**UPDATE! (June25th) This bill was shelved in May, when this post originally aired. It’s back. And up for a full vote today.**
Assemblywoman Mary Pat Angelini will have a meltdown on the chamber floor today. Mark my words. Look for the sort of spectacle only Nancy Reagan would love.
It’ll probably happen around 4pm during the Assembly debate (and vote) to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana in the Garden State. Most of Angelini’s Assembly colleagues will vote to pass the bill, thus striking a blow against the failed, costly, dangerous “War on Drugs.”The bill might even pass the lower house with a veto-proof majority.
But look for Mary Pat to show us that Reefer Madness is still very much alive in New Jersey. I’ll be tuning in just to hear how crazy she sounds because, frankly, it amuses me to hear her make a fool out of herself. And her track record suggests nothing less. Consider the following:
Mary Pat Angelini didn’t simply vote against medical marijuana. She gave an insane-sounding, desperate plea to everyone on the chamber floor to do the same. Her reasoning? Allowing cancer patients access to medically-administered cannabis would directly result in upper middle class white kids becoming addicted to crack, heroine and crystal meth.
In Mary Pat’s mind, medical marijuana is the gateway to society’s ruin. She said so. In front of a lot of people wearing incredulous looks, self included. I could barely believe my ears listening to her woefully ill-informed conclusions about medical marijuana and the patients who are (literally) dying to use it.
Assemblywoman Angelini’s hurtful comments equating a hospice nurse to a dope dealer drew gasps from the crowd. And her spiteful, mean-spirited characterization of people who use medical cannabis won’t be forgotten. Not as long as I’m around.
The bill ultimately sailed by a vote of 48-14 with the most compelling arguments for passage coming from Angelini’s fellow Republicans. It would mark the beginning of a pattern where Angelini was a minority within a minority on Drug Policy issues.
Mary Pat Angelini voted against a needle exchange program in New Jersey. Never mind needle-exchange is PROVEN to reduce HIV/AIDS/Hepatitis transmission rates, her so-called rationale for the NO vote was a familiar one: access to clean needles for drug addicts sends a message that society condones IV drug use. Which is about as stupid and dangerous as a doctor saying to a grieving mother, “I’m sorry about your dead son. I couldn’t treat him when he overdosed on drugs. Wouldn’t want to send the wrong message to society, now would I?”
Utter nonsense. Last I checked Mary Pat Angelini is neither scientist nor doctor. But she DOES represent Asbury Park, which has one of the highest HIV transmission rates in the state. With hysterical lawmakers like Mary Pat Angelini making policy in Trenton, it’s easy to see why.
Follow me below the fold where I reveal what’s animating Assemblywoman Angelini’s modern brand of Reefer Madness….