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Trenton is Next Battleground in Marijuana Fight


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With the announcement that a medical marijuana bill will be discussed by the state Senate in June, residents and officials in Ocean County — which has become an improbable battleground for the issue — are once again gearing up for a fight.

Supporters like Jim Miller, a Dover Township resident whose wife used marijuana to relieve the symptoms of her multiple sclerosis, hailed the decision to hold a June 8 hearing.

"It's an important first step," Miller, whose wife Cheryl died in 2003, said.

Miller and other proponents of the legislation say that marijuana alleviates pain and relieves the effects of more traditional medications, perhaps most notably chemotherapy-induced nausea. Indeed, Miller said that he once used marijuana to relax his wife Cheryl's muscles enough that she could continue physical therapy.

"For many really ill people, that (marijuana) is their best medicine," Miller said during a telephone interview this week.

But on the other side of the debate are those who say that allowing marijuana for medicinal use is just a front to legalize marijuana for all uses.

First Assistant Ocean County Prosecutor Terrence P. Farley, who also heads the county's Narcotics Strike Force, has been a long-time critic of medical marijuana and has frequently debated Miller face-to-face and in the opinion pages of local newspapers.

Farley declined to comment for this article, but he told the Associated Press this week that, "This is how they're trying to get marijuana legalized."

David Evans, a spokesman for the Drug Free School Coalition, agreed.

"I have a lot of compassion for sick and dying people," Evans said. "But what I'm angry about is using sick people to further legalization of marijuana."


News Hawk: DankCloset-420times.com
Source: Ocean County Observer (NJ)
Author: Kim Predham
Copyright: 2006 Ocean County Observer
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