On January 1st of 2010 then Governor of New Jersey, Jon Corzine approved Chapter 307 of the Constitution of the State of New Jersey. This portion of the constitution was know as the New Jersey Compassionate Use Act. While the law itself was passed in 2010, current Governor Chris Christie fought the addition of the act to New Jersey law.
In 2011, New Jersey residents were granted the right to legally pursue the use of medicinal marijuana supported by several findings;
- Modern research has discovered beneficial use of marijuana in treating or alleviating certain conditions. This was based on the findings of the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine March 1999.
- According to the Unites States Sentencing Committee and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, 99 of every 100 marijuana arrests are made via state, not federal, law. The changing of State law would protect the citizens of New Jersey from prosecution with regard to sanctioned medical use of marijuana.
- Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington already offered protections for medicinal marijuana users inside their borders.
- States are not required to enforce federal law or prosecute their citizens for federally banned activities. Therefor, New Jersey is not in violation of any federal statutes or laws.
- A distinction must be made between medicinal and recreational marijuana in order to protect the citizens of New Jersey who consume marijuana in legally sanctioned ways.
New Jersey is very atypical in the structure of its medical marijuana storage and containment law, with each facility having flexible storage regulations based upon the amount of medicinal marijuana contained within each separate dispensary. If a dispensary possesses a small enough amount of marijuana that containment of all of the product will fit into a ul listed burglary resistant safe, then New Jersey adheres to the guidelines established by the Federal Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) law with regard to storage and containment of medicinal marijuana. DEA regulations under Title 21 of the Code of Federal Regulations Part 1301 specify that, in the instance of small amounts of the drug permit, a safe or steel cabinet may be used. The safe or cabinet must provide;
- 30 man -minutes against surreptitious entry
- 10 man-minutes against forced entry
- 20 man-hours against lock manipulation
- 20 man-hours against radiological techniques
The Code also states that if a safe or steel cabinet weighs less than 750 lbs., it must be bolted or cemented to the floor in such a way that it cannot be removed. Depending on the quantity and type of the substance(s) being stored, the safe or cabinet must be equipped with an alarm system which, upon attempted break-in, shall transmit a signal directly to a central protection company or State police agency which has a legal duty to respond, or a 24-hour control station operated by the registrant, or such other protection.