There are many people out there who know that they could benefit from the use of medical marijuana but they don’t want their friends, family, coworkers, employers, etc. to know that they are taking the drug. This happens as a result of a common misconception caused by an Act that was passed by the State known as CUMMA. CUMMA is the act that allows registered medical professionals to prescribe medical marijuana to their patients with certain ailments. Once the drug is prescribed to the patient, the patient’s name is then submitted to the State in order to compile a list of citizens that can legally carry/use medical marijuana. Due to all of the rules and regulations surrounding the situation, some people may think that the list is a matter of public record. However, after taking a close look at the Act, we can see that the list is not a matter of public record in any way, shape, or form.
The Act only authorizes State officials to access the information and distinctly states that it should not be considered a public record. In addition, having your name added to the list doesn’t waive your patient-physician privilege which means that the physician who prescribes you medical marijuana cannot disclose that information to anyone other than the proper State officials who collect the information in order to generate the list. You can see the entire portion of the bill that clearly states this below:
f. The department shall maintain a confidential list of the persons to whom it has issued registry identification cards. Individual names and other identifying information on the list, and information contained in any application form, or accompanying or supporting document shall be confidential, and shall not be considered a public record under P.L.1963, c.73 (C.47:l A-1 et seq.) or P.L.2001, c.404 (C.47:I A-5 et al.), and shall not be disclosed except to:
(1) authorized employees of the department and the Division of Consumer Affairs in the Department of Law and Public Safety as necessary to perform official duties of the department and the division, as applicable; and
(2) authorized employees of State or local law enforcement agencies, only as necessary to verify that a person who is engaged in the suspected or alleged medical use of marijuana is lawfully in possession of a registry identification card.
g. Applying for or receiving a registry card does not constitute a waiver of the qualifying patient’s patient-physician privilege.