Whelan Statement On Medical Marijuana Hearing

TRENTON – Senator Jim Whelan (D-Atlantic), a member of the Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee, released the following statement on today’s committee hearing on legislation (SCR-130) he sponsored to invalidate Department of Health and Senior Services regulations governing the medical marijuana program in order to bring them in line with the legislative intent of the law. The committee also approved a resolution (SCR-140) that would overturn regulations put forward by the State Board of Medical Examiners:

“The testimony we heard clearly demonstrated that the regulations put forward by the administration are not based on science nor are they based on fact.

“What we do know is, as proposed, the rules would make our medical marijuana program, already poised to become the strictest, most conservative program in the country, completely unworkable.

“This process is not about allowing someone with a headache or back pain to get pot. It’s about ensuring that patients suffering with debilitating conditions, such as Crohn’s disease, cancer and glaucoma are able to access relief.

“Overturning the regulations is not a step anyone wanted to take, but implementing a program that fails to provide adequate relief to patients simply isn’t an option.

“It is my hope that the administration will revisit these rules in short order to bring them in line with the legislative intent of the law, so we can finally provide compassionate care to patients who so desperately need it.”