Relief Of Medical Marijuana Off-Limits at N.J. Hospitals

Jackson Stormes, a 14-year-old with severe epilepsy, started walking again, lost his double vision and stopped using three highly addictive narcotic medications after his mother began giving him medical marijuana.

But when Jackson was hospitalized last week, he was told he couldn’t use it.

As the use of medical marijuana spreads across the nation, Jackson Stormes’ case stands as just one example of the difficult issues surrounding how, when and where the drug can be used.

Although New Jersey law permits the use of marijuana for people who suffer from certain conditions, officials at Hackensack University Medical Center said that if they permitted patients to use the drug there, it would jeopardize the hospital’s license as well as federal funds it receives. Federal authorities view marijuana as an illegal, Schedule 1 drug.

“We are awaiting guidance from the Department of Justice,” said Dr. Jeffrey Boscamp, chairman of the children’s hospital at HUMC. “We feel we would be in a legal no man’s land with the federal government. We put all our licenses in jeopardy, every grant in jeopardy, unless we get some Department of Justice guidance.”

But Jennie Stormes, Jackson’s mother, believes she should be allowed to give her son the marijuana that has been so effective in treating his condition.

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