TRENTON - The state Senate took a break from summer recess to vote on pending legislation, including a bill banning gay conversion therapy and another expanding the availability of medical marijuana to children.
The Legislature approved the amendments Gov. Chris Christie required before signing the medical marijuana bill.
The bill still requires the families of sick children to get multiple doctors to sign off, but if passed, both weaker strains and oral forms of the drug will be available. The bill moves now to the state Assembly, which has yet to schedule a vote.
The governor also signed a bill banning the practice of conversion therapy, a form of talk-treatment that some believe can turn gay people straight. Christie agreed with opponents' arguments that the practice can lead to substance abuse, depression and even suicidal thoughts.
"I think this is a step forward, an appropriate step forward," says state Sen. Loretta Weinberg. "But there won't be equality in New Jersey until there is equality for marriage."
The remaining gun control bills on the governor's desk were shot down late last week, which left advocates upset and Democrats planning a response.
The legislature also sent a bill back to the governor that would ban employers from asking their workers for user names and passwords for social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.