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NJ Allows MMJ for a Fraction of The People 
Posted by CN Staff on January 12, 2010 at 16:37:05 PT
By Stephen Webster, Raw Story
Source: AlterNet
New Jersey -- By a vote of 48 to 14 in the state's assembly on Monday, New Jersey became the 14th state in the union to make legal accommodations for the use of medical marijuana. However, California this is not.The bill, which was supported by both outgoing Gov. John Corzine and Governor-elect Chris Christie, will likely become law this week. It restricts doctors from prescribing marijuana for anything less than a terminal illness or debilitating condition, such as cancer, AIDS or multiple sclerosis.
Patients will not be allowed to grow their own supply and sales of medical marijuana will be tracked by the same regulatory framework used with powerful opiates like OxyContin.New Jersey Assemblyman Reed Gusciora, a Democrat, told The New York Times that the state's medical marijuana provision will be the most strict in the entire nation and would likely become "a model" for other states.Instead of allowing private pot shops that limit their customers to those with a prescription, New Jersey will establish six non-profit marijuana growing operations that do not purchase their supply from elsewhere."It would legitimize marijuana as a medicine in a way other states haven't," Chris Goldstein, of the Coalition for Medical Marijuana, told NBC New York."This is a wonderful beginning," said Nancy Fedder, a 62-year-old multiple sclerosis sufferer and illegal medical marijuana patient, speaking to Bloomberg. "Itís something that needed to happen a long time ago; sometimes I have to go to bed and stay there for days, and when I smoke marijuana the pain comes right down."The Times noted that opponents of the New Jersey bill repeatedly cited California's allowance of medical marijuana as a cautionary tale.However, in California, the annual value of the state's illegal marijuana crop has been estimated to top $13.8 billion, according to The San Francisco Chronicle. In the time since California legalized medical marijuana with loose restrictions on where and how it could be sold, the drug has effectively been decriminalized state-wide.Should the state legalize the plant for recreational use, legislators expect to see up to $4 billion in tax revenue in the first year alone, at a time when California is coping with deep budget cuts amid a fiscal crisis unlike any the state has ever seen.While voter initiatives have ensured that legalization will be on the 2010 ballot, Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco) may be two steps ahead of them. A long time proponent of legalization, Ammiano chairs the assembly's Public Safety Committee, where he plans to hold the first hearing on marijuana legalization in the history of the United States.His bill, the Marijuana Legalization, Regulation, and Education Act, would tax and regulate marijuana similarly to alcohol. The committee has scheduled a hearing and vote on Tuesday, after which Ammiano plans to hold a press conference, according to San Diego News Room.Source: AlterNet (US)Author:    Stephen Webster, Raw StoryPublished: January 12, 2010Copyright: 2010 Independent Media InstituteContact: letters alternet.org Website: http://www.alternet.org/URL: http://www.alternet.org/story/145121/CannabisNews Medical Marijuana Archiveshttp://cannabisnews.com/news/list/medical.shtml
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Comment #6 posted by Hope on January 12, 2010 at 23:15:43 PT
Comment 4
The new law. It has some good stuff in it. It's sad about people not being able to grow it if they can and the monthly maximum seems like it might be low for some people.The state growing it makes me think about Canada and that mine in Flin Flon, or something like that. I hope they can do a better job with the responsibility than the Canadian government, with their "Heavy Metal Loaded", did, and hopefully, better than our own Federal government does with their "Mississippi Mayhem". 
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Comment #5 posted by Sam Adams on January 12, 2010 at 21:58:30 PT
nj politics
so true about Corzine, what was wrong with him? did he raise taxes or something?btw when I'm skeptical of laws like this, I'm thinking of Vermont - only 300-odd patients are currently protected by the law there, out of a half million people.
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on January 12, 2010 at 19:57:57 PT
FAQs on The N.J. Legislature-Approved Bill
FAQs on The N.J. Legislature-Approved Bill That Would Legalize Medical MarijuanaBy Star-Ledger StaffJanuary 12, 2010URL: http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2010/01/medical_marijuana_question_answers.html
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on January 12, 2010 at 18:41:08 PT
It's a Beginning
Now it will be known that New Jersey has stood up for medical marijuana. I am so sorry Corzine lost. It's not going to be easy with Christie to move it further down the road. I hope the right leaning organizations push hard to make him expand it further.
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Comment #2 posted by Sam Adams on January 12, 2010 at 18:16:55 PT
new law
the new law is better than what we had before, but it's a bitter pill. Without a referendum process it could be years before it's improved, especially with a Republican governor in place for the next 4 years.e.g., it's nice that it inlucludes MS but it would not have stopped that MS patient that was caught recently from being sentenced to jail and having his house seized.
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Comment #1 posted by charmed quark on January 12, 2010 at 18:12:29 PT
Strict, but temporary I think
The NJ law is strict, overly strict. On the other hand, the state is setting up a system where everybody who qualifies CAN get cannabis. It won't be like San Diego.Hopefully, this will just have to be a temporary measure to allow those who really need it to get it. Five years down the road it might be moot due to the legalization movements.
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