NORML Alert: Tell Lawmakers To Make New Jersey’s Medical Marijuana Law Workable For Patients

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director November 17, 2010

    For many months now NORML has publicly criticized political efforts to quash New Jersey’s nascent medical marijuana program — which, nearly one year after having been signed into law, has yet to authorize even a single patient to legally use cannabis.

    Most recently, New Jersey Department of Health officials released draft regulations seeking to limit the manufacturing of medical cannabis to two licensed state facilities. The proposed rules also restrict the percentage of THC that may be present in the plant to no more than ten percent, and limit the varieties of cannabis that may be produced to no more than three strains. They further demand that doctors who authorize their patients to use marijuana must “make reasonable efforts” at least every three months to wean them off the drug.

    Under the yet-to-be formalized law, patients would be authorized to possess no more than two ounces of cannabis per month, and would not be permitted to grow their own marijuana or share it with other registered patients. Patients who possess unauthorized amounts or strains of marijuana will still be subject to arrest and criminal prosecution under state law.

    NORML believes, as does the sponsor of the original law, that these proposed regulations are unduly restrictive and, in fact, violate the intent of the Compassionate Medical Marijuana Act. That is why we are asking New Jersey residents to write their state lawmakers and ask them to approve a pair of concurrent resolutions to compel Health officials to revise the proposed regulations.

    On Monday, November 8, members of the Senate Health, Human Services, and Senior Citizens Committee and members of the Assembly Regulatory Oversight and Gaming voted in favor of the resolutions, which may be acted on by the floors of both chambers as soon as November 22. If you live in the Garden State, please visit NORML’s ‘Take Action’ Center, and tell your member of the Assembly and Senate to affirm these votes by going here.

    Also check out today’s op/ed in the New Jersey Star Ledger, “Snuffing out medical marijuana,” by NORML New Jersey’s own Chris Goldstein for the latest.

    Snuffing out medical marijuana
    via NJ.com

    [excerpt] Gov. Chris Christie is engaging in an ugly game of politics when it comes to implementing the medical marijuana law. … Qualifying New Jersey residents will remain in the crossfire between Christie and a law he openly opposes unless the Legislature acts decisively.

    … The nonprofit medical marijuana advocacy groups in New Jersey, the sponsor legislators and now Senate and Assembly committees agree that the DHSS limitations are far outside the intent of the law.

    The term “medical marijuana” means more than just the plant; it means an entire system of compassionate care. Hundreds of thousands of Americans find relief today in 13 states [Author’s note: now fifteen] with working programs.

    Under the guise of avoiding problems in other states, the governor and DHSS would have inexperienced health groups try their hand at cannabis here. The result will cut out expert small businesses and keep patients underground.

    The governor and DHSS officials could still create a program more in tune with real world patient needs rather than a flood of desk-drawer rules.

    Patients and advocates remain willing to work with the administration.

    Otherwise, New Jersey may get a Soviet-style medical cannabis program that is missing the compassion and choices that the law was meant to provide or worse: nothing at all.

    27 responses to “NORML Alert: Tell Lawmakers To Make New Jersey’s Medical Marijuana Law Workable For Patients”

    1. Steve says:

      It seems like the Jersey bill was not written well enough to “pass”. It seems to me that New Jersey is the only state that has allowed Bureaucracy to de-facto kill the bill. New Jersey Supreme Court needs to interfere now and patients should file a class action lawsuit against the responsible party.

    2. this is funny… does state law require that Drs. try to “ween” patients off Xanax, Zoloft, Loritabs, Oxycontin? ….. wait, it’s not funny at all, it’s distubring.

    3. Mark says:

      Gov. Christi is married to the mob (Genovese Family), so delaying this measure guarantees profits for the mob as patients are forced to buy on the street where corrupt cops like Burgess are waiting to bust you because you fit a certain profile.

    4. Zero says:

      This Is Why I say Fuck Government, Let us govern ourselves..There would be alot less fuck ups then we have now..

    5. Kevin in AZ says:

      Samuel: no kidding, this is total BS.

      Here in Arizona, after our med. MJ prop. 203 was finally declared victorious they already have had state health officials stating they would like to follow a similar approach as NJ!

      This is the state that has voted twice in support of medicinal marijuana TWICE! and both times it was basically stripped/nulled by the state legislature.

      Moron dinosaurs (which they probably believe never existed!)

    6. Harry Nees says:

      Christie should come out to California so i can blow smoke from my Bong all over his bloated face . I would laugh , laugh , laugh at him .
      When i read articles such as this it is disturbingly frustrating to learn of what goes in in your part of America with unjust laws concerning Marijuana . I ain’t bragging but it’s a whole different World out here in California .
      It’s hard enough to believe when i see how you people are treated when caught with Marijuana by Law enforcement
      on TV let alone read such garbage as this .

      C’mon out here ,blubber butt Christie and I’ll show you what California thinks of you and your backward laws .

    7. bart says:

      vote Christie out, soon they will get the message. The lawsuit sounds like a great idea as well. I thing it is a sad day when the government tries to limit our freedom. The will of the people is sovern

    8. bw says:

      Looks like Christie is quite literally a Big Fat Liar. New Jersey can take their med. marijuana law, Bon Jovi, and their shore, and stick it up his out of shape grease eating ass.

    9. HighMtnSkier says:

      Thanks Norml.

      This is Christie’s game. Suggest some prosperous regulations and then recant. This is the 3rd time he’s done this. The law clearly calls for the establishment of a minimum of 6 compassion centers and he (the lawyer) proposed only 4? WTF right? It’s just a big stall tactic.

      #6 – I think Christie is in CA this week at a Rep. Governors convention. You should go say hi. 😉

    10. PeteinNC says:

      I am formerly from NJ but still have family and friends there. It’s not just the MJ thing, everyone I know hates him and his ignorant ways. I think he will be 1 term for sure.
      But remember this, those assholes on Jersey shore are real and do represent a good deal of the population of north jersey. Not a whole lot of brain power going on.