New Jersey Senate approves medical marijuana bill

By chillinwill · Feb 24, 2009 · ·
  1. chillinwill
    Patients suffering from cancer, AIDS and other chronic or debilitating illnesses could use marijuana medicinally under a bill passed by the state Senate this afternoon.

    New Jersey would become the 14th state to have a medical marijuana law, which would allow patients to keep six marijuana plants and one ounce for personal use.

    State Sen. Nicholas P. Scutari, D-Linden, said the legislation he sponsored was as “an avenue of last resorts’’ for patients suffering from nausea, chronic pain, wasting syndrome and other ailments.

    “This is not the legalization of marijuana for recreational use,’’ Scuteri said. “We’re not talking about thrill seekers and drug addicts here.’’

    Physicians would diagnose a patient as having a debilitating medical condition. The patient would then obtain a photo registry card issued by the state Department of Health and Senior Services so they could obtain marijuana from an alterative medicine center.

    State Sen. Gerald Cardinale, R-Cresskill, was among several Republicans who opposed the bill, claiming it was written too broadly. Cardinale said he didn’t object to the concept, but said that “a very small percentage’’ of users in states that allow medical marijuana are patients the law is intended to aid.

    “Moderate use of marijuana causes brain cells to die,’’ Cardinale said. “That’s why the federal government made marijuana forbidden.’’

    After the voting Monday, State Sen. Loretta Weinberg, a co-sponsor of the legislation, said she supported it because it could give relief to chronically ill patients who were not benefiting from pain-relief prescriptions.

    Weinberg noted that this weekend was the 10th anniversary of her husband’s death following a long illness. Hospice nurses provided morphine, but her husband wasn’t able to remain conscious, she Weinberg, D-Teaneck.

    “To get relief and still be able to communicate would have been much better,’’ she said.

    Opponents of the measure vowed to fight the proposal in the Assembly.

    The bill passed 22 to 16, mostly along partisan lines. Five Republicans voted for it. Two Essex County senators abstained from voting.

    Monday, February 23, 2009
    North Jersey News

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  1. RaverHippie
    excellent i had been tracking the story for a while it is nice to see the outcome we all hoped for
  2. Spare Chaynge
    It is about time considering around 35,000 people are suffering from HIV/AIDS in new jersey.
  3. dadrone
    God forbid you let the drug addicts and thrill seekers have their fun. SWIM works 45-50 hours per week in a fairly visible position and likes to burn in the evenings and weekends while he plays computer and watches movies.

    What a thrill seeking addict.
  4. LincolnV
    Bout damn time this state did something right.
  5. guldenat
    I wonder when it will go to the Assembly. Governor Corzine has already stated he will sign the bill, so the Assembly is the last hurdle to overcome.
  6. ATWA
    That is interesting because New Jersey is one of the harshest states as far as coming down on pot users. I am very surprised at this.
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