New Jersey On Medical Marijuana: We’re Not California

January 12, 2009 – New Jersey’s legislature passed a bill yesterday to legalize medicalPicture 4 marijuana, and Gov. Jon Corzine has said he’ll sign it into law before leaving office next week.

Marijuana is now legal for some patients in more than a dozen states. But, at least based on the Jersey bill, the rules seem to be getting stricter as legalization spreads.

Medical marijuana will be limited to certain patients — people whose prognosis gives them less than a year to live, or those with specific symptoms resulting from certain diseases, such as AIDS, cancer and Crohn’s. (The bill also allows the state health department to add other diseases to the list.)

California — where doctors have wide latitude to prescribe marijuana for patients, and pot dispensaries have proliferated in some counties — seemed to serve as a cautionary tale for New Jersey.

Chris Christie, the Garden State’s Republican governor-elect (and former U.S. attorney) said medical marijuana in California is “completely out of control,” according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. Still, Christie said he supports “the idea of medical marijuana for seriously ill people for pain relief to them,” though he was wary of what he called “loopholes” in the bill, such as allowing the health department to expand the list of qualifying conditions.

Even the bill’s backers seemed as eager to talk up what the bill restricts as what it allows. “This bill recognizes that compassion for the sick and dying and adherence to our nation’s war on illegal drugs are not mutually exclusive ideals,” one state senator who sponsored the bill said in a statement.

Patients who qualify will be allowed to buy up to two ounces of marijuana a month at state-sponsored dispensaries, the WSJ says. Patients won’t be allowed to grow marijuana at home or to smoke in public, the New York Times notes.

The bill passed by a wide margin — 48-14 in the Assembly and 25-13 in the state Senate. By Jacob Goldstein. Source.

One response to “New Jersey On Medical Marijuana: We’re Not California”

  1. So by NOT allowing you to grow it for your own use ONLY, What the State is actually doing is making themselves into a Monopoly Supplier, Doesn’t that violate U.S. Monopoly Laws?

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