Medical marijuana to become law in N.J.

One of Jon Corzine’s last acts as governor of New Jersey will be signing a bill legalizing medical marijuana, following its approval by both houses of the state Legislature.

Not a single lawmaker took the podium at the statehouse in Trenton as the Senate approved the measure, 25-13. The percentage was far greater in the Assembly, 48-14.

Corzine vowed to sign the bill before he leaves office a week from Tuesday. It would then become law near the end of June, making New Jersey the 14th state to approve such a measure.

Incoming Governor-elect Chris Christie is concerned about the drug’s availability, but legislators said they made sure the law wouldn’t decriminalize pot and would be the nation’s strictest.

The measure prohibits people from growing their own. It also licenses “alternate treatment centers” to dispense the drug. And it requires designated caretakers to undergo criminal background checks.

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