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

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

[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 thoughts

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

  5. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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.

  11. Time for Chris the Antichristi to be voted out of office along with his corrupt cronies!

    Memo to Antichristi: the United States is not a monarchy where you sit as king lording it over the people.

  12. How do you ween someone off something that isn’t addicting? Sounds like the New Jersey politicians need to be weened off their “Reefer Madness” addiction what a bunch of knotheads.

  13. It’s interesting how irrational fear of this plant overrides fact when the laws are drawn up. Maybe future efforts at legalization could include a simple statement of fact about marijuana’s lack of toxicity and it’s impressive safety profile compared to legal substances.

    Let our already accepted controls for the more harmful substances be the model for marijuana regulation. There is no need to reinvent the wheel or have even more severe restrictions for the safer substance.

  14. Doctors all over the country should be focusing on weaning patients off of pills, not marijuana. To the “drug” that people actually get addicted too. This is all ridiculous, and I can’t wait for everyone who doesn’t believe that marijuana should be legal, to one day see how leagalizing it one, doesnt effect them in a negative way, and two, see how much of a positive impact the production and selling of MJ has. WE CAN GET THIS COUNTRY OUT OF DEBT. ( EASILY )

  15. I’m sorry for the patients in that state that are waiting for the “criminal” sign to be taken off their backs. It’s hard enough coping with serious illnesses without having to hide like fucking rats.

    Christie is the criminal here.

  16. As a potential MM patient, I find this all disturbing. I plan to visit my son in California early next year and stay for a few months to see if MM can replace my Oxycotin and the other 3 pain killers I get from my local pharmacy.
    It makes me angry when I read how our politicians and fellow citizens want to regulate MM farmers and sellers. I often wondered if a new supermarket wanted to open up, would the community be upset that tobacco and alcohol would be sold within one mile of a school. Would a new Pharmacy generate the same outrage that a new MM club does? Why do our newspapers describe a non-toxic plant as a drug? Why call farmers drug manufacturers? Why live in the United States?

  17. Zero I thought we were governing ourselves? By the people, of the people, for the people. Isn’t that the way it goes? I know, just being funny, and failing miserably. Bradson it is not Irrational Fear, it’s GREED that keeps cannabis illegal. The grass roots MMJ people in Cal. worked very hard to kill the legalization of cannabis for everyone over 21yrs. it was greeeeeeeeed that made them do it. I find it pathetic that they want to wean people off of a drug that has NEVER killed anybody by overdose in 5,000yrs of recorded history, and is NOT physicaly addictive, but the official most lethal drug in the country,that IS physicaly addictive, alcohol, they do nothing. OH, I’m sorry, MONEY,MONEY,MONEY, MONNNNEY, KEEP YOUR HANDS OFF OF MY STASH.. $209,900,000,000.oo a year in cancer treatment money. I don’t know how much money alcohol makes a year it appears to be 115.9 BILLION. How many dollars cannabis sales generate in the US is a rather hard figure to nail down. DUH it’s illegal. The best estimate I found was $11 BILLION. It’s all money now, nobody cares if cannabis can get you high, it’s all done for the MONEY.

  18. It’s the fault of New Jerseyians for electing this Governor . Look , out here in Cali. if your opposed to medical marijuana your chances are slim to none you’ll be elected . Whitman , Cooley and a local blubber bellied politician named Ron Kuhnel who was limiting the amount of dispensaries in Humboldt County all got defeated .
    Yesterday’s Los Angeles Times stated , Harris a supporter of medical marijuana is widening her lead against Cooley in her race for California Attorney General making a very realistic
    comeback against the drunken Cooley .It’s now appearing increasingly difficult for her rival . L.A. County District Attorney , Steve blubber lips Cooley to win . As of Tuesday Evening she led by 31,000 votes .
    The fact is that about 350,000 of the remaining ballots are in counties Harris already carried on election day .

  19. ” Wean them off the Drug “….. Hee He tee hee he Ha ha Ho ho Hee He Ha Ha Ho tee Hee he

    Pharmacies and the drugs they encourage and sell are a real problem . Don’t believe me ?
    check out another armed robbery at a drugstore .

  20. I really just getting sick of america. there isnt a single reason marijuana should be illegal. I get so angry every time i think about it. Keeping it illegal just create more problems and more danger for the rest of us. I have to deal with the shady guy whose dealing the stuff and if im caught im thrown in jail?! WTF, its ridiculous, WHO AM I HURTING?!!

  21. What part of telling the truth does the gov not get?

    Respectfully – I hope he gets a disabling diseae and has to deal with the ignorance that he is dishing out.

  22. @ zero: we already govern our selfs the government needs us. lets all remember that. If we all said fuck it and the whole world went on “strike” the reality would set in who is really in control.

    “What would we do if we were told by authorities we had to raise all our food ?”
    I would be more concerned with,what will we do when Authorities tell us we can NO LONGER raise our own food or medicinal herbs.

  24. 18 Ironman

    Hemp seed is “survival seed.” It’s our food if we need to use it to survive. It’s also our medicine for survival.

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