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New Jersey’s health commissioner urges doctors to embrace marijuana

New Jersey’s health commissioner urges doctors to embrace marijuana

Latoya Jackman
New Jersey's top doctor Tuesday encouraged physicians and medical students to embrace cannabis as another tool to help their patients. (Image via NJ.com)

New Jersey’s top doctor urges other doctors and patients to embrace cannabis

State Health Commissioner Shereef Elnahal said Tuesday during a presentation at the Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School that the goal is to “demystify” medical marijuana.

The presentation was the first to promote New Jersey’s medical marijuana program.

“We want to see more research, better research, but we are not.”

However, the research looks promising.

“I want this to be in physicians’ and other providers’ heads as a therapeutic option — not something separate, not a sort of in a different category like alternative medicine. This really is reaching a level of relevance and importance to patients.”

The fact that marijuana is still a schedule 1 drug by federal law limits research.

In his speech, Elnahal encouraged doctors to prescribe vaping or non-smoking forms of marijuana.

He believes it has the ability to help people with chronic pain, anxiety, migraines, and those with Tourette’s syndrome.

The marijuana program in New Jersey has grown to 22,000 patients, but only has 622 participating doctors.

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