New Jersey Assembly Approves Medical Marijuana 
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New Jersey Assembly Approves Medical Marijuana 
Posted by CN Staff on January 11, 2010 at 13:45:34 PT
By David Kocieniewski
Source: New York Times
New Jersey -- The New Jersey Assembly approved a measure on Monday that would make the state the first in the region and the 14th in the nation to legalize the use of marijuana for medical reasons.The measure was to be voted on by the State Senate later in the afternoon, the final day of the legislative session. If passed, it would allow patients diagnosed with severe illnesses like cancer, AIDS, muscular dystrophy and multiple sclerosis to have access to marijuana distributed through state-monitored dispensaries.
Gov. Jon S. Corzine has said he would sign it into law before leaving office next Tuesday. Gov.-elect Christopher J. Christie, speaking at a press conference on Monday before the vote, reiterated his support for legalizing the medical use of marijuana as long as the final bill contained safeguards to ensure that it did not end up encouraging the recreational use of the drug.Assemblyman Reed Gusciora, a Democrat from Princeton, said the New Jersey law would be the most restrictive in the nation because it would only permit doctors to prescribe it for a list of serious chronic illnesses. The legislation would also forbid patients from growing their own marijuana and using it in public, and it would regulate the drug under the strict conditions used to track the distribution of medically prescribed opiates like Oxycontin and morphine.“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,” said Mr. Gusciora, who sponsored the bill.Mr. Christie said he wanted to make sure that New Jersey did not follow the path of other states that have legalized the medical use of marijuana.“I think we see all what’s happened in California,” Mr. Christie said. “It’s gotten completely out of control.”Opponents of the New Jersey bill often use California’s experience as a cautionary tale, saying that medical marijuana is so loosely regulated there that the state has essentially decriminalized the drug. Under California law, residents can legally obtain marijuana to treat a list of maladies as common, and undefined, as anxiety or chronic pain.The New Jersey Senate last year passed a less restrictive version of the proposal, which led opponents of medical marijuana to predict that it would pave the way for California-style “pot centers.” David Evans, executive director of the Drug Free School Coalition, said that such centers would make marijuana more readily available on the streets and lead to an increase use of drugs by teenagers.But after conference hearings among legislative leaders, both chambers agreed on a more stringent bill.As the legislators prepared to vote on the measure, more than a dozen chronically ill patients rallied at the State House to urge lawmakers to pass it.One of them, Scott Ward, who said he suffered from multiple sclerosis, said he had been prescribed marijuana to alleviate leg cramps so severe that they often “feel like my muscles are tearing apart” and that leave him virtually unable to walk. Other prescription drugs either failed to ease the pain or left him so groggy he could do little more than sleep, Mr. Ward said. But when he followed his neurologist’s advice and treated his pain with marijuana, Mr. Ward said, the pain went away.“I could do normal things like walk the dog,” said Mr. Ward, 26. “It made a huge difference in my life.”Newshawk: firedogSource: New York Times (NY)Author: David KocieniewskiPublished: January 11, 2010Copyright: 2010 The New York Times CompanyContact: letters nytimes.comWebsite: Medical Marijuana Archives
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Comment #18 posted by Paint with light on January 11, 2010 at 23:49:15 PT
charmed quark
Congratulations and thanks for all the hard work.Legal like alcohol next.
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Comment #17 posted by Had Enough on January 11, 2010 at 19:51:45 PT
Drug Warriors
Drug WarriorsI’ll bet Johnny Pee, Bill Bennett, Andrea Barthwell, our friend Joyce Nalepka, and all their faithful followers...are wringing their hands about now...
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Comment #16 posted by Hope on January 11, 2010 at 19:44:26 PT
Charmed Quark
Wonderful!I'm so happy and thankful, for you and all the people in New Jersey!
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Comment #15 posted by Had Enough on January 11, 2010 at 19:24:37 PT
charmed quark
A tip of the helmet to all...all members of the Knights of Cannabis (KoC)...14 down...36 to go...
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Comment #14 posted by BGreen on January 11, 2010 at 19:15:37 PT
Congratulations, charmed quark!!!!!
I'm absolutely thrilled for you and the people of New Jersey.The Reverend Bud Green
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Comment #13 posted by FoM on January 11, 2010 at 18:07:40 PT
Thank you so much for one of my favorite videos. We have the concert on DVD and I never get thru watching it without playing this song many times. 
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Comment #12 posted by HempWorld on January 11, 2010 at 17:51:22 PT
We all succeeded. I believe all of us have done our part. Some more, some less.
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Comment #11 posted by dankhank on January 11, 2010 at 17:39:56 PT
charmed quark ...
congrats, man ... good to see you succeed ...Peace to the healers ...
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Comment #10 posted by Dankhank on January 11, 2010 at 17:36:54 PT
great job, NJ ...
The tide IS turning ... Waters - The tide is turning (Live, Berlin 1990)great job to all who fought for NJ sanity ... 
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on January 11, 2010 at 17:34:13 PT
charmed quark 
I'm so happy for you! Thank you for all your hard work and Go New Jersey!!!
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Comment #8 posted by HempWorld on January 11, 2010 at 17:30:20 PT
charmed quark
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Comment #7 posted by charmed quark on January 11, 2010 at 17:24:00 PT
crying, happy people
I just got back from the state house. been there since 11 AM this morning. Passed in the assembly but then we were seriously worried it would not pass during the senate vote to reconcile with trhe assembly version. But it passed. The anti-drug warriors were very glum. Going to the house of one of the early supporters to celebrate. All our cellphone mailboxes are full with congratulations :-)
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on January 11, 2010 at 16:42:34 PT
Great News and Video Link
N.J. Lawmakers Approve Bill Legalizing Medical MarijuanaBy Trish G. GraberJanuary 11, 2010TRENTON -- Both houses of the Legislature approved a bill today legalizing medical marijuana.The Senate passed the bill by a vote of 25-13, with no debate. The Assembly approved the measure 48-14. It now goes to the desk of Gov. Jon Corzine who has said he would sign the bill before leaving office Jan. 19.Assemblyman Reed Gusciora (D-Mercer), a bill sponsor, said he believes the legislation will satisfy Gov.-elect Chris Christie, who expressed concerns about the drug's availability under the proposal, and serve as a model for other states.URL:
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Comment #5 posted by The GCW on January 11, 2010 at 16:12:27 PT
That's good Washington news.So that's California, Nevada and now Washington trying to RE-legalize.(((I don't care what anybody says; this is a race! An underground race!)))-0-It's 7PM in Jersey; anyone hear the news with the afternoon State Senate vote?
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on January 11, 2010 at 15:58:06 PT
Wash. Activists File Initiative To Legalize Pot
January 11, 2010URL:
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on January 11, 2010 at 14:19:14 PT
Related Article From The Philadelphia Inquirer
N.J. Assembly Approves Medical Marijuana***By Adrienne Lu, Inquirer Staff WriterNew Jersey would become the 14th state in the nation to allow medical marijuana, under a bill that received final approval from the Assembly today and is expected to be posted for a vote in the Senate later today.Gov. Corzine is expected to sign the bill within the next several days, during his last week as governor, if it receives final approval in the Senate. The law would go into effect six months after it is enacted.Advocates have worked for years to legalize the medical use of marijuana in New Jersey.Last February, the state Senate approved a medical-marijuana bill with bipartisan support. But after critics raised concerns the bill could allow marijuana to become too readily available, sponsors of the bill tightened up the bill.The Assembly voted in favor of the bill, 48-14."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 of the bill. "It does not make sense for many of New Jersey's residents to suffer when there is a viable way to ease their pain."Opponents argue marijuana should be treated as any other medication, requiring approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Some also argue the regulation of medical marijuana would be too expensive for the state, especially at a time when the state's budget is in shambles.Copyright: 2010 Philadelphia InquirerURL:
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Comment #2 posted by dongenero on January 11, 2010 at 14:00:09 PT
New Jersey
Ah I see, state monitored dispensaries.I guess they will vet and license a certain number of dispensaries. That will be an interesting process. It will also be interesting to see what sort of product quality and strain diversity they arrive at through those means. It may be limiting in terms of variety and risky from a supply standpoint if the dispensaries do not source product from varied suppliers. If dispensaries must grow only on-site, one problem in the facility could shut down their supply completely. Not a good business plan.Good luck New Jersey. First get it on the books. If it proves to not work well enough, then tweak it.
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on January 11, 2010 at 13:46:10 PT
Thank you firedog!
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