New Jersey medical marijuana bill allowing out-of-state reciprocity moves forward


A New Jersey bill that would allow reciprocation with other state medical marijuana programs has been approved by the state General Assembly already, despite an all-but-certain veto from Republican Gov. Chris Christie.
Assembly bill 4537 now moves on to the state Senate, passed with a 50 to 23 vote. Read more on the bill below.
Assembly bill 4537 would allow New Jersey medical marijuana patients to use possess and use medical marijuana bought legally “from another jurisdiction” as well as allow other state medical marijuana patients to have pot on them when visiting New Jersey. The bill would also allow parents to serve as the primary caregivers for their children, though that only means they are legally allowed to possess it for their kids.
It’s actually a really common-sense piece of legislation that has garnered a lot of undue attention. It’s been framed as a pot passport brought about because of the need for two-year-old New Jersey medical marijuana patient Vivian Wilson and her parents purchase high-CBD cannabis in Colorado and bring it back to New Jersey. A noble cause and one we fully support, but something nobody in the New Jersey local media has pointed out is that the bill wouldn’t make purchases of cannabis in Colorado legal at all — Colorado doesn’t allow for reciprocation of medical cannabis licenses and no New Jersey law is going to change that.
In that same light, New Jersey medical marijuana patients can already visit other medical marijuana states that do have reciprocity and acquire, use and possess cannabis. More so, they can also fly between those states with it due to a quasi-legal loophole that Federal Transportation Security Administration agents defer to local law enforcement if something like cannabis were to turn up in a routine security screening. Basically, if it’s legal for a patient to have medical pot on them in that state when the TSA finds it, then the police have nothing to enforce.
The missing link is that because there are no private caregivers, the only legal cannabis is medical cannabis sold through the New Jersey medical marijuana program. A4537 would change that, but it wouldn’t change federal laws about flying between states – an image that is no doubt adding fuel to Christie’s anti-pot fire.