Assembly Should OK Medical Marijuana
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Assembly Should OK Medical Marijuana
Posted by CN Staff on April 26, 2009 at 05:26:29 PT
Source: Courier-Post
New Jersey -- The government shouldn't bar patients from using a substance that greatly reduces their pain. State Attorney General Anne Milgram said last week that legislation in Trenton that would allow those suffering from AIDS, cancer, glaucoma and other painful ailments to keep and grow small amounts of marijuana is workable. We're glad Milgram's mind is open on this issue and that's she's not following the same rigid and foolish hard line as the federal government.
The state Senate has already approved the Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act and Gov. Jon Corzine has said he will sign it.All that's needed is a vote in the state Assembly. The Assembly should do the same as the Senate and approve it.There are tens of thousands of Americans -- not drug abusers, but people suffering real pain from life-threatening diseases -- who swear by marijuana as the best, sometimes the only, medicine that takes away their pain and nausea or restores their vision.We don't think the government has the right to tell these people what substances they can or cannot use to take away their pain. Americans who are suffering from terminal diseases should have the freedom to use whatever works best for their symptoms and specific pains. If marijuana is what works, so be it.The legislation in Trenton would mandate that people with debilitating conditions such as multiple sclerosis, cancer, AIDS, glaucoma and other conditions register with the state Department of Health and Senior Services and obtain a special photo identification card.Legally registered users would be allowed to possess up to six marijuana plants and an ounce of usable marijuana. They would be barred from driving while under the influence and smoking in most public areas. These restrictions could easily be enforced the same as they are today.Heavy lobbying from several multibillion-dollar industries, including beer and liquor producers and pharmaceutical firms, has long kept marijuana classified as a Schedule I drug by the federal government. That puts it off limits for government research into its medical qualities and makes it illegal to possess in all forms and quantities.But state governments have shown they can see things more clearly and that there can be ways to balance patients' needs with society's needs. Thirteen states have some version of a medical marijuana exception to the federal law.We're confident such an exception can happen in New Jersey, and it should. The Assembly ought to approve this bill. Let those New Jerseyans already using marijuana to get through each day without unbearable pain stop having to hide what they do for fear of pointless prosecution.Source: Courier-Post (Cherry Hill, NJ)Published: April 26, 2009 Copyright: 2009 Courier-PostURL: Medical Marijuana Archives
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