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State Sen. Declan O'Scanlon (R-Little Silver). Photo by Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe

O’Scanlon: Don’t tie medical marijuana fixes to legalization vote

By David Wildstein, March 22 2019 4:19 pm

State Sen. Declan O’Scanlon (R-Little Silver) says that fixes to the state medical marijuana program should be dealt with separately and not tied to the passage of legislation to legalize adult recreational marijuana use.

“If we truly believe that our medical marijuana program exists to ease the suffering of very sick patients, we shouldn’t tie efforts to improve the program to the outcome of a vote on recreational use,” said O’Scanlon. “Unfortunately, it seems likely that the very real needs of medical marijuana patients will continue to be held hostage by the supporters of full legalization, who insist that the very different pieces of legislation must live or die together on the floor of the Legislature. It’s despicable.”

O’Scanlon says that the state’s legislative leadership has made the medical marijuana bill conditional on the approval of the vote scheduled for Monday.

“We essentially are being told that our efforts to ease the pain of cancer patients will be blocked if we don’t first vote for recreational use and to expunge a bunch of unrelated criminal records, including those of drug dealers,” O’Scanlon said. “It’s a false equivalence that we shouldn’t be making. This is exactly what’s wrong with Trenton, and exactly why people have such disgust for government.”

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