If the legalization of cannabis in New Jersey is finally approved, home-grown planting will remain a crime, which is absolutely unacceptable to activists
Personally I have never been able to understand that a judge tells me what I can and what I cannot cultivate in my garden, while my freedom does not harm my neighbor. Already said that the greatest activist in history, Jack Herer.
During one of the trials that had to endure throughout his life, he answered the judge with the following words: What right do you have to prohibit the cultivation of a plant that grows naturally on our planet? You believe that you are Gods and that you can decide on the most basic rights of citizens.
I live in a country where the cultivation of cannabis is illegal. I have suffered in the first person the injustice of seeing how some policemen put handcuffs on you and put you behind bars for growing cannabis plants. I think I speak on behalf of all the activists when I say that without freedom to cultivate you cannot talk about legalization.
It is difficult to understand that in a country that has demonstrated its leadership in the liberties of its citizens to cultivate its marijuana, there is a state like New Jersey where you will be allowed to consume and buy, but you will not be able to cultivate. What a paradox it is!
Because the reality is that a law that does not allow cultivation at home, is a law that wants to give cannabis an economic treatment very similar to that of tobacco.
What the new law wants is that you can buy your marijuana in a dispensary that pays your taxes, which I think is a good option, provided that the right to cultivate is respected. I can buy tomatoes at the supermarket; but I can also grow them in my garden. Why do not they allow me to do the same with cannabis?
Provided New Jersey lawmakers pass the bill to allow recreational use of cannabis, legalization in this state would be very different than it has been in the other 10 states where recreational cannabis became legal.
The law would have many nice issues, true, but it would lack others that are equally important. New Jersey’s law would include a bill to repair racial and social injustices produced during the infamous “War on Drugs” and the disproportionate arrests of minorities for mere possession of cannabis. Many criminal records could be expunged, and some minorities would be guaranteed a share of the state’s marijuana business licenses. These are good news. So far, so good!
On top of it, the bill would allow certain consumption lounges and home deliveries: two new concepts that are brilliant.
But (damn “buts”), the legalization would prohibit home cultivation, which has angered many activists who think that such a law is not enough because it does not respect their essential rights. Nine of the ten legal-cannabis states allow their citizens to grow their own plants. And it happen the same when it comes to medical marijuana. The patients can grow their plants.
Of course, this is something that patients in New Jersey consider a right. There are shortages at the dispensaries in several states. If you are a patient who needs your medical marijuana, you cannot depend on the dispensaries having your medicine when you can grow it yourself in your garden.
The patients need more dispensaries, or whatever that facilitates access, like home growing. Patients and activists think it is an essential right to medicine that lawmakers are denying. More than 30 people were protesting with signs in the parking lot of Sweeney’s district office in West Deptford, which caught the police by surprise.
Many New Jersey patients who take part in the state’s nine-year-old medical marijuana program have protested at the Statehouse saying that the six dispensaries that are serving more than 42,500 patients in New Jersey, have constant shortages of the strains they need to treat their problems.
What worry them is that if recreational marijuana is allowed, the dispensaries will have more shortages of the specific strains they need. In the end it all comes down to a simple question of demand and supply. Most recreational cannabis clients prefer varieties with higher THC levels while patients need higher levels of CBD.
If they already had scarcity problems before, with the approval of recreational marijuana those problems will increase. But the really outrageous thing is that all these problems would be solved with the right to cultivate your own `plants.
Dear Jack Herer … how much we miss you! And how much reason you had when fighting for the right to cultivate your own plants.