jersey who can benefit from their services. The treatment center required appointments for the first week, with 40 patients signed up for the first day.
The center provides airtight bags of marijuana dispensed in packets of four strains. They plan to serve 1,800 patients who purchase an ounce of the drug, and once well established, they will be able to offer as many as 4,000 patients 12 strains of marijuana.
Users in New Jersey
With the recent decision to legalize medical marijuana in several states across the country, to include New Jersey, legislators have had to adjust how they regulate who is using the drug and who is doing it illegally. While it’s still against New Jersey law to smoke marijuana without a medical prescription, now it may be more challenging to handle signs of use, such as smelling smoke, having drug paraphernalia and more.
Police in New Jersey will still be able to use the smell of marijuana smoke as probable cause for searching a home or vehicle in many cases, and users of the drug will have to present medical identification cards if they are searched. Without the card, there is no evidence that a user has a prescription and he or she could be charged with illegal drug use.
Additionally, medical marijuana use is still restricted, even with a prescription. Patients can buy a maximum of 2 ounces of marijuana every month, and their doctors assign their dosages. Compassionate Sciences will charge $480 for an ounce of the medication. The treatment center plans to offer a 20 percent discount for any patients on Social Security, Medicaid and/or public assistance programs. They will also have a 10 percent discount for veterans.
If a medical marijuana program participant can obtain the drug somewhere else at a lesser cost, getting caught could land him or her in serious trouble. Getting drugs from any other source is still illegal, and having no proof of the legal purchase can call into question the validity of a medical marijuana prescription.
Know the Rules in Your State
At Helmer, Conley, and Kasselman, PA, our New Jersey drug crime attorneys represent anyone who has been charged with possession or use of a drug. For more information regarding drug use and marijuana allowances in the state, contact one of our attorneys today.