Christie Announces Less Restrictive MMJ Plan
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Christie Announces Less Restrictive MMJ Plan
Posted by CN Staff on December 04, 2010 at 07:02:04 PT
By Maya Rao, Inquirer Staff Writer
Source: Philadelphia Inquirer
Trenton -- Patients could more easily qualify for medical marijuana and buy the drug from a larger number of distribution centers under a deal announced Friday by Gov. Christie, whose administration has fielded criticism for drafting rules considered too restrictive.But the compromise in New Jersey's medical marijuana program - signed into law in January and expected to be operating by next summer - failed to address a number of patient advocates' concerns. It also was reached without Sen. Nicholas Scutari (D., Union), chief sponsor of a resolution directing the Christie administration to rewrite the rules.
That resolution passed the lower house on Nov. 22, but its main sponsor there, Assemblyman Reed Gusciora (D., Mercer), said at a news conference with Christie politics had been pushed aside "to focus on the truly important matter at hand, and that's the patient's need."After calling for just two growers and four treatment centers, Christie said Friday he supported allowing six centers to grow and distribute the drug.In another compromise, the governor also said the regulations would no longer require doctors who recommend marijuana for patients to certify that all conventional treatments had failed. The law had required that provision only for several conditions, such as glaucoma.Patient advocates and some lawmakers have accused the Department of Health and Senior Services of proposing regulations more conservative than the law, which made New Jersey the 14th state in the nation to allow medical marijuana. The Christie administration has said it wants to restrict abuses of the law.Gusciora, an architect of the legislation, voiced a commitment to monitoring the implementation of the program and making changes later if needed, but said the process would drag out even further without compromises."While I hear the advocates loud and clear, this is the way to get the program up and running in as soon a time as possible," he said.The deal keeps intact a controversial provision capping the level of THC in medical marijuana at 10 percent, which advocates say is too weak and could force patients to buy the drug illegally.The Senate still could scuttle the deal by approving the resolution that throws out the regulations drafted by the Christie administration. Action on the measure was postponed last week after supporters narrowly failed to get enough votes.Christie said he had not received cooperation from Scutari and would no longer wait as the lawmaker played "political games while patients were waiting to get medical treatment."The senator, who was out of town Friday, said in a written statement, "I'm encouraged to hear the governor has decided to follow the legislative intent of the medical marijuana law, but I am waiting to see the revised regulations in writing before I make any decisions on how to move forward."Ken Wolski, executive director of the Coalition for Medical Marijuana in New Jersey, said that he was not convinced the state had a workable program and that the rules were still too burdensome. He voiced support for passage of the Senate resolution to ensure regulations "that are consistent with the law."Roseanne Scotti, director of the New Jersey chapter of the Drug Policy Alliance, voiced concern that access to medical marijuana still would be inconvenient for many people under a third part of the agreement, which removes a provision in the Christie administration's regulations allowing for home delivery.She said she was also disappointed at the cancellation, announced Friday, of a Dec. 6 Statehouse hearing on the medical marijuana regulations."I think it's very unfortunate that the situation has gotten as contentious as it is, because people's lives are hanging in the balance with this issue," Scotti said. "There's very sick people waiting for access."Source: Philadelphia Inquirer, The (PA)Author: Maya Rao, Inquirer Staff WriterPublished: December 4, 2010Copyright: 2010 Philadelphia Newspapers Inc.URL: Inquirer.Letters phillynews.comWebsite:  Medical Marijuana Archives 
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Comment #8 posted by charmed quark on December 05, 2010 at 14:08:06 PT
All the crazy regs are in place
So far. The only difference is the regulations are back to the legislative requirements with six alternative treatment centers, and you don't have to have shown you have tried all treatment modalities before recommending cannabis except for the conditions requiring this in the law. And they agreed to remove home delivery in exchange for two more ATCs!We pointed out that the reason the NIDA Mississippi grown government marijuana is limited to 10% THC is that any more and it jams up their rolling machines. No science whatsoever behind this limit.Totally tired of back room deals. Bring back the sunlight in our legislative process.
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Comment #7 posted by por1 on December 05, 2010 at 06:32:26 PT
ween people off
That shows how ignorent these people are. I ran out once and it wasnt good LOL.I think I may not have fallen asleep so easily.I swore I would never run out again
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Comment #6 posted by DrDunkleosteus on December 04, 2010 at 21:00:01 PT:
Are the doctors still required to try and "ween" the patients off cannabis?I had not heard any more developements in this area...
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on December 04, 2010 at 08:08:16 PT
Related Article From New York Magazine
Medical Marijuana Could Hit The Streets of New Jersey by SpringDecember 4, 2010Trenton -- Jon Corzine signed New Jersey’s medical marijuana law before leaving office in January, and Governor Christie, predictably skeptical of it, has been negotiating the particulars since.URL:
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on December 04, 2010 at 07:51:09 PT
I agree.
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Comment #3 posted by dongenero on December 04, 2010 at 07:43:42 PT
Christie seems like a sociopath
"Christie said he had not received cooperation from Scutari and would no longer wait as the lawmaker played "political games while patients were waiting to get medical treatment."Wow, who knew Christie was such a champion of access to medical marijuana????!! He's such a compassionate humanitarian and supporter of individual liberty!Right..... how stupid does he think people are? How blatantly disingenuous and pandering.
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Comment #2 posted by The GCW on December 04, 2010 at 07:42:25 PT
Welcome a new cannabis activist.
This article exposes why the cannabis movement is gaining support across the country.-0-US NH: Lull Farm Owner Says Arrest Made Him AdvocatePubdate: Thu, 02 Dec 2010
Source: Telegraph, The (Nashua, NH)
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Comment #1 posted by NoCowLevel on December 04, 2010 at 07:30:36 PT
Oh please
I love how Christie is trying to play the hero now."Christie said he had not received cooperation from Scutari and would no longer wait as the lawmaker played "political games while patients were waiting to get medical treatment."If you actually cared about the patients, you wouldn't put apeshit restrictions on a medicine that's substantially less harmful than codeine/vicodin/percocets, all of which are RIDICULOUSLY easy to obtain.
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