Senator Declan O’Scanlon (R-Monmouth) today praised action by Senate President Steve Sweeney to move forward with legislation expanding the State’s medical marijuana program. Sweeney’s announcement comes after O’Scanlon held a press conference yesterday calling for this action.
Sen. Declan O’Scanlon applauded Senate President Sweeney’s announcement that he will move forward with legislation to expand New Jersey’s medical marijuana program. (Pixabay)
“I want to applaud the Senate President on his announcement to move forward with expanding our medical marijuana program,” said O’Scanlon. “This was not me forcing the issue – it was all of us coming together to make the right move for patients. That’s who this is ultimately about – people suffering who we have the power to help.”
At his press conference yesterday, Senator O’Scanlon passionately argued for legislators to think of struggling patients when considering allowing delays to a medical marijuana expansion to continue, due to the fact that the expansion has been tied to the infinitely more complex adult-use legislation.
Prime components of both O’Scanlon’s medical marijuana legislation, and legislation sponsored by Senator Vitale, include increasing the amount of product patients can obtain, increasing the number of dispensaries, expanding the list of diagnosed conditions, and phasing out the tax on medical cannabis.
“We need to focus on what we can get done, rather than continue to focus on what some people would like to get done, and possibly risk getting nothing done,” O’Scanlon continued. “One of my key goals with my medical marijuana expansion legislation is to lower the cost to patients, while expanding access to those in need. In New Jersey, medical marijuana that sells for $450 an ounce costs only $100 an ounce in other states. We can achieve these goals by working together to pass a medical bill, before it gets lost in the budget discussions.”
O’Scanlon has worked closely with Mike Honig, a medical marijuana advocate and the father of Jake Honig, who passed away at age 7 after a fierce battle with cancer.
“It’s nice to see everyone come together and make it all possible. We hope that moving forward, we keep the sense of urgency around the patients because many of them, like Jake, have limited time,” said Mike Honig.
“I look forward to working with the Senate President to move the medical marijuana expansion as quickly as possible. This is the way good government works – when we have tough discussions and come together to push the right policy forward, ” O’Scanlon concluded.