Medical marijuana offers benefits for N.J. residents

By Alex Pittinsky
January 28, 2010

One of the most contentious topics of conversation right now would have to be that the state of New Jersey just passed a bill that legalized medical marijuana.

Governor Jon Corzine signed for the law, making New Jersey the 14th state in the United States to pass a medical marijuana law. The other 13 states are Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington.

The final decision came out to be 48-14 in the House of Representatives and 25-13 in the Senate. Legislation set the law with a possession limit of two oz. usable marijuana. However, there are certain limitations to the new law. Governor-elect Christopher J. Christie explained, “I think we all see what’s happened in California. It’s gotten completely out of control.” He went on to discuss how he thinks that, in California, they have a list of ailments so unrestricted that it might have “allowed patients to seek marijuana to treat minor or nonexistent ailments.” The restrictions on the new law for New Jersey are as follows: patients must be diagnosed with severe cancer, AIDS, Lou Gehrig’s disease, muscular dystrophy and multiple sclerosis in order to get a hold of any type of medical marijuana prescription from their doctor. This means that people with mild illnesses or illnesses that are not life-threatening will not be able to be prescribed the drug.

Personally I believe that medical marijuana should be legalized all across the United States. I believe that no matter what people have to do to smoke marijuana, they will do it. In addition, no matter where people might have to go to obtain marijuana, they will go there. Of course, legalizing medical marijuana will make it a whole lot easier for people to get access to weed; especially people who do not actually need it for medical purposes. But in terms of the numerous people who can benefit from medical marijuana, I believe it should be legalized for them. Only 14 out of 50 states have legalized medical marijuana and the rest of the states should get on board and pass the controversial law.

In the end of any discussion or debate about medical marijuana, the bottom line is it will continue to be that it will benefit many people and change lives. I believe that it is extremely important for medical marijuana to be legalized, as long as there are limitations and restrictions to the drug. I agree with Christie when he said that medical marijuana has gotten out of control in California and I think it should be closely watched in any state that is going to legalize it for medical purposes.

There are endless cases of patients across the country who were extremely ill and received treatment from their doctors to prescribe them medical marijuana. It helped them drastically. In one instance, Scott Ward, 26, who suffered from multiple sclerosis, said he had been prescribed marijuana to alleviate leg cramps so severe that they often felt “like my muscles are tearing apart.” He said, “Now, I can do normal things like take a walk and walk the dog.”

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Alex Pittinsky

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