While New Jersey lawmakers continue to stall statewide efforts to provide legal patient access to medical marijuana, a pair of New England states — Maine and Rhode Island — have quietly and expeditiously embraced the process.
In Rhode Island, Health officials are deciding who among 15 applicants will receive state authorization to produce and dispense marijuana to the state’s 1,800 registered patients. And in Maine health officials gave public approval today to three separate nonprofit corporations to supply and provide patients with medical marijuana via six statewide facilities.
While it is understandable for activists and advocates alike to look forward to the day when the criminalization of marijuana has been lifted for all adults, we must also not overlook the significant process that we are making, and have made, in recent years. Even just three or four years ago it would have unthinkable to believe that state governments would be licensing private citizens to grow and dispense marijuana. But today we are seeing this progress happening right before our eyes. And even more encouraging, there seems to be very few people left who oppose it.