No Certainty for Medical Marijuana in New Jersey

Map of New Jersey (source: NationalAtlas.gov)

Today marked the deadline for those wishing to distribute medical marijuana in the state of New Jersey, but questions over the ridiculously stringent regulations imposed by Governor Chris Christie have left many scratching their heads.

Nevertheless, the state is moving forward with its deadline for prospective dealers to apply to legally grow and sell medical marijuana, but prospective licensees and advocates say the issue is complicated by the rules and regulations being set up. In fact, they claim the state proposed rules are so restrictive that their operations might not be viable.

Professional watch-me-scream-on YouTube and occasional Governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie, has made access to medical marijuana for sickly patients strenuous and stringent. For example, he has severely weakened the medical marijuana law signed by his predecessor — including allowing only six legal growing sites and six distribution sites. It seems Christie originally wanted a mere two growers and four distributors.

Even though the governor claims he supports the concept of medical marijuana for patients for some conditions,  he says the law he was given wasn’t tough enough, which is odd considering that  advocates say it’s more restrictive than those in the 13 other states that allow medical marijuana.

In light all of these grey areas and uncertainties, groups are hesitant to apply  because it’s unclear whether the current rules will remain in place in the future. One group has even gone to court to try to get the deadline pushed back.

According to the Coalition for Medical Marijuana in New Jersey, the Department of Health and Senior Services has scheduled a public hearing on the proposed medical marijuana regulations between 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. on Monday, March 7, 2011 at the following address:

New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services

First Floor Auditorium

Health and Agriculture Building

369 South Warren Street (at Market Street )

Trenton, New Jersey 08608

Hopefully deliberations will result in a consensus that’s friendly to both growers and patients, as the current regulations are strangling growers and depriving sickly patients of much needed relief.

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