The answer is no, not yet. Nonetheless law makers in Trenton have approved a bill that if enacted would legalize marijuana use for medical purposes in certain situations. The proposed bill would restrict the use of medical marijuana to certain illnesses including, AIDS, seizure disorders, cancer, multiple and amyotrophic sclerosis. In addition, the bill limits the amount to 1 oz per month, and can only be obtained by the registered user from the grower or by an approved courier service. No third party representative of the registered user will be allowed to pick up or procure the marijuana for the user. Under no circumstances will the registered user be allowed to grow their own pot.
There is no doubt that the medical marijuana laws if implemented in New Jersey will be among the most stringent in the nation. However, many states, including New Jersey have learned a valuable lesson from California. The purpose behind medical marijuana laws are to give relief to those individuals whose medical condition can truly benefit from marijuana use. Although California had the right goal in mind, it has become increasingly apparent that the laws have been exploited to extend the medical marijuana benefit far beyond the intended recipient. The law clearly lacks the structure necessary to give guidance to enforcement agencies and misses the target as far as public policy is concerned. Production facilities continue to surface in inappropriate areas.
Whether you believe that weed should be legal all together is another topic. But if the medical marijuana laws are to succeed in New Jersey, there must be a program implemented that strictly defines and limits the accessibility to those users who are truly in need. Moreover, the method of dispensation and production must be carefully monitored and organized to avoid the pitfalls that we have seen in California.