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N.J. Governor Gives Provisional OK to Medical Pot For Kids

Posted: August 16, 2013

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Republican Gov. Chris Christie has approved a broad measure to ease restrictions on medical marijuana for chronically ill children, but he won't go as far as lawmakers would like.

Marijuana plants growing at a legal not-for-profit medical marijuana dispensary in Los Angeles last year.

Marijuana plants growing at a legal not-for-profit medical marijuana dispensary in Los Angeles last year. David McNew

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie agreed to ease restrictions on medical marijuana for chronically ill children, but he won't go as far as lawmakers would like.

NPR's Joel Rose reports that Christie, a Republican, has rejected part of a bill that would allow young patients access to an ingestible form of marijuana at state-approved dispensaries without the approval of a psychiatrist and pediatrician.

His partial veto sends the bill back to the Democratic-controlled Legislature for approval before it becomes law.

The Associated Press reports:

"Like the 19 other states that allow medical marijuana, New Jersey lets children use it. But unlike all but a few, the state law and regulations currently in place — considered perhaps the most stringent among states that allow medical pot at all — have additional hurdles for young patients. ...

"It attracted broader attention this week when parent Brian Wilson confronted the governor during a campaign stop in a diner. Wilson believes his 2-year-old daughter, Vivian, would benefit by using a certain form and strain of pot for Dravet syndrome, a rare and sometimes deadly form of epilepsy.

"In a moment captured on video that made news shows and websites, Wilson told the governor, 'Please don't let my daughter die.' "

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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