An Appellate court in New Jersey ruled yesterday that the state needs to reconsider the legal classification of medical cannabis, as it’s numerous health benefits are “abundantly and glaringly apparent.”

The ruling surrounds the fact that back in 1971, when the legislation was passed, little was known about the medical benefits of cannabis, as doctors back then were busy prescribing addictive drugs like valium, as America became swept away with its first ‘benzo epidemic.’

The court decided, rightly in many people’s opinion, that the state is obliged to reevaluate existing cannabis laws. Attorney Joseph Linares, spoke to reporters following the court’s decision, saying, “What this decision does recognize is the widespread acceptance of marijuana use in medical treatment.”

Valiant attempts over the years have been made to try to sway opinion towards medical cannabis, although to date, all of these attempts have fallen on deaf ears. Back in 2012 for example, Americans for Safe Access, who advocate for medical cannabis for those in need, filed an appeal in the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit. They made some compelling arguments, although presiding judges at the time were completely unmoved.


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Due to the fact that the New Jersey Controlled Dangerous Substance Act (CDSA) is outdated, after 45 years since it was written into law, the majority court ruling fully acknowledges the extensive research available, proving a connection between cannabis and good health for some people.

The court’s ruling, which can be read in full HERE, notes that, “Medical benefits from the use of marijuana not known in 1971, when the CDSA became effective … and impediments to its lawful use as a result of its Schedule 1 classification, are abundant and glaringly apparent now,” continuing that, “Scientific research suggests that marijuana has ‘potential therapeutic value’ for pain relief, control of nausea and vomiting and appetite stimulation.”

There is a way to go before any real movement will be felt on a legislative level in New Jersey. However, it is encouraging news for many, that finally judges and lawmakers in the Garden State, are waking up to the realities of the many health benefits of cannabis.

[Image credit- Flickr]

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