Medical marijuana

But if we legalized marijuana for sick people, why, the whole world would become drug addicts, and then where would we be?

Rich Caporusso says he witnessed the therapeutic power of marijuana about a decade ago, as a cherished family member lay in the hospital dying of lung cancer.

A pot-laced cookie, smuggled into her room, freed his relative from her stupor and enabled her to speak to her loved ones for the final time, said Caporusso, 32.

“It was absolutely amazing to me to see a drug taught to me as a child as killing brain cells was a godsend,” the Medford resident said.

Now, Caporusso is in dire need of the drug. The onetime New Jersey corrections officer is on disability, the result of injuries suffered during a 2007 prison melee and his subsequent care. Diagnosed with Crohn’s disease and painful muscle spasms, Caporusso is eligible for cannabis treatments under New Jersey’s two-year-old medical-marijuana program.

If only that program were in operation.

This month, Caporusso and his physician sued the state Department of Health and Senior Services; Health Commissioner Mary E. O’Dowd; and John H. O’Brien Jr., director of the medical-marijuana program, who they say have “actively interfered with the implementation” of the program and imposed restrictions that have prevented sick people from getting the relief to which they are entitled.