New Jersey: Lawmakers Reject Christie Administration’s Draconian Medical Marijuana Regulations

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director December 13, 2010

    Senate lawmakers voted 22 to 16 today in favor of a concurrent resolution that forces the Department of Health and Senior Services to revise draft regulations regarding the implementation of the New Jersey Compassionate Medical Marijuana Act. Assembly lawmakers had previously approved the resolution in November.

    The Department now has 30 days to rewrite the regulations. (You can read NORML’s critique of the draft regulations here.) “Failure to publish proposed rules that are consistent with the intent of the legislature may result in the legislature passing a concurrent resolution to prohibit those proposed rules from taking effect in whole or in part,” the resolutions states.

    Lawmakers, patients, and reform activists took issue with several aspects of the draft regulations, which they argued violated the intent of New Jersey’s yet-to-be implemented medical marijuana law. These included provisions:

    * requiring qualifying patients to establish that their diagnosed condition has proven resistant to all other conventional therapies;

    * capping the number of state-licensed medical cannabis producers to no more than two;

    * restricting the varieties of marijuana available to patients to six strains, and capping the plant’s THC content at ten percent;

    * prohibiting the dissemination of any edible medical cannabis product;

    * mandating that doctors who authorize their patients to use marijuana must “make reasonable efforts” at least every three months to wean them off the drug.

    Earlier this month, Gov. Chris Christie — who has previously voiced disapproval of the state’s nascent medical cannabis law — agreed to allow for establishment of six licensed facilities to produce and dispense marijuana to authorized patients, and loosen the eligibility requirements for specific patients. The Senate’s vote today indicates that lawmakers will demand the administration to make additional changes regarding how the law is ultimately implemented.

    Chris Goldstein of New Jersey NORML and the Coalition for Medical Marijuana – New Jersey said: “[We are] pleased that the New Jersey Legislature heard the concerns of severely ill residents in the continued fight for fair and legal access to marijuana. The vote today sends a strong message to the Department of Health and Senior Services as well as Governor Christie that officials need to craft more reasonable rules for the medical cannabis program. This can only be accomplished by engaging in a transparent process that involves patients and advocates.”

    For more information or to get involved, contact NORML New Jersey or the Coalition for Medical Marijuana – New Jersey.

    34 responses to “New Jersey: Lawmakers Reject Christie Administration’s Draconian Medical Marijuana Regulations”

    1. ck31 says:

      Hell with those kinda laws the Dr. Just as well be standing in front watching so they dont MAYBE OVER DO IT, WTF. Who the Hell thought of that? I bet i know someone in the D.A.R.E era. were so tupid, i miss spelled that for a reason to.

    2. Anonymous says:

      Good to see that fat pig is getting the finger for a change instead of giving it.

    3. claygooding says:

      Christi,an ex-prosecutor,will continue to derail and delay the m/m program in NJ.
      Only when they put a governor in office that supports
      m/m will their program move forward.

    4. fishcreekbob says:

      Thease people are only happy as long as you suffer before you die.

    5. Howard M Gardella says:

      why is the truth always last to be heard. look at this
      documentary on you tube “run from the cure”

    6. Potato says:

      Holy crap those proposed regulations are insane!

      Get those 16 who voted for them outta there NJ!

    7. […] we noted on the NORML Front Page today, these regulations that were just defeated included: A) requiring qualifying patients to establish […]

    8. Joel: The other Joel says:

      I’ve guess the mafia puppet got one of his strings cut.
      It happens.