The State House in Trenton was crazy busy today with advocates, lobbyists, and activists all pressing their case one last time before the the Assembly and Senate gavel in later this afternoon. One item on the docket: A10, newly amended bill to fix NJ’s medical marijuana program that feels like a Trojan Horse to many advocates who regard this bill as a love note to the current cartel dispensary model.
Pro-pot types were out in force, a lively counterpoint to some especially gloomy weather.
Ken Wolski is Executive Director at the Coalition for Medical Marijuana of NJ.
“We support this legislation despite our concerns,” Mr Wolski told InsiderNJ. “On balance the good that this bill does outweighs its limitations including a sales tax, no home grow, and the creation of the Cannabis Regulatory Commission” to oversee the program.
“This imposes another layer of bureaucracy with over a half million dollars in salaries for a program that’s already being administered by the Department of Health which is handling the program pretty well,” Wolski added.
Carly Wolf coordinates state policies for NORML, the National Organization for the Reformation of Marijuana Laws, based in Washington DC. She was back in her home state with a reminder that the sky hasn’t fallen in the dozen or so states with legalized cannabis.
”States that have legal access to cannabis have seen reduced rates of opioid abuse,” Ms Wolf told InsiderNJ. “Not to mention the creation of thousands of new jobs by the emerging cannabis market.
Jim Miller co-founded the Coalition for Medical Marijuana of NJ. He got here early, 6:40am to be exact, so he could park directly in front of the State House with a provocative message emblazoned on this car.
“4000 PATIENTS HAVE DIED PAYING TAX ON THEIR MEDICINE – 3 PER DAY NOW” Mr Miller’s note said, calling out Senator Nick Scutari who sired the very worst medical marijuana program in the nation.
Ed Forchion aka NJWEEDMAN (pictured, above) topped InsiderNJ’s cannabis power list. He was on hand to put it all in perspective.
”If New Jersey doesn’t legalize for all, there will always be people like me,” NJWEEDMAN told InsiderNJ. “It’s $500/oz at the legal (dispensaries) but it’s only $200/oz on the black market.”
Yeah, but isn’t that illegal? Are you worried about going to jail?
”Jury nullification,” Forchion replied. ‘The state can’t find 12 people to convict me.”
Shortly before the assembly session began, Speaker Craig Coughlin did a press avail where he announced A10 was being held to foster a spirit of cooperation between our Governor and our Senate President. Good luck with that, bruh.
Helping sick people get better access to medical cannabis is the lowest hanging fruit.
And our leaders can’t even do that.
How embarrassing for them!