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Dear Editor,

New Jersey's system of medical marijuana regulation, which requires all patients obtain a state-issued patient identification card to possess and purchase medical marijuana, in tracked sales, is unconstitutional.

Federal law still criminalizes marijuana. New Jersey medical marijuana patients must not be forced to incriminate themselves federally in order to obtain their medicine and be protected from prosecution under state medical marijuana statutes. 

In 1969, the United States Supreme Court struck down the federal Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 on the grounds that payment of the tax was a violation of the constitutional right against self-incrimination (Leary v US).

It is fine if the State of New Jersey wishes to offer voluntary patient registration. But forcing patients to create criminal evidence against themselves that could later be used against them in a federal prosecution, to be able to purchase state-legal medical marijuana and have a defense against state-level marijuana charges, is blatantly unconstitutional.

A valid physician's recommendation is the only document that should be required for a patient to be protected under New Jersey's Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act.

Eric Hafner
Toms River