Bill Sponsor: 'Our Program Is Not Functioning Properly. It Has Been Very Slow'

TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – A measure aimed at offering more flexibility to New Jersey’s registered medical marijuana users has passed its first hurdle.

The bill’s sponsor, Assemblywoman Linda Stender (D-Scotch Plains), said New Jersey’s medical marijuana program has been slow going and she said not all strains are available in the Garden State.

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“People have dire medical consequences because they can’t get the medicine they need,” she told WCBS 880’s Jim Smith.

Her measure would allow patients who legally obtain marijuana from another state’s program to bring it back home.

Our program is not functioning properly. It has been very slow,” said Stender. “We have to stop standing in the way of people who need this medicine.”

The Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee approved the bill without support from Republicans.

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“I think that should be federally regulated. I think that it also opens up a Pandora’s box,” said Assemblywoman Mary Pat Angelini (R-Ocean).

She said she fears it’s a step closer to full legalization.

“We’re taking incremental steps to get that way and I’m very much opposed to that,” said Stender.

The bill will now go to the full Assembly for a vote.

There are 1,500 registered medical marijuana patients in New Jersey. It is among the 20 states, along with the District of Columbia, that have legalized medical pot.

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