Press Release  | 06/07/2006

New Poll Finds Overwhelming Support for Medical Marijuana Access Among New Jersey Voters

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86% Believe Seriously Ill Patients Should Have Access to Medical Marijuana If Recommended by a Doctor
Montel Williams, Other Advocates and Legislators to Testify at Senate Health Committee Hearing Thursday at 1PM

Trenton- A new poll conducted by The Polling Company found overwhelming support for medical marijuana access and medical marijuana legislation among New Jersey voters. Eighty-six percent of voters supported allowing seriously ill patients access to medical marijuana with a doctor's recommendation.

"The results of this poll are overwhelming," said Roseanne Scotti, Director of Drug Policy Alliance New Jersey. "And they show New Jersey voters understand that allowing seriously ill patients access to medical marijuana is the compassionate response to the suffering caused by diseases like HIV/AIDS, cancer and multiple sclerosis." Two bills, S88 and A933 have been introduced in the New Jersey legislature. The bills would allow seriously ill patients to possess small amounts of medical marijuana with a doctor's recommendation. The program would be administered by the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services. The Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee will hold informational hearings on S88 tomorrow at 1PM.

Pollster Kellyanne Conway explained that the support for medical marijuana crossed all demographic lines. "Agreement spanned demographic divides, with no less than three-quarters of every major demographic group studied, including members of all three political parties, endorsing access to medical marijuana with a doctor's recommendation," said Conway. "A stunning 100% of voters who reported personally having suffered a disease or condition that could be helped by medical marijuana, and 97% who knew someone in that situation agreed that seriously ill patients should be granted access to the drug."

The results of the poll were released during a press conference at the statehouse today. Participants included: Kellyanne Conway, President and CEO of The Polling Company; Montel Williams, Emmy Award-winning talk show host and NY Times bestselling author; Roseanne Scotti, Director Drug Policy Alliance New Jersey; Senator Nicholas P. Scutari, sponsor of Senate Bill 88, the Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act; Don and Gerry McGrath, parents of late medical marijuana patient Sean McGrath; and Jim Miller, husband of late medical marijuana patient Cheryl Miller. Drug Policy Alliance commissioned the poll.

Senator Nicholas P. Scutari, a prosecutor from Linden, explained why he introduced the legislation. "By adopting S88, New Jersey would join the growing group of diverse states from Maine to Montana that have put aside politics and put the needs of suffering citizens first," said Scutari. "We need a policy that is consistent with the premiums we place on mercy and dignity."

Tony Newman at (646) 335-5384 or Roseanne Scotti at (609) 610-8243

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