Tuesday, January 12, 2010
New Jersey’s state legislature has passed a bill that will legalize medicinal marijuana for patients with chronic disease. The state’s outgoing Governor, Jon Corzine, said that he will sign the bill before he leaves office next week. Upon passage of the bill, New Jersey will become the 14th state in the nation to permit medical marijuana.
Patients with a prescription would be able to purchase up to 2 ounces (56.7 grams) of cannabis per month. The bill specifies that only certain chronic diseases are eligible, ALS, AIDS, cancer, muscular dystrophy, and multiple sclerosis. The bill specifically bans the unlicensed growing of cannabis, driving under the influence of the drug, and only allows six licensed dispensaries in the state.
One of the supporters of the bill, Assemblyman Reed Gusciora said that “I truly believe this will become a model for other states because it balances the compassionate use of medical marijuana while limiting the number of ailments that a physician can prescribe it for”.
Opponents of the bill point to California where they say that cannabis is too loosely regulated. Governor-elect Chris Christie said that “I think we all see what’s happened in California,” he said. “It’s gotten completely out of control.”