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Outgoing NJ Governor Jon Corzine has signed legislation granting chronically ill patients legal access to marijuana.
NJ Gov. Jon Corzine signed the bill on his last full day in office before Gov.-elect Chris Christie will be sworn in.
The new law legalizing medical marijuana in New Jersey to help patients with chronic illnesses also is the strictest medical marijuana law in the nation.
According to the Associated Press, the marijuana bill (S119) is expected to take effect in six months. The legislation allows for dispensaries to be set up around the state where patients with prescriptions can access the drug.
Only patients with specific illnesses would be permitted to get a prescription: cancer, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, HIV/AIDS, seizure disorder, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (also known as Lou Gherig's disease), severe muscle spasms, muscular dystrophy, inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn's disease and any terminal illness if a doctor has determined the patient will die within a year.
However, it is against the law in New Jersey to grow marijuana at home or drive while under the influence.
As previously discussed, New Jersey's medical marijuana law is the only one in the nation to ban home growing of the plant.
Several other states, including California, already have legalized medical marijuana. Polls have shown that a majority of California voters support the legalization of marijuana. According to a Field Poll taken last April, 56% of voters in the state and 60% in Los Angeles County want to legalize and tax pot as a way to help solve the state's fiscal crisis.
In addition, as previously discussed more onus has been put on states since the Obama administration's decision not to interfere in states' medical marijuana laws.