New Jersey Medical Marijuana Looks Like A Done Deal

NJWeedFarmers_1.jpgINQUIRER: New Jersey is set become the 14th state in the nation to allow medical use of marijuana, under a bill approved yesterday by legislators. Gov. Corzine is expected to sign the bill during his last week in office. The law, which advocates have worked for years to get passed, would go into effect six months later. Last February, the state Senate approved a medical-marijuana bill with bipartisan support. But after critics raised concerns that the bill could allow marijuana to become too readily available, sponsors tightened restrictions. The Assembly voted in favor of the bill by 48-14, while the Senate vote was 25-13. “I don’t think we should make criminals out of our very sick and terminally ill,” said Assemblyman Reed Gusciora (D., Mercer), a prime sponsor. “It does not make sense for many of New Jersey’s residents to suffer when there is a viable way to ease their pain.” Gusciora said New Jersey’s would be the strictest medical marijuana law in the nation. People with “debilitating medical conditions,” including severe or chronic pain, severe nausea or vomiting, cancer or terminal illness, would be eligible to legally use marijuana, which would be available through for-profit and nonprofit alternative treatment centers throughout the state. Patients would be limited to two ounces of marijuana every 30 days. MORE

HUFFINGTON POST:  Since marijuana was criminalized more than 70 years ago, no panel of federal or state lawmakers has ever voted to reverse the ban and legalize it. That streak ended on Tuesday, when a California Assembly committee voted to approve AB 390, sponsored by Assembly Democrat Tom Ammiano, which would legalize, regulate and tax marijuana in the state of California. The bill passed the Public Safety Committee by a 4-3 vote and now moves to the Health Committee before coming to the Assembly floor for a full vote. “This historic vote marks the formal beginning of the end of marijuana prohibition in the United States,” said Stephen Gutwillig, California state director of the Drug Policy Alliance. “Making marijuana legal has now entered the public dialogue in a credible way. Decades of wasteful, punitive, racist marijuana policy have taken quite a toll in this country. The Public Safety Committee has demonstrated that serious people take ending marijuana prohibition seriously.” MORE

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