Pubdate: Tue, 12 Jan 2010
Source: Irish Times, The (Ireland)
Copyright: 2010 The Irish Times
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal - U.S.)


New Jersey has approved a bill that would make it the 14th US state to
allow doctors to prescribe marijuana for patients suffering from
cancer and other debilitating diseases.

The legislation passed the State assembly by 48 votes to 6 with one
abstention. The measure already cleared the state Senate, which voted
by 25 to 13 to approve restrictions in the Assembly version, including
a list of ailments for which the drug can be prescribed and a
prohibition on the growing of marijuana by patients.

Marijuana, produced from the cannabis plant, can be smoked or
ingested. Its recreational use is illegal in the US.

New Jersey's bill would allow patients to purchase as much as 50 grams
of marijuana a month. Six state-run dispensaries would be established,
with the Department of Health monitoring the program and recommending
in the future whether to expand access.

"This is a wonderful beginning," said Nancy Fedder (62), of
Hillsborough, who spoke outside the Assembly chamber and said she has
been illegally smoking marijuana for more than a decade to alleviate
pain from multiple sclerosis. "It's something that needed to happen a
long time ago; sometimes I have to go to bed and stay there for days,
and when I smoke marijuana the pain comes right down."
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