NJ medical marijuana bill helps patients from other states. But there's one big problem. – Asbury Park Press


Just as thousands of tourists flock to the Jersey Shore for the Fourth of July, the New Jersey medical marijuana program is on the verge of opening its doors to out-of-state patients for the first time.

Under the Jake Honig Compassionate Use Medical Cannabis Act, visitors with medical marijuana cards from their home states would be able to carry and use medical marijuana here, up to the proposed 3-ounce legal limit.

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Raven Guillmette, store manager, measures out a strain of marijuana called Cherry Diesel. Higher Grade dispensary offers fine cannabis for medicinal purposes. Denver, CO Friday, April 13, 2018 @dhoodhood  (Photo: Doug Hood)

But there’s one big problem: They wouldn’t be allowed to buy medical marijuana here unless they have approval from a New Jersey doctor.

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The only other options are to break the law — either purchasing weed on the black market or bringing it from home. Only patients registered in the New Jersey medical marijuana program can buy the drug at a New Jersey dispensary.

Transporting illegal drugs, including medical marijuana purchased legally in another state, across state lines — even between two states with legal weed — could constitute drug trafficking, with a potential five-year prison sentence, under federal law. 

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“It would be kind of a catch-22 for patients,” said Carly Wolf, a state policies coordinator for the National Organization

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