Tuesday, February 13, 2018 by Zoey Sky
Phil Murphy, New Jersey’s governor, has recently signed “an executive order for broader medical marijuana access.”
Jake Honig, a seven-year-old boy who died last January due to a rare bone cancer, seems to have moved the governor to make this particular decision. Jake, who received the nickname “Jake the Tank” because of the strength he showed during a five-year battle with bone cancer, was in remission for three years. However, his cancer came back, and he passed away last month.
The Honig family was hoping that changes would soon be made to current medical marijuana laws. They were also imploring their community to send letters to lawmakers so that Jake could have had easier access to the medication that helped him deal with his cancer.
Two days after Jake’s death, his parents, Mike and Janet, and Gianna, his six-year-old sister, stood beside Governor Murphy as he signed the executive order. The Honig family were holding a photo of Jake during the signing.
Phil Murphy was sworn in as the governor of the state last January, and he invited Jake’s family, who came in from Howell, New Jersey, to attend the press conference and the signing.
Governor Murphy authorized the 60-day review of the state’s current medical marijuana program in the hopes of removing any obstacles that prevented patients from having “better access to medical marijuana.”
Two areas will be covered in the review that were included to honor Jake: first is the permission to purchase more than the two-ounce limit and the sale of marijuana “in oil form for easy dosing.”
The governor is also considering the home delivery and the addition of licensed dispensaries in New Jersey. Governor Murphy said, “We will not deny people compassionate care any longer.”
He added, “For eight years, medical marijuana has been difficult to access in New Jersey. Today, we’re turning the page. A fairer New Jersey means expanding access to medical marijuana for patients in need.”
New Jersey is one of the 29 states in the country that allows medical marijuana. However, the state limits marijuana prescriptions to those who have “certain state-approved conditions.” This means thousands are unable to take part in the program. Meanwhile, the 15,000 people who benefit from it can only go to five dispensaries in New Jersey.
Last year, Jake was sent home on hospice in December with six drugs that included anti-nausea medication, oxycodone, and morphine. Mike and Janet discovered that medical marijuana proved to be effective when it came to Jake’s symptoms. The young boy didn’t experience any “harsh side effects” as he did with the other drugs.
The cannabis helped give Jake some comfort before his death. It increased his appetite, and the cannabis also enabled Jake to stop taking a couple of his “harsher medications.” But since the marijuana was not available in oil-form, Jake’s parents had to heat it up each night to extract the oils. (Related: Marijuana cannabinoids – oral and transdermal methods.)
Governor Murphy shared, “We cannot turn a deaf ear to our veterans, the families of children facing terminal illness, or to any of the other countless New Jerseyans who only wish to be treated like people, and not criminals.”
Although Jake is no longer here to see the law executed, his family remains hopeful that other individuals with medical conditions can benefit from the new laws after they are put in place. Mike and Janet posted on Facebook, “Change is happening fast, and Jake has our commitment to continue his legacy of inspiring people.”
You can read more articles about the benefits of cannabis and research about medical marijuana at MedicalMarijuanaUpdate.com.