compassionate use

New Jersey: Senate To Hold First-Ever Hearing On Protecting Medical Marijuana Patients

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New Legislation Clarifies Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act Patient Protections

Advocates Applaud Legislation and Declare that Legislature Did Not Intend For Patients To Lose Jobs For Using Legal Medical Marijuana

The New Jersey Legislature is poised to hold the first-ever hearing on legislation clarifying employment protections for medical marijuana patients. The Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee hearing is scheduled for Monday, December 21 at 1 p.m., in the New Jersey State House Annex Committee Room 1.

The legislation, Senate Bill 3162, is sponsored by Senator Nicholas Scutari (DMiddlesex/Somerset/Union) and Senator Joseph Vitale (D-Middlesex).

Advocates applaud the bill. “Medical marijuana patients in New Jersey are in a state of limbo and fear,” said Roseanne Scotti, New Jersey state director for the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA). “They fear being fired from their jobs for using medical marijuana even though it is legal under New Jersey law. No individual and no family should be punished for following their doctor’s order and the laws of their state.”

California: Study Refutes Claims of Widespread Abuse in Medical Marijuana Program

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92% of participants reported that "medical marijuana helped alleviate symptoms or treat a serious medical condition"

A new landmark study published last week by the peer-reviewed journal Drug and Alcohol Review refutes the long-held belief that abuse of California's medical marijuana law is widespread. The study, "Prevalence of medical marijuana use in California, 2012," is the first time anyone has formally measured such data in the state according to its authors Suzanne Ryan-Ibarra, Marta Induni, and Danielle Ewing of the Survey Research Group at Public Health Institute in Sacramento.

The report found that as much as 92 percent of participants reported that "medical marijuana helped alleviate symptoms or treat a serious medical condition." Researchers said that "To get that kind of agreement on anything is pretty astounding."

The report also found that one-in-20 California adults -- roughly 1.4 million people -- reported using medical marijuana to treat serious illness, and that such use spanned all ages, genders, races, and geographical regions.

"This study proves what patients and advocates have been saying for years, that medical marijuana is efficacious,” said Don Duncan, California Director with Americans for Safe Access (ASA). "The study roundly rejects the argument that medical cannabis is a smoke screen or a sham."

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