Christie: Ease Access to Kids' Medical Pot

Gov. Chris Christie has agreed to give chronically ill children easier access to medical marijuana.

However, the governor conditionally vetoed a bill on the issue because it goes further than he was willing to go.

“As I have repeatedly noted, I believe that parents, and not government regulators, are best suited to decide how to care for their children,” said Governor Christie a statement released Friday.

“Protection of our children remains my utmost concern, and my heart goes out to those children and their families who are suffering with serious illnesses. Today, I am making commonsense recommendations to this legislation to ensure sick children receive the treatment their parents prefer, while maintaining appropriate safeguards. I am calling on the Legislature to reconvene quickly and address these issues so that children in need can get the treatment they need.”

Christie agreed to allow production of ingestible forms of pot at state-approved dispensaries and to allow dispensaries to grow more than three strains of the drug.

But he wants to leave a requirement that a psychiatrist and pediatrician sign off before children are allowed medical marijuana.

They would still need a third doctor's recommendation if one of the others is not registered in the program.

The bill was being pushed by parents of children with severe seizure disorders who say that children elsewhere have benefited from certain strains of marijuana.

It now goes back to the Legislature.

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