Medical Marijuana Use May Be Legalized

Medical Marijuana Use May Be Legalized
Posted by CN Staff on March 04, 2009 at 05:31:24 PT
By Mary Diduch, Correspondent
Source: Daily Targum 
New Jersey -- Marijuana for medical use may be legalized in New Jersey. The New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act, better known as S119 to state legislatures, passed Feb. 23 in the New Jersey Senate. For the bill to come into effect, the New Jersey Assembly must vote to pass it, but the date of their vote is undetermined. “We are cautiously optimistic of it passing,” said Drug Policy Alliance New Jersey Director Roseanne Scotti.
The proposed bill allows patients and their primary caregivers to grow, possess and use small quantities of medical marijuana to treat certain illnesses, she said.“Under the bill, individual patients will be allowed to have six plants and an ounce of medical marijuana,” Scotti said.She said Gov. Jon S. Corzine has agreed to sign the bill should it pass the Assembly.Scotti said she does not think there are any disadvantages that might prevent the bill’s passage in the Assembly.“There are many seriously ill people in New Jersey for whom currently available medications are not helping to relieve symptoms,” Scotti said.She said the bill was amended in the Assembly Health Committee to allow “alternative treatment centers” to grow the plant for patients too sick to grow it themselves.“They would be allowed to grow the same amount for each patient,” Scotti said.To use marijuana for medicinal purposes, patients must be diagnosed by a physician, have a full physical and have their past medical history assessed to prove a debilitating medical condition, according to the legislation.“It has been proven to alleviate pain, muscle spasms, nausea, vomiting and wasting syndrome that comes from a lot of treat like chemotherapy, so there are a pretty good array of symptoms it could help,” Scotti said.The act also lists cancer, glaucoma, HIV, AIDS, seizures, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease or any disease approved by the Department of Health and Senior Services as conditions medical marijuana may be used to treat.The law provides safeguards against recreational abuse through other precautionary measures.“This law was very carefully drafted by the sponsor of the legislation and Sen. Nicholas Scutari,” Scotti said.Not only must patients have the diseases or conditions explicitly laid out in the text of the bill, but they must also have a doctor’s prescription and follow regulations set by the State Department of Health and Senior services, Scotti said.Patients and their primary caregivers must register for medical marijuana use with the Senate Human Health, Services, and Senior Citizens committee, according to the bill. They would receive a registration card and without this, they would be criminalized for marijuana use.Scotti said the bill could have financial advantages for individuals.A lot of drugs used to treat these conditions are more expensive compared to medical marijuana, so it may be cheaper for patients, but she said she is not yet sure of any overall financial impact the bill could have.Introduced by the Senate Human Health, Services, and Senior Citizens Committee in January 2008, the bill is now in the hands of the Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee, according to the NJ state legislature Web site.The eight New Jersey senators who sponsored the proposed bill and composed of the legislation are Sens. Nicholas P. Scutari, Jim Whelan, Sandra B. Cunningham, Raymond J. Lesniak, Brian P. Stack, Stephen M. Sweeney, Loretta Weinberg and Joseph F. Vitale, according to the site.There are already 10 Assembly members as co-sponsors for the bill and it has garnered bi-partisan support, Scotti said.She said there are 13 other states where medical marijuana is legal, and they are not experiencing any problems.These 13 states where marijuana is available for qualified patients are Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington, according to the bill.“I think it’s a pretty good idea, I mean, why not? All the other states are doing it,” said Derek Burr, a School of Arts and Sciences sophomore. “People need it, it helps them, it’s not really that bad, and it should be legal.”School of Arts and Sciences sophomore Sean Battle said he agrees and thinks the drug should be legal for legitimate reasons, but did note a potential harm.“One disadvantage is more people would have the ability to sell it maybe, or abuse it rather,” he said. “But at the same time, that could be said for any over-the-counter drug.”Member of the Marijuana Policy Project Richard Zuckerman, a New Brunswick resident, said some people might be against the use of the drug for medical purposes because they confuse it with other, more dangerous drugs.“The courts have been saying it’s dangerous for the federal narcotic laws, but the federal narcotic laws should not be there in the first place. It’s a mild drug,” he said.School of Arts and Sciences first-year student Cody Gorman said it has been proven that marijuana is not really a gateway drug as previously thought.“It’s not the same as coke, if they made medicinal coke. I don’t think the side effects of medicinal marijuana would be anywhere near as bad,” Gorman said.Source: Daily Targum (Rutgers, NJ Edu)Author: Mary Diduch, CorrespondentPublished: Tuesday, March 3, 2009Copyright: 2009 Daily TargumContact: oped dailytargum.comWebsite: Articles & Web Site:Coalition for Medical Marijuana Marijuana On Track Marijuana - A Rational Approach
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on March 04, 2009 at 18:37:29 PT
That's cool. I liked the video.
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Comment #4 posted by mykeyb420 on March 04, 2009 at 18:25:40 PT
thats my club
 the club in the video the reporter goes to is our club on 10th street,,,
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on March 04, 2009 at 09:34:21 PT
Just a Comment and Video
When I search specifically for medical marijuana on google news I get different ads. I do not get ads when I search for just the word marijuana though. This is all new to me and has anyone else noticed this when looking for medical marijuana news on Google?This was an ad on the sidebar when searching for medical marijuana on Google.Medical Marijuana
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Comment #2 posted by fight_4_freedom on March 04, 2009 at 09:24:42 PT
This is for you Rainbow
Another committee victory for Minnesota medical marijuana billDear Adam:Yesterday, the Minnesota Senate Judiciary Committee voted 4-3 in favor of S.F. 97, which would protect seriously ill Minnesotans from the threat of arrest and jail for simply using their doctor-recommended medicine.Please take five minutes right now to contact your state legislators today and convey your strong support for this crucial bill.While this committee victory is yet another important milestone, we have to maintain our momentum moving forward. Legislators need to understand the importance of protecting the sick and dying from arrest in Minnesota. We expect to have another hearing within the week, so we need to keep the pressure on!In just five minutes, you can contact your state legislators today. Cancer, HIV/ AIDS, and multiple sclerosis patients across the state are depending on you taking action immediately!And, if you wish to help us finance this compassionate lobbying campaign, please visit to donate whatever you can now.Thank you so much for your help in pushing Minnesota's medical marijuana bill forward. Together, we can make Minnesota the 14th medical marijuana state.Sincerely,Heather Azzi
Campaigns Analyst
Marijuana Policy Project
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Comment #1 posted by Sam Adams on March 04, 2009 at 08:18:03 PT
Mass. sheriff whining & lying
bad man!
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