By TOM BALDWIN
Gannett State Bureau
TV personality Montel Williams, who says he daily breaks the law by medicating himself with marijuana, presaged emotionally charged testimony expected today when New Jersey, for the first time, considers allowing prescribed pot.
"I break the law every day. I will continue to break the law every day," a sometimes teary Williams told reporters at a State House news conference where the Drug Policy Alliance New Jersey, which supports medical marijuana, issued results of a poll it commissioned which showed support for their positions.
Today the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee will hear testimony, but not vote, on a proposal to allow seriously ill patients to possess one ounce of marijuana and six marijuana plants, if their doctor recommends it. The state would oversee the program and issue registration cards. In the poll, provided those specific descriptions of the rules, 71 percent of registered voters approved.
One sponsor is Sen. Nicholas Scutari, D-Linden, who is a former prosecutor. "These people are not a threat to society," he said of the ill who seek salves for their pain. "We owe it to them to adopt a policy that places a premium on compassion and relief."