Friday, January 15, 2010

A story on the front page of the NY Times, written by David Kocieniewski, ran on 12 January. It is on New Jersey's vote to allow medical cannabis, making it the 14th state in the union to do so. The outgoing governor, Jon S. Corzine, approved it days before leaving office. The incoming, a Republican, seemed to do everthing in his power to stop it. The vote, in both the General Assembly and the State Legislature, was unanimous: 48-14 and 25-13 respectively. Assemblyman Reed Guscriora, who sponsored the legislation, said his state's initiative would be the most restrictive of its kind, limiting the maladies for which cannabis, in quantities of up to 2 oz. per month, could be prescribed, were mainly serious or chronic illnesses. Insurance companies are not required to pay for it, which looks like a bit of crafing from the GOP. Hysterical rants were out there to be heard, with the likes of David G. Evans, executive director of the Drug-Free Schools Coalition, warning that dispensaries would lead to abuses. How? Do pharmacies lead to drug abuse? Well, let's leave that a rhetorical question. Common sense would show that people with a prescription for controlled amounts of cannabis are not going to bring the whole neighbourhood along to share their much needed medicine. The incoming governor, Christpopher J. Christie, kept pointing the finger at California, where he claimed is was "out of control." He cited a non-existent loophole. What a waste of time. In the end, sense prevailed, and a low cost, proven effective medicine is available to Americans in New Jersey. This was supported by some Republicans, such as Senator William Baroni. But sadly, most in the GOP are against all forms of cannabis, from hemp seeds to medicine. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson would have been in jail with them in power!

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