|New Jersey medical marijuana patients won’t be seeing this anytime soon — at least, not without risking jail.|
Almost lost in the euphoria surrounding yesterday’s triumph in the passage of a law legalizing medical marijuana in New Jersey was one bummer of a detail:
You can’t grow your own pot garden in the Garden State.
It doesn’t matter if you are a qualified patient with a doctor’s recommendation: Under the New Jersey medical marijuana law, residents cannot grow their own, reports Jeremy Olshan of the New York Post.
That could be a serious flaw in a law which aims to help seriously ill, and often financially insolvent, people. Sometimes, for some patients, growing a modest few plants is the only way they can afford to use marijuana at all.
New Jersey residents suffering from a list of qualifying conditions — including cancer, AIDS, and Lou Gehrig’s disease — will be able to get a recommendation from their doctor to register for the right to buy pot at state-licensed dispensaries.
These “alternative treatment centers” will be licensed to grow and sell various strains of medical cannabis. Patients will be limited to buying only two ounces per month.
But that will be patients’ only legal option. They could still be arrested for that plant in the closet or on the back deck.
This represents nothing less than economic discrimination against less wealthy patients who can’t afford to pay dispensary prices.
Let’s hope those who craft future medical marijuana legislation in other states won’t fall into the trap of capitulating too much to anti-pot forces, by preventing patients from doing that most natural and honorable of things — growing their own medicine.