After New Jersey Governor Chris Christie caught his breath from the walk to the podium to give his 2nd-term inauguration speech on Tuesday, he made a lot of headlines by vowing to “end the failed war on drugs”.
His plan, an inevitable failure in its own right like so many others’ before him, is to treat “addiction” with treatment, rather than incarceration. Of course, he makes no mention of those already unfairly incarcerated in New Jersey on trumped up drug charges, and how to…ahem… balance those scales. As Jacob Sullum writes for Forbes, why should otherwise law-abiding citizens be forced into a situation where they may be forced to decide between rehabilitation and incarceration?
Especially in the case of New Jersey’s thousands of legal medical marijuana patients, many of whom have yet to see the safe access that they were promised after making it through a highly dysfunctional registration process, only to be given a total of three dispensaries in the entire state in the five years since the law has been on the books.
3 shops, total.
It’s really no surprise, however, if you have followed our coverage of Gov. Christie’s frustrating blend of laziness, ignorance, and cruelty on the issue of medical marijuana in the Garden State.
Suffering patients, young and old, have spent years waiting for what amounts to basic human rights, all while the guv parties with Bon Jovi. Seriously.
They ask for safe access, he makes marijuana the only taxed medication in the state.
Hell, the very last bill he had come across his desk at the end of his first full term as Governor contained language that would ensure that the state’s medical marijuana patients would remain eligible for organ transplants.
He vetoed it. Why? Because he is an asshole, that’s why.
He has been opposed to the state’s medical marijuana laws from the first day he took office, if for no other reason than the fact that it was passed by his political “rival”, former Democratic Governor Jon Corzine.
What? You think that sounds like a conspiracy theory? Just look at the George Washington Bridge controversy he is currently drowning in. The man is a wanna-be movie mobster who fails to realize that the consequences of his actions (or lack thereof) do not just reset when the credits roll.
Finally, in an attempt to hold the Christie Administration and the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services accountable for their lack of progress in getting the required number of dispensaries up and running, a class action suit has been filed against the state, alleging that the procedure to register as a patient is too burdensome, and that the state itself may be complicit in intentionally delaying the process.
Among the plaintiff’s list of demands, they asked that a neutral third-party be brought in to oversee the expediting of the long overdue expansion of the state’s hamstrung medical weed program. The judge in the case scoffed at most of the accusations and tossed out the majority of the plaintiff’s complaints, including the request for a neutral observer, but cautiously conceded that the department had failed to report on the status of the unopened dispensaries in a timely manner.
The court’s ruling, then, is that New Jersey state officials have 45 days to prepare a status report on the progress, or lack thereof, when it comes to opening a mere three more dispensaries.
“As discussed in our opinion, other than its omission of required progress reports, we do not agree DOH [Department of Health] has ignored its responsibilities or refused to comply with the legislative mandate to implement the MMP [Medicinal Medical Marijuana program],” Judge Marie Lithotz wrote. “The need for a third-party monitor is unfounded.”
And so, with no neutral observer to review the report, it is scheduled to land on the crumb-covered desk of the same scandalous Governor who has been sabotaging the law from the beginning.