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NJ DHSS Commissioner treating medical marijuana patient

Posted by NORML NJ on Friday, March 4, 2011

From Chris Goldstein’s at The Philadelphia NORML Examiner

Dr. Poonam Alaigh, the Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Health and Human Services (DHSS) is refusing to call marijuana a "medicine" but is willing to recognize its therapeutic benefits in one of her own private practice patients.

Testifying before a the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Services Committee on March 3, 2011 she said, "I am a scientist. So unless I see studies to verify that marijuana can be used a medicine, and I don’t see those studies right now, I cannot call it a ’medicine.’"

Then later

There was also a strange twist at the end of the testimony. Dr. Alaigh, a practicing physician, said that she currently has a patient who benefits from medical marijuana use in New Jersey.

"I have to tell you I have patient right now who tells me how impactful his medicinal marijuana is…and his life changes because of what he takes. So, is it effective in a certain patient population? Yes, I have patient where it is effective."

Senator Whelan responded quickly, "Well it sounds like a medicine to me."

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