TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Dozens of people gathered Saturday near the New Jersey Statehouse to show their support for legalizing marijuana.
Several people were openly smoking the drug during the rally, but apparently none were arrested.
The event drew a diverse crowd of roughly 200 people. Many said they wanted to show their support for legalizing or decriminalizing pot, while others said it should only be given to people with medical conditions that could be eased by the drug.
The event was led by Ed Forchion, a pro-marijuana activist known as NJ Weedman. He renewed his calls for lawmakers to legalize the drug, saying it should be treated like alcohol.
New Jersey issued its first standards for edible forms of medical marijuana last week. That could clear the way for the state’s three dispensaries to start making and selling the products.
Forchion also praised the efforts of U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, who has been working recently to ease some medical marijuana restrictions.
The New Jersey lawmaker has joined forces with fellow Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Republican Rand Paul of Kentucky to push a bill that would remove federal prohibitions on medical marijuana in 23 states where it’s already legal.
The bill also would allow doctors at veterans’ hospitals to prescribe pot for medical purposes and allow banks to provide checking accounts and other financial services to marijuana dispensaries.
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