Toke if ya’ got ’em.
By now we have all heard the debate about the legalization of medical marijuana, so I am not going to re-hash it here ( get it? ‘hash’ hehe ).
Besides, NJ is hardly a pioneer on this. Numerous other states have already gone forward with similar laws and legislation ( 14 to be precise ).
So, here it is in a nutshell: people with chronic illnesses and painful degenerative diseases say it stimulates appetite ( particularly true for cancer patients undergoing chemo ) and eases pain. Opponents say this is merely a trojan horse to begin legalizing pot.
Whatever your view, what is happening at the State House on this is worth noting. The full Senate passed a bill last February 22-16. But in the Assembly Health Committee a bunch of amendments were added to make the bill far more restrictive.
In fact one of the bill’s sponsors joked to me that the Senate version is the “Jerry Garcia” version.
To get the bill through committee ( it ultimately cleared 8-1 ), the sponsors had to eliminate a provision that would have allowed patients to grow their own. Now, the drug would only be available through licensed centers. It also limits what diseases it can be prescribed for. Here is the piece that backers of the old bill don’t like. Either we trust doctors to decide what is best for their patients or we don’t, they argue. You don’t try and legislate what constitutes a serious illness.
So now, the Senate will have to re-pass this new version. In another strange bedfellows moment the bill is being sponsored by conservative Assemblyman Michael Patrick Carroll and liberal Reed Gusciora. I guess it’s a non-partsian issue.