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First Sales of Medical Weed

Just in time for the Mayan’s end of the world, the first legal sales of medical marijuana took place last week in Montclair – three years after the bill to legalize marijuana passed.

According to a New York Times article, the first recipients looked nervous and secretive. But it’s legal with a prescription. And the Greenleaf Compassion Center only dispenses by appointment, so there’s no real casual, walk-ins allowed. With these restrictions, and with confidentiality a given for medical reasons, it was only with consent that anyone talked to reporters.

Except, a recent report has it that medical marijuana patients have been outed inadvertently by email. The state Deparment of Health send out emails notifying patients who were on the approved list to buy medical marijuana about dispensary openings. But, as happens sometimes with email, they left other email addresses (and even full names) in the headers. Anonymity blown.

The Philadephia Inquirer quoted one participant with this reaction, "I was shocked," said Segal, of Wenonah, a program participant who noted that her previous interactions with the agency had been positive. "I'm a nurse and I know it's a gross invasion of privacy."

The state has apologized for this lapse. Still, one wonders what exciting new problems will emerge as the program finally goes live. Will medical marijuana make its way into the hands of youth or those not allowed to have it? Time will tell. For now, patients who have been waiting years are just thankful they can finally get their hands on the promised “medicine.”

Reporters looking for controversy were unable to find any. The NYT said passersby were largely supportive or simply didn’t care. We shouldn’t expect to see any protest signs or chants of “One-two-three-four, we don’t want your hippy store!” at least for now. And the lack of public reaction may also be a consequence of taking so long to actually start sales to patients – the public is probably tired of hearing about dispensaries.

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