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. “It’s 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.
This video was published by The New Jersey Star-Ledger on Monday, Jan. 11, 2010.
|New Jersey state Assembly approved medical marijuana bill|
Fox News hires former Trump spokesman as Senior Vice President: report
The revolving door between the White House and Fox News was spinning on Friday as a former spokesman for President Donald Trump was hired by Fox News.
"A bit of news: Raj Shah, the former spokesman in the White House, is joining Fox as a senior Vice President," Washington Post White House correspondent Josh Dawsey reported on Friday.
After Hope Hicks left her job as White House communications director, she was hired to lead corporate communications for New Fox, the parent company of Fox News.
Here’s why President Trump’s explicit racism is an impeachable offense
Without even waiting for former special counsel Robert Mueller to testify about President Donald Trump's obstruction of justice, Democrats are legally justified in acting now to impeach the president for his explicit racism, a civil rights activist argued on Friday.
Journalist and author Shaun King laid out his argument in a column published by The Intercept.
To make his argument, King explained the difference between implicit and explicit racism.
"Across the country, corporations and government agencies, including police departments, are offering a wave of what’s called 'implicit bias training.' The fundamental theory is that, in this country, otherwise well-meaning employees can be racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, or xenophobic in ways that they may not really even be aware of," he explained. "It’s the notion that people unknowingly or unconsciously discriminate against others."
Watch Joy Reid’s epic correction of GOP strategist: ‘This is going to be a white nationalist reelection’
President Donald Trump will continue to attack the four young women of color in Congress known as The Squad, MSNBC anchor Joy Reid predicted on Friday.
Trump has repeatedly used racist attacks to target the four, who are Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI).
Host Steve Kornacki interviewed Republican strategist Noelle Nikpour about Trump's message.
"So Noelle, for Republicans, again the folks who were getting in touch with [Mike] Pence and saying 'make Trump stop doing this,' do they have to be ready now for the possibility Trump’s going to keep doing these rallies, he wants to run against these four congresswomen in particular, make them the face of the Democratic Party?" Kornacki asked. "If the crowd starts chanting again, 'send her back,' 'send them back,” doesn't stop, is this going to be a feature of Trump rallies from here through 2020?"