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New Jersey: NORML Lawyers File Constitutional Lawsuit Over State’s Failure To Implement Two-Year-Old Medical Cannabis Law

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director April 5, 2012

    Members of the NORML Legal Committee filed suit yesterday against the State of New Jersey over regulators failure to implement the Compassionate Use of Medical Marijuana Act.

    First signed into law by former Gov. Jon Corzine on January 18, 2010, the law — which establishes the creation of up to six state-licensed ‘alternative treatment centers’ to provide medicinal cannabis to qualified patients — was initially scheduled to take effect in July 2010. Since that time state regulators, at the behest of present Gov. Chris Christie, have unduly delayed the law’s implementation. To date, not a single patient in New Jersey has been afforded legal protections under the Act in the 27 months since the measure was signed into law.

    On Wednesday, April 4, NORML Legal Committee attorneys William H. Buckman of Moorestown and Anne M. Davis of Brick filed a lawsuit on behalf of a New Jersey medical patient who would qualify for cannabis access. The suit also represents one of the few medical doctors who have registered with NJ to recommend medical marijuana. Named in the suit are the Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) Commissioner Mary O’Dowd and the newly appointed director of the Medicinal Marijuana Program John O’Brien.

    Read the press release below:

    CONSTITUTIONAL LAWSUIT FILED OVER FAILED NJ MEDICAL MARIJUANA PROGRAM

    Trenton: Today a lawsuit was filed against the State of New Jersey over the failure to implement the Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act. Named in the suit are the Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) Commissioner Mary O’Dowd and the newly appointed director of the Medicinal Marijuana Program John O’Brien.

    Civil rights attorneys William H. Buckman of Moorestown and Anne M. Davis of Brick brought the suit on behalf of a New Jersey medical patient who would qualify for cannabis access. The suit also represents one of the few medical doctors who have registered with NJ to recommend medical marijuana.

    The compassionate use law was passed in January 2010 with a six-month implementation timeline. But since 2010 a series of politically motivated regulatory, legislative and bureaucratic delays have kept the program from operating at all. None of the six approved Alternative Treatment Centers have been fully permitted by DHSS to open.

    “We represent a patient who suffered actual damages as a result of these delays,” said Anne Davis, “He cannot utilize the cannabis because New Jersey’s lack of a working program means he could lose his disability pension if he tested positive for cannabis.”

    Davis continued, “Our neighbors with AIDS, cancer, MS and the worst of medical conditions have testified before the legislature and changed the law. Now, patients and doctors have to go to court to win the rights that they should have already been afforded.”

    The lawsuit gathers more than two years of facts demonstrating that those in charge of the implementation process for New Jersey’s medical marijuana program have been unable or unwilling to put the law into place.

    “Today we are filing suit to require the DHHS to do what every other citizen must do — follow the law,” said William Buckman, “We are also insisting that pursuant to the legislature’s will, sick people have access to medical marijuana without fear of arrest.”

    47 Responses to “New Jersey: NORML Lawyers File Constitutional Lawsuit Over State’s Failure To Implement Two-Year-Old Medical Cannabis Law”

    1. Chris in WI says:

      This is just such a no-brainer issue. Why can’t we get a president or AG that knows the truth and has such strength of character to just F’in DEschedule cannabis?

      Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

    2. Billy Warren says:

      I hope Gov. Cristie gets cancer, and when every med fails him and his last resort is cannabis, that he will see how evil his actions on medical cannabis were. and right before that first toke of relief, he dies from his illness. All so he can feel what N.J. medical cannabis users have been feeling for the last two years.

    3. […] New Jersey: NORML Lawyers File Constitutional Lawsuit Over State’s Failure To Implement Two-Year-O… Members of the NORML Legal Committee filed suit yesterday against the State of New Jersey over regulators failure to implement the Compassionate Use of Medical Marijuana Act. First signed into law by former Gov. Jon Corzine on January 18, 2010, the law — which establishes the creation of up to six state-licensed ‘alternative treatment centers’ to provide medicinal cannabis to qualified patients — was initially scheduled to take effect in July 2010. Since that time state regulators, at the behest of present Gov. Chris Christie, have unduly delayed the law’s […] […]

    4. The Oracle says:

      With lawsuits brought against state officials like this in MMJ states with on-hold programs, it ought to get rather expensively uncomfortable to make them get the feds threat out of the way. State workers are put in a no-win situation that they’ll have to escape from, namely get legal shit from the feds because they are implementing against federal law or get legal shit from the legalizers for not implementing according to state laws, i.e. the will of the people as opposed to the will of the federal few.

      The federal politicians from MMJ states will have to come to D.C. to get the feds off our cannabis-loving backs because people will be bitching left and right about how much money the lawsuits for non-implemenation are costing or how much money fighting the prosecutions by the feds is costing.

      Prohibitionists have lost! Just give up!

    5. The Oracle says:

      With lawsuits brought against state officials like this in MMJ states with on-hold programs, it ought to get rather expensively uncomfortable to make them get the feds threat out of the way. State workers are put in a no-win situation that they’ll have to escape from, namely get legal shit from the feds because they are implementing against federal law or get legal shit from the legalizers for not implementing according to state laws, i.e. the will of the people as opposed to the will of the federal few.

      The federal politicians from MMJ states will have to come to D.C. to get the feds off our cannabis-loving backs because people will be bitching left and right about how much money the lawsuits for non-implementation are costing or how much money fighting the prosecutions by the feds is costing.

      Prohibitionists have lost! Just give up!

    6. […] posted here: New Jersey: NORML Lawyer's File Constitutional Lawsuit Over … Tags: activism, alabama, alternative, citizen, entertainment, google, government, health, […]

    7. Joe says:

      You guys got this one =)

    8. Somedood says:

      Yay!!! I like news like this.

    9. Galileo Galilei says:

      I would dearly love to know the facts behind this delay. We have a right to know what was done, how it was done, and who is most responsible.

    10. Owen says:

      This is all the work of that fat fuck mafia pig Christie. He has a vested interest in keeping pot illegal.

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