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

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 thoughts

  1. 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.

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  3. 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. this is crazy just make it legal don’t these fool get it people will smoke this plant no matter what,there was this pharmer named goat whose mom i did smoke a bowl with and now this pharmer named goat better call me dad before i spank him with a plastic spoon,whoa there was way more than 10% in the bud im smokeing Goat at pharmer is a dick and a little one at that,thank you normal for being here !

  5. Christie can now save face with all his uber-conservative Republicans by claiming that he TRIED to protect us all from the devil’s weed so that he may remain in their good grace and the money will continue to flow.

  6. I like how they want the thc content to be “capped” at 10%
    worst, how they want “only 10 strains”

    if they don’t have a strain for my specific ailment, I’ll just have to get fucked?

    ????

    worst even, the fact that “every three months” your doctor MUST try to get you off thoses meds.

    why isn’t my practitionner trying to get me off concerta and effexor?

    bullshit!

  7. >Clad, post #15

    It was actually going to be capped at 6 strains, not 10.

    The “weening patients off” clause is just sickening. Well, actually it’s just sickening when applied to MMJ. In a heartbeat I would vote for any legislation that requires doctors to ween patients off of oxys, xanax, and ANY SSRI drugs to be completely blunt.

    http://www.erowid.org/pharms/alprazolam/alprazolam_basics.shtml
    Scroll down to the “Addiction Potential” section. I’m sorry, but any “medication” that can F’ing KILL YOU when coming off of seriously needs to be reconsidered. I’m sure that some people genuinely need to be prescribed Xanax but I feel that there must be a large portion of them who would be better off with MMJ for whatever their ailment may be.

  8. Fuck! I call that fascism.Hitler is alive in NJ
    Restrict the # of strains available to medical patient.Might as well euthanize all the med pot users in that state

  9. How do you wean someone off a non addicting substance? People need to be weaned off the bullshit the Gov. is shoveling about Cannabis!

  10. My dear brethren,

    We can look at this one of two ways.
    We can wine and beg – oh please give us back our right to cannabis.
    We can lay it on them – who the hell said you could take it away from us in the first place. Put it back!!!
    It’s all a matter of attitude. [+ or -].

  11. The greatest of all injustice is that which goes under the name of law; and of all sorts of tyranny the forcing the letter of the law against the equity is the most insupportable.
    – Sir Roger L’ Estrange

  12. A shocking crime was committed on the unscrupulous initiative of few individuals, with the blessing of more, and amid the passive acquiescence of all. Tacitus

  13. At least their state has medical marijuana regulations. It really sucks for people who live in non medical states to have to worry about the law.

    Good thing I’m moving to Colorado where cannabis is legal and widely accepted.

  14. I agree with T. Sex. MMJ is a GREAT medication for anxiety issues. (Some say it makes their anxiety worse, but for me and many others that I know, it has helped us. To each their own, at least give it a try.) It would be better to ween patients off benzos and the like, and keep them on a safe alternative that isn’t physically addictive, cannabis.

  15. New Jersey Politicians Listen Up: The people of NJ voted for a MMJ Program. I have a cannabis clinic in CA. I have 56-strains, edibles & concentrates. California is a MODEL of what you should do. You cannot restrict the THC percentage. That means if you smoke weaker cannabis you will have to smoke more to get medicated. A higher CBN count is better for pain however it’s THC that helps anxiety & insomnia. That’s bad for your lungs except if you vaporize. Many cancer patients cannot handle it, so edibles make more sense. If they can’t ingest the cannabis edibles(anexoria, throat cancers, stomach cancers we see it all the time) then tinctures or kif will do. Do the right thing. Listen to the people who voted. Don’t restrict their “SAFE ACCESS” to whatever form or strength of cannabs they need to medicate. Talk to some california cannabis patients & see what is important to them & what their various needs are.

    Don’t restrict who can & cannot grow cannabis & where. That will surely lead to price fixing & an unfair marketplace. Let the cannabis patients grow their own medicine & what they don’t use they can donate it to the non-profit collective & receive monetary compensation for the bud. Be proactive. If you believe a illegal cannabis user won’t buy from their uncle joe or “Buzz” the local illegal weed dealer, eliminating the tax stream your state needs…well then your not in tune with whats happening.

    Trying to get doctors to see cannabis patients every 90-days to persuade the patients to “reduce consumption” is nonsense. If you are going to do that it should be EQUAL ACROSS THE BOARD. Every NJ patient is on prescription medication should have to go to their doctors every 90-so the doctor can talk them out of medication. See how long they hold their public offices. In addition, if Medicaid had to pay for the mostly unnecessary visits, this practice wouldn’t last long. If makes no sense at all UNLESS YOU ARE TRYING TO REDUCE THE RIGHTS OF WHAT WAS VOTED INTO NJ LAW.

    Cannabis patients want their medicine. Lay off & get the program going. Allow for fair competition with regulation. Don’t let the mob pull your strings.

    WE ARE THE ONLY INDUSTRY BEGGING TO BE TAXED.

    That being said, get to work & let a program as we have in california exist in NJ. It works for the patient, doctors & elected officials. California collected over 100-million dollars in 2010.

    We police ourselves in California. We have security guards check ID’s. We have staff that verify doctors recommendations. We wouldn’t dispense medication to anyone who’s not qualified. We produce our own cannabis. We have patient volunteers who donate 100’s of hours processing & curing our bud. We’ve created 13-high paying jobs. We leased 4-properties which would otherwise be vacant due to the economy. Medical Marijuana works well for California qualified patients.

    THE WHEEL IS NOT BROKE SO DON’T TRY TO FIX IT.

    One suggestion is to have a lottery to determine who will operate the dispensaries. If Trenton wants to limit Dispensary permits to lets say 10, have potential dispencary operators put up a small fee to be placed in a lottery. Make it transparent so their will be no “kick backs, perks or bribes.” Let the voters see a fair implementation of a MMJ plan that works for the patients & the community

    Thank You & Good Luck

  16. basically all I want to say is that Governor Christie is trying to set the whole operation up mafia style…

    just total domination over everything.

    You would think once a state recognizes the medical benefits of marijuana, it would have to naturally decriminalize possession of small amounts of bud because there is obviously no harm.

    NOT in NJ. they still want to lock some people up, while selling to other people.

    If you look at the drug laws for neighboring Pennsylvania and New York, there are not as bad… and really its kinda nuts… you can be in philly where the drug is decriminalized, then cross the bridge into Camden and face jail time and 1000 fine for 56 grams or less, and if you keep driving through Newark into New York, the possession of one once is a $100 ticket. All of this one hour apart from each other. The majority of people who work in philly or nyc live just outside of those cities in Jersey.

    If the governor hard his way, he would prolly have COPS delivering the drug. Cause god forbid anyone grow their own weed at no cost and no harm done. Christie would love if every gram of weed was individually wrapped and serial coded. If he doesn’t have full control of the program he will blackball it and give you the same old speech about crime with all the fraternal order police standing behind him dictating state policy in their private meetings and ignoring state legislation.

  17. Consrevatives are thke biggest hypocrites, they fight against MM while they do nothing about the most dangerous drug on the planet. But then drinking is perfectly fine, bullshit. Christy is inhuman, while I suffer from several illnesses that could be helped by pot, he throws up roadblocks everywhere he can. The first part of the bill they tossed was self production. The greedy bastards can’t stand the thought of something worth billions being grown by people at home to use themselves in their own homes. Like people seeing multiple doctors a month, and spending 3 or 4 hundred dollars or more a month on mess can afford to buy MM at greatly inflated prices. Pot is by nature supposed to be easy produce or cheap to buy. Greed is destroying America, this is just another manifestation of that…

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