NJ Assemblywoman Tables Proposal to Overhaul State’s Medical Marijuana Program

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NJ Assemblywoman Tables Proposal to Overhaul State’s Medical Marijuana ProgramA New Jersey Assemblywoman has launched a scathing attack on the country’s medical marijuana program, terming it broken and in need of an overhaul.

Assemblywoman Linda Stender (D-Union County) tabled Assembly Bill 3525 to the New Jersey legislature saying the program, which was approved in 2010, hasn’t achieved its objectives after failing to help patients.

Stender said that “the program is broken and that it doesn’t function” as she dismissed Governor Chris Christie’s opinion that medical marijuana may pave the way for legalization of recreational marijuana, reported the Daily Chronic.

The state’s medical marijuana system has been on the receiving end of criticism from activists, patients and healthcare providers in New Jersey, mostly due to Gov. Christie’s unwillingness to enforce a legislation that was approved by his predecessor Gov. John Corzine.

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Since the New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act was approved in 2009, Christie’s has dragged his feet, resulting in the first dispensary being opened in late 2012, with the other two in 2013. The three dispensaries fall short of a maximum of 6 dispensaries allowed as per the original bill.

Patients all over the state have voiced complaints about the program, saying the three dispensaries are too costly and have unreliable supply and at times low quality medical marijuana. Some patients have reported detecting mold and various other impurities in marijuana from more than one dispensary.

Steiner’s bill proposes to have patients cultivate their own marijuana, or access the drug from a registered caregiver. The bill will also allow for unrestricted number of approved marijuana dispensaries to operate in the state, though under hawk-eyed state supervision. It will also require dispensaries to test the marijuana for contaminants, chemical composition and potency.

The proposal will also make the drug affordable by eliminating the sales tax on medical marijuana, and will increase the list of medical conditions that qualify a patient for the drug. To register for a free 2-week subscription to ForexMinute Premium Plan, visit www.forexminute.com/newsletter.

To contact the reporter of this story; Jonathan Millet at john@forexminute.com