By Steve Elliott
A bill which would ensure that medical marijuana patients' use of cannabis would not prevent them from getting needed medical care such as organ transplants was approved Tuesday by a New Jersey state Senate committee.
The Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee took action to prevent patients from getting kicked off transplant lists due to their physician-authorized medicinal cannabis use, reports Sy Mukerjee at Think Progress.
The panel passed S-1220, sponsored by New Jersey state Senators Joseph F. Vitale and Nicholas P. Scutari. The legislation "would provide that a registered, qualifying patient's authorized use of medical marijuana would be considered equivalent to using other prescribed medication rather than an illicit substance and therefore would not qualify the person from needed medical care, such as an organ transplant."
"We are hearing of cases in other states of sick and dying patients being kicked off organ transplant waiting lists for their legal use of medical marijuana," said Sen. Vitale (D-Middlesex), who is chairman of the Senate Health Committee. "This practice is unconscionable as the patients have followed their doctors' orders and have taken a legal medication to reduce the pain and suffering associated with their illness.