N.J. Assembly Committee Passes Bill To Allow MMJ
function share_this(num) {
 tit=encodeURIComponent('N.J. Assembly Committee Passes Bill To Allow MMJ');
 site = new Array(5);
 return false;

N.J. Assembly Committee Passes Bill To Allow MMJ
Posted by CN Staff on June 04, 2009 at 17:07:43 PT
By Susan K. Livio, Statehouse Bureau
Source: Star-Ledger
Trenton -- The effort to allow severely ill New Jerseyans to use medical marijuana gained momentum today as an Assembly committee cleared a revamped bill that would also set strict limits on who can grow, distribute or get the drug.The bill, which would make New Jersey the 14th state to allow marijuana use for medical purposes, includes restrictions lawmakers added in response to criticism that a measure the Senate passed last year was too lax because it would have allowed patients to grow their own.
"When all other medical conventional treatments do not work, this will at least give an opportunity for patients and their doctors to explore other methods of treatment, but in a responsible way," said Assemblyman Reed Gusciora (D-Mercer), one of the sponsors.The bill cleared the Assembly Health Committee after supporters said the drug eases pain for severely ill patients, and opponents countered that legalizing marijuana for any use sends the wrong message to young people. The vote prompted a wave of applause and a chorus of "thank-yous" in the packed committee room.The amended "New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act," would not permit people to grow their own marijuana, instead creating licensed "alternative treatment centers" to produce the drug.It would also have tougher restrictions on who would be allowed to legally acquire marijuana. The Senate bill would have made people eligible for medical marijuana based on symptoms, such as chronic pain and muscle spasms. The bill approved yesterday restricts eligibilty to people who suffer from specific diseases."This bill will be the most restrictive in the United States," said Sen. Joseph Scutari (D-Union), sponsor of the original bill who admitted this version is stricter than he would have liked. "But this is real progress ... We do owe a special duty to our ill and infirm."The illnesses that would qualify patients for the program are cancer, multiple sclerosis, HIV/AIDS, seizure disorder, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and "any other medical condition" approved by the state health department, according to the bill.Assembly Health Committee Chairman Herb Conaway (D-Burlington), a physician, repeatedly said the bill would pass, although there may be more changes.Diane Riportella of Egg Harbor Township, sitting in a wheelchair, wept during yesterday's hearing as she described how the fatal amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, often referred to as Lou Gehrig's Disease "has taken away my life and my independence." Snipped   Complete Article: Star-Ledger (Newark, NJ)Author:  Susan K. Livio, Statehouse BureauPublished: Thursday, June 04, 2009Copyright: 2009 Newark Morning Ledger Co.Contact: eletters starledger.comWebsite: Articles:MMJ Bill To Appear Before NJ Committee Votes Today To Legalize Med Marijuana
Home Comment Email Register Recent Comments Help 

Comment #8 posted by FoM on June 04, 2009 at 18:26:56 PT
charmed quark
Times are really changing. It's like a light bulb turned on and people are thinking again.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #7 posted by charmed quark on June 04, 2009 at 18:10:21 PT
The hearings were very interesting. I got the impression that the Assembly really wants to have a MM program in our state. But they have concerns about misuse, hence the restrictions.I, of course, would prefer to err on the side of the patients even if it results in a little misuse. I think this goes too far in the other direction.But it's interesting to see how attitudes have changes. Five years ago the idea of this would have been very controversial. Especially state-sanctioned grow centers. Now, there's very little controversy about the idea, just debate over the details.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #6 posted by FoM on June 04, 2009 at 18:04:09 PT
charmed quark 
Thank you for explaining it all. Life could be so simple. 
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #5 posted by charmed quark on June 04, 2009 at 17:58:18 PT
The ATCs, while non-profit, will be allowed to recover costs - lights, energy, rental space, labor, etc.It's certainly going to cost more to get it from ATCs than to grow one's own. I'm guessing at least $5/gram ($140/ounce). More likely $200+/ounce.Cheaper than black market, I guess. But this won't be paid for by insuranceOh - and patients are limited to 1 ounce per month and must get their referral renewed quarterly.A lot of hoops to go through.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #4 posted by charmed quark on June 04, 2009 at 17:54:06 PT
assembly bill
This version of the bill won't allow any home growing. Instead, all patients are suppose to get their medicine from non-profit Alternative Treatment Centers(ATCs), which will be licensed and monitored by the state.Of course, if the Feds decide to shut these ATCs down, there will be no source of MM.This version also requires that the recommending doctor be the doctor who diagnosed/treats the disorder. While this seems reasonable on the surface, you have to remember that most doctors will not directly prescribe, say, opiates for pain. They refer the patient to a pain doctor for this. And doctors will not work with medications they are not familiar with. So this version will prevent doctors from referring patients to medical marijuana specialists for getting referrals, which means that most patients will not be able to get referrals, no matter how well qualified.They also eliminated chronic pain as a qualifying condition.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #3 posted by FoM on June 04, 2009 at 17:48:01 PT
A Couple Questions
What will an ounce cost a Medical Marijuana patient if grown by a licensed alternative treatment center? How will the centers be paid? 
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #2 posted by FoM on June 04, 2009 at 17:42:29 PT
charmed quark 
I am glad it passed but they will need to do something about the growing end. Cannabis does now rain down from the sky. How will they fix that problem? I have such a hard time with loose ends.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #1 posted by charmed quark on June 04, 2009 at 17:17:35 PT
Bill Passed, but
they had severely modified it, making it overly restricted.Even so, I guess we will still have a (very weak) MM act here.
[ Post Comment ]

Post Comment