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Progressive verdict in New Jersey marijuana case

New Jersey has adopted medical marijuana laws, but the state has been slow to actively apply them in the community. A recent verdict in a marijuana possession case could mark the beginning of more reliance on the progressive drug law.

In 2010, a suspect was pulled over by police. The traffic stop turned into a drug crime investigation when marijuana was found in the man's car. He admitted to the possession of the drug but defended his actions with the reasoning that he's a cancer patient with a license to have and use the drug.

The suspect was from California, where medical marijuana laws are more established and followed. It wasn't until 2010 when New Jersey adopted the law to allow people with certain illnesses, including cancer, to use marijuana.

When the suspect was pulled over, the New Jersey system hadn't really caught up with its new drug legislation. Even though he suffers from bone cancer and was legally allowed to use marijuana in California, the suspect was charged with possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute.

Jurors in the New Jersey case sided with the defendant, now 48 years old. They found him not guilty of the drug crimes, an outcome that some medical marijuana advocates are lauding as a step forward in the legalization movement. Says the vindicated defendant, "I'm not a weirdo anymore; I'm a hero."

Source: Channel 6 News, "'Weedman' acquitted after using medical marijuana argument as his defense," Oct. 19, 2012