Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Christie administration seeks to delay the New Jersey medical marijuana law

For more info, contact: Ken @ (609) 394-2137

WHO: Governor Chris Christie’s administration
WHAT: Wants to delay the New Jersey Medical Marijuana law for up to one year
WHEN: May 27, 2010
WHERE: Trenton, NJ
WHY: The logistics involved are too complex for the NJ Department of Health

A proposal by Governor Christie’s administration seeks to delay the implementation of the “New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act" by up to one year. The request for a 6-12 month delay was first reported this week in the NJ Spotlight. New Jersey became the 14th US state to legalize medical marijuana on January 18, 2010. The law is scheduled to take effect in July. The bill, originally introduced in 2005 by Senator Nicholas Scutari (D-Linden), saw broad bi-partisan support when it eventually passed. It was reported that senior staff in Governor Christie's office asked for the delay because they feared the complexities of developing a business model for medical cannabis distribution. Ken Wolski, RN, Executive Director of the Coalition for Medical Marijuana--New Jersey, Inc. (CMMNJ) said, “There must be no delay in implementing this law. Patients are suffering now, and to tell them they must continue to suffer for another year because of the bureaucrats in Trenton is unacceptable.”

Advocates noted that with any delay to the program many terminally ill patients would not live to find relief with legal medical marijuana. Hospice and Palliative Care networks are some of the strongest supporters of the medical cannabis law. Wolski continued, “Marijuana is recognized as medicine in New Jersey and patients deserve timely access to it. The recent trial and conviction of MS patient John Wilson in Somerville amply proves that patients desperately need regulated access to marijuana that is legal in the eyes of police, prosecutors, judges and juries around the state.”

The new law removes penalties for the possession, and use of marijuana when a New Jersey licensed physician recommends it for one of the qualifying medical conditions. These conditions include cancer, AIDS, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, etc. Patients will be issued ID cards in a program run by the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS). The marijuana will be obtained from Alternative Treatment Centers that will be licensed and regulated by the state. Of the 14 medical marijuana states, only the Garden State currently prohibits patients from cultivating their own medical marijuana in the safety of their homes.

Wolski noted that in a February 2010 letter to DHSS Director Joe Eldridge, CMMNJ offered free, expert advice in the development of regulations to implement the New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana law. Thus far, DHSS has not requested any information from CMMNJ. CMMNJ was formed in 2003, incorporated in New Jersey and is recognized as a 501(c)(3) by the federal government. CMMNJ is the only statewide organization solely dedicated to providing education and information about safe and legal access to medical marijuana, and it has closely followed the law’s evolution and patients’ concerns. CMMNJ’s Board of Directors includes health care professionals, attorneys and potential patients with over 50 years of combined experience directly related to medical marijuana. CMMNJ is uniquely qualified to assist in developing effective regulations for New Jersey. Patients and advocates at CMMNJ welcome a dialogue with DHSS and the Christie Administration to discuss the best plan to implement the law.

Ken Wolski, RN, MPA, Executive Director, Coalition for Medical Marijuana--New Jersey, Inc.
219 Woodside Ave., Trenton, NJ 08618


  1. Wow really. How hard could the logistics be. You take the logistics, of the states and countries that are doing this already, and use What works. These people are in office for us. COMON!

  2. PEOPLE ARE SICK AND DIEING. Why make them suffer more than they are already.

  3. why cant we just implement laws that are similar to a state that already has them? is a patients pain here different then a patients pain somewhere else? get on the ball christie

  4. Christie you don't care about the sick and dying you should be ashamed of yourself... You and the dhss couldve gotten expert advise from other states to get this up and running but your selfish and inconsiderate.. The department of health is more ridiculous .... You all need to wake up and help the people for once and not make them suffer..... I have ms and I only wish the shoe was on the other foot so you could see how it feels..... Christie how could you sleep at night???? Wake up n smell the hydro........

  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  6. I have mutiple disc fusions in my lower back and finely have felt that the state was moving along pretty good with the new law.... Christie, don't push this back any longer. Use what works from the other states that are currently working with MML.

  7. well...cali has made 100 million in taxes from mmj i wonder... if we apply those same laws here could we somehow someway give some teachers their jobs back? please be aware christie if this doesnt go well mmj patients will secure you not getting another term. now go pick ur kids up from private school jerk