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Medical Marijuana Use Legal in Garden State

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The Garden State yesterday became the fourteenth state--and the first one in the region--to allow the use of medical marijuana.

The law, which was one of over 50 bills Governor Jon Corzine signed on his last full day in office, permits chronically ill patients legal access to marijuana.

The legislation allows for dispensaries to be set up around the state where patients with prescriptions can access the drug. Growing marijuana at home will remain illegal, as will driving while high on the drug.

Assemblyman Reed Gusciora, who sponsored the bill, said New Jersey's medical marijuana law was the strictest in the country; he hoped it would be a model for other states.

Outgoing Governor Corzine also signed a measure ending state control of the City of Camden, a bill requiring restaurant chains to list calorie counts on their menus, measures increasing transit funding for senior citizens and the disabled, and a public reporting requirement of infection rates at surgical centers.

Governor-elect Chris Christie will be sworn in at noon today.