Pubdate: Wed, 17 Dec 2008
Source: Press of Atlantic City, The (NJ)
Copyright: 2008 South Jersey Publishing Co.
Author: Derek Harper
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal)


TRENTON - Gov. Jon S. Corzine said Tuesday that he supports and would 
sign a bill allowing medicinal marijuana use, but added that economic 
issues are his top priority.

"I don't think that we ought to be having fights on issues that don't 
go to the heart of the needs of a broad majority of folks," Corzine 
told reporters Tuesday afternoon. "I think that this is one that if 
it can be moved expeditiously because there's a consensus, I think 
that's great. I have studied the issue and I think that if properly 
structured, it's an initiative that's sensible."

The Compassionate Use Medicinal Marijuana Act would allow 
state-licensed patients to possess as much as 1 ounce of marijuana 
and six plants for medical treatment. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Jim 
Whelan, D-Atlantic, and Nicholas Scutari, D-Middlesex, Somerset, 
Union, also would create Medicinal Marijuana Alternate Treatment Centers.

The possession and distribution of marijuana would remain illegal 
under federal law, but advocates said it would essentially 
decriminalize that, because most prosecutions are under state laws.

The state Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee 
approved the bill by a 6-1 vote Monday. It now faces a full Senate 
vote. While it has been discussed in General Assembly committees, a 
vote has not been scheduled. Thirteen other states have similar laws.
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