O’Scanlon calls for separating pot legalization bill from medical expansion

BY Michael Hill, Correspondent |

Marijuana legislation has stalled in Trenton since Gov. Phil Murphy was elected. While there’s wide support for medical marijuana expansion, that legislation is tie-barred to expungement and legalization of adult-use recreational marijuana.

Sen. Declan O’Scanlon is among lawmakers who favor severing the bills to win passage for medical marijuana expansion.

“It’s time we all came together now to realize that the votes don’t seem to be there,” said O’Scanlon. “I am calling on my colleagues — in a friendly way — to join together to focus on what we can get done, and not let the focus on getting everything done prevent us from getting anything done.”

While some expansion of the medical program has been possible through executive order, O’Scanlon says a key component that needs to be achieved legislatively is raising the amount of product patients are allowed to receive each month, which is currently limited at 2 ounces.

O’Scanlon says there is enough support on both sides to pass a medical marijuana expansion bill.

“I think if we went out tomorrow, without any advocacy, for a good medical expansion bill, you would have the votes, you would have more than 41 and more than 21. I think it would pass,” he said.