N.J. Medical Marijuana Rules Called “Kafkaesque” By Advocates


Graphic: Baristanet

​New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie claims he’s trying to ensure that medical marijuana will be used only by approved patients, and “won’t become as easily accessible for recreational use in the Garden State as it has in California and Colorado.”

But on Monday, state senators, led by Sen. Nick Scutari, will vote on a resolution which would require the Department of Health and Senior Services to nullify Gov. Christie’s proposed rules and make the regulations more patient-friendly.

None of the governor’s concerns about other states’ leniency regarding medical marijuana have anything to do with New Jersey’s law, according to registered nurse Ken Wolski, executive director of the Coalition for Medical Marijuana New Jersey (CMMNJ).
“We think he’s absolutely wrong in comparing the programs,” Wolski told Erika Bleiberg of Baristanet. “The law itself has safeguards to protect New Jersey from the excesses that occur in California and Colorado.”

Photo: CMMNJ
Ken Wolski, CMMNJ: “It’s Kafkaesque. There are scores of pages regarding treatment centers that will make it difficult and very expensive for them to even apply, let alone operate.”

​Wolski believes that the strict regulations demanded by Gov. Christie will stop the medical marijuana program from working, and will prohibit centers from even getting up and running.
“It’s Kafkaesque,” Wolski said. “There are scores of pages regarding treatment centers that will make it difficult and very expensive for them to even apply, let alone operate.”
“We think the law will pass today, and have been told that the Senate has enough votes,” Wolski said of the measure, which would defy Gov. Christie’s restrictive interpretation of New Jersey’s medical marijuana program.
Passage would give the Department of Health 30 days to rewrite the rules.
“We hope the DOH will come out with regulations consistent with the law,” Wolski said. “If not, there will be legitimately qualified patients suffering unnecessarily for years to come.”
Among the problematic regulations proposed by Gov. Christie include one that would limit the THC level of medical marijuana to only 10 percent — half the potency typically found in other medical marijuana states — and prohibit dispensaries from offering delivery services.
Supporters say home delivery is key to making sure everyone, including patients with limited mobility, have safe access to medical marijuana, reports Lisa Fleisher at The Wall Street Journal.
Democrats are unhappy with the Christie administration’s regulations to implement the medical marijuana program, saying the additional rules make the law fall well short of its intentions. The law was already described as “the most restrictive medical marijuana law in the country,” even before Gov. Christie started fucking with it.
The New Jersey Assembly has already passed a resolution to repeal Gov. Christie’s medical marijuana regulations, with the Senate is expected to follow suit Monday. 
Most observers estimate that the soonest that legal marijuana will be available for medicinal use in New Jersey is July 2011, reports The State Column.