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N.J. law grants sick children access to edible medical marijuana

By CNN Staff
updated 11:37 AM EDT, Wed September 11, 2013
Public perceptions about pot have come a long way, from the dire warnings of "Reefer Madness" to growing acceptance of medical marijuana to the legalization of recreational weed use. Public perceptions about pot have come a long way, from the dire warnings of "Reefer Madness" to growing acceptance of medical marijuana to the legalization of recreational weed use.
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History of marijuana in America
History of marijuana in America
History of marijuana in America
History of marijuana in America
History of marijuana in America
History of marijuana in America
History of marijuana in America
History of marijuana in America
History of marijuana in America
History of marijuana in America
History of marijuana in America
History of marijuana in America
History of marijuana in America
History of marijuana in America
History of marijuana in America
History of marijuana in America
History of marijuana in America
History of marijuana in America
History of marijuana in America
History of marijuana in America
History of marijuana in America
History of marijuana in America
History of marijuana in America
History of marijuana in America
History of marijuana in America
History of marijuana in America
History of marijuana in America
History of marijuana in America
History of marijuana in America
History of marijuana in America
History of marijuana in America
History of marijuana in America
History of marijuana in America
History of marijuana in America
History of marijuana in America
History of marijuana in America
History of marijuana in America
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Qualifying minors will have a wider variety of treatment options
  • Law removes limit on the marijuana strains that may be cultivated
  • Legislation stemmed from parents' effort to find treatment for daughter's severe epilepsy

(CNN) -- Ill children in New Jersey will be able to more easily access edible medical marijuana under a measure signed into law Tuesday by Gov. Chris Christie.

Qualifying minors in New Jersey will now have a wider variety of treatment options, and the new law will remove the limit on the number of marijuana strains that may be cultivated.

The new law also requires parental permission for edible marijuana to be made available to minors through tablets, capsules, drops or syrups, according to New Jersey Assembly Democrats who advanced the legislation.

Christie, a Republican, vetoed the original bill in August and said he would sign legislation that included a rule that edible marijuana would be dispensed only to minors and that a psychiatrist and a physician both would have to approve before a minor could join the program.

The final version of the bill includes both of Christie's demands, according to a news release from the state's Assembly Democrats.

As haze clears, tipping point on marijuana reached?

Said Christie in a statement, "I'm pleased the legislature accepted my recommendations so that suffering children can get the treatment they need.

"I've said all along that 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," Christie said. "Parents, not government regulators, are best suited to decide how to care for their children, and this law advances that important principle."

Christie said last month that he was worried about going "down the slippery slope of broadening a program and making it easier to get marijuana that wouldn't necessarily go to other people."

The bill was originally proposed after Brian and Meghan Wilson of Union City began a campaign to get what could be life-saving treatment for their 2-year-old daughter, Vivian. She has Dravet syndrome, a severe form of epilepsy for which anti-seizure medicine is ineffective, according to Democrats' statement this week.

Opinion: How to regulate pot when it's legal

CNN's Michael Martinez and Allie Malloy contributed to this report.

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