Following a controversial conditional veto by Governor Chris Christie, New Jersey has become one of several states that allow children with issues like seizures, autism, and cancer, legal access to an edible form of medical marijuana. The New Jersey program requires parents of qualifying children to get approval from two doctors – a pediatrician and a psychiatrist – one of whom must be enrolled in the state’s program.
The type of marijuana being given to children, according to an NBC News report, “is not the kind of marijuana that gets people stoned. This can now be grown and synthesized to take out the chemical that makes people high, but increase the chemical that works in the brain to reduce problems like seizures.”
Some health care providers are concerned that the treatment has not been suitably tested for safety in children. Critics include the American Society of Pediatrics. In a similar report, a representative of Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School said, “I worry that we just don’t know enough about it. I think they’re putting their child[ren] at risk of long-term consequences of marijuana use that we don’t fully understand.”