Search Results: star-ledger (16)

Robert Sciarrino/The Star-Ledger
John Ray Wilson was sentenced to five years in prison for growing marijuana to treat his multiple sclerosis. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Wednesday night said Wilson belongs in prison and even called his MS diagnosis — which is backed by medical records — into question

​Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey on Wednesday night showed where his heart really is. Christie said he will not grant clemency for John Ray Wilson, a Somerset County man serving a barbaric five-year prison sentence for growing marijuana in his back yard to treat his multiple sclerosis. The governor even went so far as to call Wilson’s MS diagnosis — backed up by medical records — into question.

The Republican governor was unmoved by the fact the Wilson suffers from multiple sclerosis and said he was growing the herb to control the debilitating symptoms of his disease, reports Susan K. Livio at Ironically, since Wilson’s arrest, the New Jersey Legislature legalized medical marijuana in the Garden State with a law which was signed by Gov. Christie’s predecessor on his last day in office.

Robert Sciarrino/The Star-Ledger
Multiple sclerosis patient John Ray Wilson is led out of Superior Court after being sentenced to five years in prison for growing 17 marijuana plants behind his house to treat his symptoms

​New Jersey multiple sclerosis patient John Ray Wilson is getting ready to go back to prison. Wilson will resume his sentence after the state Supreme Court on January 20 refused to hear his appeal, according to his lawyer, William Buckman.

The Appellate Court decision that the Supreme Court let stand is “wrongheaded and a vicious travesty,” Buckman said, reports the Coalition for Medical Marijuana – New Jersey (CMMNJ).
Wilson was arrested in August 2008 and charged with “manufacturing” 17 marijuana plants that he said he used to treat his MS. He faced up to 20 years in state prison.

Darren Richardson
An exterior view of Darren Richardson’s BMW after cops pried it apart looking for marijuana

​Sometimes they have to destroy your car in order to save you from weed that isn’t even there. New Jersey police caused more than $12,000 worth of damage to a BMW 325i, tearing the vehicle apart in a frenzied search for marijuana. After tearing off the dash, doors, seats and even prying up the exterior body panels, they didn’t find so much as a roach.

The impotently frustrated Pompton Lake cops impounded Darren Richardson’s 2004 3-series Beamer after claiming they smelled “a strong odor of marijuana” during a routine traffic stop, reports Wes Siler of Jalopnik.
When Richardson’s car was returned — days later — he found the dash cut apart, the seats slashed, the console pried open and the bumpers and other body parts pulled off the vehicle. His insurance company, GEICO, estimated the damages at $12,636.42, more than he’d paid for the car — which was designated a total loss.

The Weed Blog

​Almost two years after the law was passed, New Jersey lawmakers finally announced last week that the state’s medical marijuana program — the most restrictive medicinal cannabis law in the United States — would be fully functional sometime in 2012.

Gov. Chris Christie had issued a surprise announcement in July that the state would go forward with its often-stalled medical marijuana program, reports John Farley at Thirteen.
The Garden State’s medicinal cannabis program has been in transition for months now. In 2010, the State Senate passed the Compassionate Care Act, which required the state to license six medical marijuana dispensaries.
But even though an overwhelming 86 percent of New Jersey voters support medicinal cananbis, Christie put the program on hold, seeking assurance from federal officials that state marijuana workers and doctors would not be prosecuted, reported the Star-Ledger.

Photo: Robert Sciarrino/The Star-Ledger
Multiple sclerosis patient John Ray Wilson is handcuffed after being sentenced to five years in prison for “manufacturing and drug possession”

​A New Jersey multiple sclerosis patient appears to be headed to prison for growing 17 marijuana plants behind his home.

John Ray Wilson said the plants were for medicinal use, and New Jersey — since Wilson’s arrest — has legalized medical marijuana. But patients in the Garden State still aren’t allowed to grow their own medicine.
Wilson was acquitted of maintaining or operating a “drug-production facility,” which could have gotten him 20 years behind bars, but was found guilty of manufacturing and possessing marijuana and sentenced to five years in prison.

Photo: ImageShack
Patients in New Jersey have waited more than a year since their medical marijuana law passed, yet still have no safe access

​Dozens of medical marijuana patients and advocates vented their frustrations on Monday over New Jersey’s proposed strict rules for the state’s long-delayed medical marijuana program, signed into law more than a year ago by outgoing then-Gov. Jon Corzine.

“You’re getting hammered up there, aren’t ya?” Crohn’s disease patient Stephen Cuspilich of Southampton, N.J., asked state health department officials, reports Susan K. Livio at The officials were holding a legally required hearing on the proposed rules from the administration of Republican Gov. Chris Christie, expected to take effect this summer.
The Christie Administration has repeatedly pushed back implementation of the law, supposedly to “craft rules” for the program. Without the rules in place, patients have no legal access to marijuana. But the proposed rules are far too restrictive, according to many patients and advocates.

Photo: Patti Sapone/The Star-Ledger
Tuan Dang, the alleged leader, accused of growing marijuana in New Jersey’s biggest cultivation bust ever.

​The suspected leader and two cohorts in a marijuana trafficking organization have been indicted on charges stemming from the largest pot bust in New Jersey history.

The three are accused of growing an estimated $10 million worth of cannabis in five homes in Middlesex, Monmouth and Ocean counties, reports Charles Webster at
Tuan Dang, 36, of Port Monmouth is charged with leading a marijuana trafficking network, which carries a mandatory life sentence in New Jersey, according to Attorney General Paula Dow. He is being held on $1 million bail, reports Tom Haydon at the New Jersey Star-Ledger.

Graphic: Cafe Press

​The New Jersey Health Department on Wednesday night released 97 pages of rules for what patients, advocates and lawmakers are describing as one of the most restrictive medical marijuana programs in the country.

In an extreme bonehead move, the state limited the potency of cannabis to just 10 percent THC, according to the rules. This means that New Jersey medical marijuana patients must deal with marijuana that is only half the potency of top-shelf medical cannabis in other states.

Patients must have one of nine diseases or conditions, and their authorizing doctors must have been treating them for at least a year or have seen them four times, and be willing to certify that traditional forms of relief have failed, reports Susan K. Livio of

Graphic: Clipart ETC

​The administration of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will get an extension — until January 2011 — to roll out the Garden State’s medical marijuana program, already the most restrictive in the nation, according to the state senator who sponsored the law.

Sen. Nicholas Scutari (D-Union) also said is “considering” another request to change the law to allow just one centralized marijuana growing operation that would supply the six “alternative treatment centers” (dispensaries) that would sell cannabis to patients, reports Susan K. Livio at
“They are looking at one secure location where the product is grown so you know what you are producing,” Scutari said.
According to the Christie Administration, Rutgers University’s agricultural center should grow the marijuana, and hospitals should dispense it under the state’s medical marijuana program, according to three people brief on the proposal, Livio reports.

Photo: AC Weekly

​New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has been asking for more time to implement the state’s new medical marijuana law, and now it appears the bill’s chief sponsor, state Senator Nicholas Scutari, is going to give it to him.

Back in January, New Jersey became the 14th state to legalize marijuana for medical uses. A last-minute change to the legislation — as part of a deal which made the law more restrictive in terms of who qualifies for medical marijuana, and how much they can get each month — speeded up the timeline for implementation from one year to six months after it was signed into law, reports Jonathan Valania at the Philadelphia Weekly.
As passed, the law directs the state Health Department to devise rules by July 1 that would control the cultivation and distribution of medical marijuana. After a 60-day comment period, the state would then have until November to open the first six nonprofit marijuana dispensaries.
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