Monday, February 28, 2011

Charges dropped against NJ medical marijuana patient; Christie’s broken promise

The Coalition for Medical Marijuana New Jersey (CMMNJ)

CONTACT: 609 394 2137,

Charges dropped against NJ medical marijuana patient; Christie’s broken promise

Following the prosecutor’s recommendation a judge has dismissed minor marijuana possession charges against a resident waiting to register for the medical cannabis program. David Barnes has his doctor’s support in explaining to law enforcement that his cannabis use was for legitimate medical purposes. Authorities agreed to put the case on hold nearly one year ago so that Barnes could register.

But the special ID cards have not been issued because of continued delays in implementing the compassionate use law. In September 2010 Barnes attended a town hall meeting with Governor Chris Christie to try to find out when he could resolve his case.

Barnes: “I come here today to make a request of you…it’s an either/or request: either A) Require the Department of Health and Senior Services to issue the patient registry cards on October 1st or October 15th, which is the end of the delay that the Legislature gave them 3 months ago. Or barring that I’d like to see an Executive Order come out of your office barring the prosecution of people like me; when I leave my house I carry letters from my doctors attesting to the fact that I am a qualified patient under the NJ compassionate use law.”

Governor Christie’s reply: “Thank you first of all really for the cogent and respectful way you presented the issue. Um, fact is that in October I think we’re going to be ready to do what you’re talking about.”

Christie went on to explain the delays already holding up the program last fall but then added: “I said during the campaign that I favored people being able to use marijuana for a legitimate medical purpose …and that’s what I want to make sure is available…that the compassionate use is really a compassionate use. So I think you can tell the judge when you see him that you’ll have your card in October. So give us the deference we need for the statutes and you should be able to get those charges dismissed…and lastly I wish you the best in terms of your health because that’s what all this is about.”

NJN captured the entire exchange between David Barnes and Chris Christie, the video can be seen on YouTube:

As of Feb 28, 2011 not a single patient has been registered for the medical marijuana program in New Jersey.

Barnes reported to the Coalition for Medical Marijuana New Jersey (CMMNJ) that his charges were dismissed last week.

“Justice was truly served by the prosecutor and the judge, who agreed that it did not serve the interests of the State or the ends of justice to continue prosecuting a qualified patient, while policy suffers delay at the hands of politics in Trenton,” he said in an email yesterday.

Allan Marain Esq. of New Brunswick, attorney for Mr. Barnes, issued this statement today.

“I lament that David had to be arrested and endure this legal nightmare. During his gubernatorial campaign Chris Christie stated that he supported medical marijuana. It was that statement of support that helped him become governor. Now, comfortably in office, he turns a deaf ear to the sick and the dying while hypocritically continuing to mouth his support.”


  1. I hope you all vote out your Christie at the earliest possible chance and wish you all the best from Colorado where today "they" are trying to eliminate being able to purchase/produce medicated edibles. It's a frigging never ending fight.

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