New Jersey legalizes medical marijuana…will it cause a spike in drunk driving arrests?

February 3, 2010

New Jersey's Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act attained passage by both the New Jersey Assembly and the State Senate on Monday, January 11, 2010. Governor Jon Corzine signed the bill into law on Monday, January 18, 2010 just a day before leaving office. This new law allows chronically ill patients access to marijuana for medicinal uses. There are now 14 states with a medical marijuana law on its books. The law is scheduled to go into effected in six months.

In the eyes of many, this is a very liberal leaning law. However, New Jersey's medical marijuana law is the most restrictive and tightly controlled in the nation. It is believed it will quickly become a model for other states considering passage of such a law.

The legislation permits only those patients afflicted with certain diseases, including but not limited to multiple sclerosis, cancer, glaucoma, AIDS, muscular dystrophy, and ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease), to obtain medical marijuana. A doctor's prescription is mandatory and only two ounces of the drug per month is permitted to be dispensed to patients suffering with severe pain, nausea, seizures, muscle spasms or extreme loss of weight and/or muscle tissue brought on by their chronic disease.

Unlike in California, where anyone with a "recommendation" from their doctor is permitted to use, possess, and/or grow medical marijuana, the growing of marijuana is strictly prohibited under the New Jersey law, as is using the drug in public. Along the same line, a qualifying medical marijuana patient who is caught driving while high is not exempted from a DWI (driving while intoxicated) arrest. Driving under the influence of marijuana remains illegal and is subject to the penalties associated with the highest levels of blood alcohol content (B.A.C.).

The state of New Jersey will implement a strict registry ID card system for users of medical marijuana. Only those patients suffering with a condition set forth within the parameters of the law who have a written prescription from their doctor will be permitted to obtain the drug. Further, all marijuana dispensaries in New Jersey will be heavily monitored by the state. An additional restriction requires all caregivers who may have to procure the drug on behalf of an ill person to undergo criminal background checks.

Recent Gallup Polls show that over 70% of Americans favor marijuana being legalized for medical use, that is doctors legally prescribing marijuana to patients who suffer terrible pain due to their illnesses. There are many happy people in New Jersey with the passage of this law, feeling that they no longer have to engage in a criminal act just to realize relief from insufferable pain. It appears more and more Americans are growing sympathetic to their plight. Public sentiment would also suggest it is a law whose time has come. Where do you stand on the issue?

3 comments:

Anonymous,  February 5, 2010 at 3:52 PM  

marijuana in the notth east, nj and nyc, is controled by the mafia and friens of thew mafia, .... it is grown in grow houses and small farms, .. homeowners, friends of the mafia, .... and is sold and distributed accordingly, .... it is not a black drug like crack, ..... if yiou unjderstand what i am saying, ....
people with legitimate medical needs under the law shopuld get it, ....... 2 ounces a month seems might high to me, .... because one or 2 puffs , ..... can relieve paion, to the utmost, ....

this law will bnot affect maerihjuana dui's or the mafia's business in nj,...

i see no problem with it.

jim

Anonymous,  March 9, 2010 at 11:26 AM  

I HAVE ANOTHER MORE IMPORTANT POINT.

HOW MANY PEOPLE DO YOU KNOW OF, OR COULD IMAGINE, ... THAT HAD ARE DYING OF CANCER, MUSCULAR DISTROPHY, AIDS, MS, ...LOU GERIGIS DEASEASE, ... THAT DRIVE?

THESE PEOPLE RELY ON FRIENDS AND FAMILY TO TAKE THEM TO DOCTORS APPOINTMENTS, .... ARE BASICALLY SHUT INS,....

RIGHT?

THEY DONT DRIVE.

SO I DONT SEE HOW THESE PEOPLE GETTING SOME PAIN RELIF WITHOUT HAVING TO TAKE SOMETHING LIKE OXYCONTIN OR VICADIN, ... IS A BAD THING.

DO YOU?

ITS COMMON SENSE THESE PEOPLE , 99.99999% OF THEM CANT DRIVE.

ARE BED RIDDEN SHUT INS.

Anonymous,  March 17, 2010 at 9:44 AM  

TO CONTINUE MY LAST POST---- here is another aspect.

a man in michigan, who obtained a presciption for medical marijuana, used it, through his companies health plan, ... was fired for testing positive for marijuana.

i do not think that is right, ... and hopefully he will bring a law suit in State Court.

It needs to be treated like any other drug, ..... pain killers, anti depressants, ....

if you have a prescription, but are still able to go to work, .... then companies shgould not be allowed to fire you for it.

in the case of marijuana, .. it stays in your system 30 days or so, ... so a positive test doesnt mean you were high on the job, ..

on the reverse note, ... millions of americans go to work on anti depressants, and benzo derivitive drugs, with prescriptions, ... and would terst positive on a drug test, .... should all these people get fired too?

on anther note, in a previous blog article, the comdeian artie lange pleaded guilty to a nj dui this past year, ... because he was driving on anti depressants, ...

how can this be right?

you know how many people get in their cars and drive to work, .. having popped an anti depressant , from a prescription, in the morning?

if nj is going to have prescription medical marijuana, .... it needs to be treated like any other prescrition drug, ...

if you cant drive on itr , fine, dont drive,

at that point, you can go on disability, or medical leave with pay, from your company, .....

i think the man in michigan has a viable lawsuit for being fired, and i hope he files it, .... and doesnt leave the initial case law in this area up to new jersey courts

jim

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