LEGALIZATION ADVOCATES TO HOST POT FILM

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Will the pro-pot lobby finally get to exhale next week?

If so, one of their earliest celebrations may be here in Red Bank.

As the state Assembly and Senate prepare for a possible vote Monday on the New Jersey Compassionate Use Marijuana Act, two pro-legalization organizations will be at the borough’s public library Wednesday night to talk all things cannabis.

The international Students for Sensible Drug Policy and marijuana reformist advocates NORML are hosting the screening of “The Union: The Business Behind Getting High,” a documentary film about marijuana legalization at the library.

Two guest speakers are lined up to add to the discussion — High Times magazine Associate Publisher Rick Cusick and Jim Miller, director of the Coalition for Medical Marijuana New Jersey.

Evan Nison, an East Brunswick resident and vice president of Ithaca College’s SSDP chapter, told redbankgreen that Wednesday night’s event is one of the first expected to be held in the area.  He’s not sure what to expect out of the discussion that will follow, but expects that the vote in Trenton will set the tone.

Either way, he said, “It’ll be an interesting time.”

However, Nison thinks by the time he gets to the library on Wednesday, the focus will shift to New Jersey becoming the 14th state to legalize medical marijuana. The state Senate voted in favor of legalizing marijuana for medical use last year. With a little massaging, the bill is ready for the state Assembly and House on Monday. If passed, it would head to the desk of departing Gov. Jon Corzine, who said last year he would “absolutely” sign a bill to allow marijuana use for chronically and terminally ill patients.

“I think medical marijuana will be legal by next Wednesday,” Nison said.

Nison, 19, said he was approached by a graduate student from the Red Bank area to hold the event as a way to raise awareness. Although his group is more focused on the benefits of medical marijuana, Nison said any related issue brought up by the public is fair game. After the documentary, Kusick and Miller will speak about their perspectives on the topic.

“It’s really just a discussion about marijuana prohibition,” Nison said. “There’s a lot more wrong with marijuana prohibition than people realize. There’s just a lot of misconception that’s been built up.”

The event starts at 6p, 84 West Front Street and is free.