Cannabis or New Jersey Marijuana is a drug that is considered illegal for adult use in the State but only permitted for medical use. It is a psychoactive drug extracted from the Cannabis plant to be used for medicinal and recreational purposes. Marijuana is mostly smoked in cigarettes or pipes but can also be accessed through food (edibles) such as brownies, cookies, candies or brewed as a tea. Marijuana consumption can affect physical health such as breathing problems, increased heart rate and problems with child health during and after pregnancy. However, due to its medicinal properties certain states allow marijuana companies to manufacture them. In New Jersey, people found resorting to consumption of marijuana for recreational purposes has been penalized and imprisoned to a large extent. Despite a series of attempts to legalize marijuana use, it remains illegal till today in New Jersey except for medical dispensaries to sell marijuana. However, many allege that New Jersey Marijuana laws are applied unequally throughout the society and such arrests and convictions severely impact especially the communities of color such as African Americans and Latinos.
Marijuana use in New Jersey
In 2010, Jon Corzine, on his final day in office as governor, passed the Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act to permit the use of medical cannabis for persons diagnosed with cancer, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, HIV//AIDS, seizure disorder severe muscle spasms and a host of other diseases which can be treated with marijuana use. The law also allowed the state Health Department to add other diseases to the existing list as required. However, it prohibited the patients to grow marijuana on their own; instead alternate treatment centers and dispensaries would provide access to New Jersey Marijuana to the patients.
Under the latest governor, New Jersey’s Medical Marijuana program has almost tripled the number of patients in its fold. Most patients qualify for the program due to tremendous reforms made in the original law for inclusion of several diseases. Further, marijuana companies too have supported the legislation due to the boost they have received under the current leadership. Several marijuana companies have been provided with permits to open medical marijuana dispensaries.
Demand for legalization of marijuana
Many states of the US have legalized marijuana use and New Jersey should follow suit. The benefits of legalization would be that it shall create new jobs, generate millions of dollars in tax revenues, otherwise law-abiding people will no longer be termed as criminals and resources which are currently being wasted to prevent marijuana production can be turned towards generation of projects that would positively affect the survival of many families and communities. Hence large segments of the civil society including faith leaders, civil rights activists and justice advocates support marijuana legalization like alcohol for adults. Common concern also explains that what they demand is the enacting of common sense and popular reform in favor of creation of a responsible, safe and a controlled environment for the cultivation of marijuana.