New Jersey has become the 14th state to legalize the use of medical marijuana. Outgoing Governor Jon Corzine, who is known to support medical marijuana, signed the “New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act” into a law on Monday night – one of the last bills he signed on his last full day as governor of the state.
The provisions of the law include protection from arrest and prosecution for possession and transportation of marijuana for patients who are allowed to use it for medical purposes as well as the establishment of state-regulated distribution of medical marijuana by “Alternative Treatment Centers”.
Caren Woodson, Government Affairs Director for largest medical marijuana advocacy group in the US, Americans for Safe Access (ASA), gave the following statement: “We applaud the New Jersey legislature and Governor Corzine for addressing the needs of medical marijuana patients in their state. The passage of New Jersey’s law represents the continuation of commonsense health policies and it’s only a matter of time before the federal government catches up.”
The New Jersey Law has been touted as one of the strictest among the laws that are in force in other states. For one, they have the strictest limitations in as far as approved medical conditions are concerned. The law protects patients who are suffering from serious diseases such as cancer, HIV/AIDS, Lou Gehrig’s disease, muscular dystrophy and multiple sclerosis from prosecution, but does not include those who are suffering from chronic pain, unless, of course, the pain is brought about by HIV/AIDS, cancer, or other allowable illnesses.
The law also set the limit for consumption on a monthly basis to 2 ounces, an amount that may not sufficiently meet the needs of patients, according to advocates.