Pubdate: Tue, 31 Jul 2012
Source: Asbury Park Press (NJ)
Copyright: 2012 Asbury Park Press
Author: Peter Christopher


I read with interest Assemblyman Declan J. O'Scanlon Jr.'s telling 
missive, "Medical marijuana: the facts," July 20.

A harsh reality for our state's medical marijuana patients is that 
they are still on the drug war battlefield despite a New Jersey 
medical marijuana law that is supposed to serve their needs.

Imagine if we had to procure medications from the street, or worse 
yet, manufacture them? Most remember John Ray Wilson, a Franklin 
Township multiple sclerosis patient who grew marijuana as his 
medicine and was met with the full force of prosecutors from Trenton. 
He went to prison, as do other patients. It might be best to divert 
our sick and most vulnerable from the criminal system.

As a resident of the 13th District, I appreciate O'Scanlon's 
oversight on the medical marijuana issue and also his sponsorship of 
A-1465, which would decriminalize possession of 15 grams or less of marijuana.

Our courts, police and taxpayers are helped by treating small 
marijuana possession issues as civil infractions, but this is no 
solution. Medical marijuana and marijuana decriminalization leave a 
vast black market in place, and Gov. Christie guarantees we will 
continue to tread water on this issue, as he said he will veto the 
proposed decriminalization law. What will take the teeth out of 
cartels and gangs, and reduce societal harms, but legalization?

Marijuana legalization for adults would make patient availability of 
medical marijuana moot, end criminal control of the marketplace and 
keep it away from our children.

Peter Christopher

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