Christie, Gusciora Reach Deal on Medical Marijuana

Friday, December 03, 2010

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has announced an agreement with Assemblyman Reed Gusciora over the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes. The deal allows six alternative treatment centers to grow and distribute the drug. Christie had originally wanted four centers to serve as dispensaries and only two to serve as growers. As part of the deal, satellite locations and home delivery of marijuana will not be permitted under the state's program, which is administered by the Department of Health and Senior Services.

Gusciora, a key sponsor of the state's medicinal marijuana law, said he's satisfied with the compromise. "The alternative treatment centers will be able to be fully functional within six months, and anything else could be done down the line with further study by the department," he said.

Earlier this year, New Jersey became the 14th state to legalize the medical use of marijuana for treatment of serious health conditions, including terminal cancer and multiple sclerosis. All treatment with medical marijuana requires certification by the patient's physician through a state registry. For certain conditions, the patient must prove that he or she has tried every other conventional medical treatment for the condition. The law also restricts the amount of marijuana per patient to two ounces each 30-day period.

Doctor Poonam Alaigh, New Jersey's health commissioner, said the new agreement would allow the state to move forward with its timeline to make medical marijuana available by the summer. "As a physician, my primary concern has always been to ensure that the compassionate use of marijuana is really available to those patients who need it and who qualify based on those clinical conditions," she said. Alaigh also noted that a primary component of the law has always been ensuring a strong relationship between doctors and patients, including full medical evaluation, "before they can recommend the use of medicinal marijuana."

"Working together, we have come to an agreement that will prevent further delay to patients who need relief from the symptoms of debilitating illnesses," Christie said in a statement. "At the same time, we are protecting the interests of all residents of the state of New Jersey by preventing some of the abuses we have seen in other states."


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Comments [5]

Kathleen Chippi from Nederland, CO

The title to the article says it all. "Christi, Lawmakers reach deal...."

What about the patients? How do politicians become experts on providing sick Americans with anything, let alone medical grade cannabis? These states are passing mmj so that patients can get access to safe relief through cannabis. Provide them their access. And ask them what they need, because plenty of them are going to require delivery.

Dec. 03 2010 07:43 PM

The price in NJ of medical MJ will be rediculously high if they're going to try to feed the massive demand with that few outlets.

Silly social conservatives don't understand that you can't keep demand low by making it difficult to get when laws that purport to make it IMPOSSIBLE to get and purport to threaten incarceration (prohibition) do NOTHING to quell demand. How will making it easier than that quell demand?

They should want ALL cannabis consumers regulated and watched over by a doctor of some sort, they should be trying to make it as easy and as cheap as possible. Cheap to lower the incentive to enter the market. Currently the incentive is: A free to grow weed sells for more than the price of silver. Until THAT problem is addressed there will always be CRIME.

Dec. 03 2010 06:36 PM
Haywood Jablowmee from Joisey City, NJ

Gov. Christie was a lean, skinny 150- pounds before he started smoking weed.
Then he got the munchies and ate everything in site.
He is now a fat tub of lard heading up towards 300-pounds.
He is so heavy that he can't fit through the Holland Tunnel.
They have to float him across the Hudson.
A Happy Weekend to All!

Dec. 03 2010 05:31 PM
Disgruntled Brain Cancer Patient

Gov. Christie is a a big fat idiot. I have terminal brain cancer. I am not a criminal, nor am I abusing the system. This man is trying to block patients, who really need it, from accessing their medicine. We should be able to grow our own medicine to save money, and have control and say over the process. I will be departed soon, but I pray to God that the next governor of our state will be more intelligent and compassionate than Christie. God bless, and Christie may you rot in hell you inconsiderate piece of ****!

Dec. 03 2010 04:35 PM
Daniel from Newton, NJ

Why doesn't NJ start producing other non-smoking products from cannabis? The US imports billions of dollars of industrial hemp every year, inflaming the national trade's complete hypocrisy to allow people to smoke marijuana while ignoring the other very useful aspects of the cannabis plant.

This is a billion-dollar industry that New Jersey should be starting. The state is losing billions in casino revenue to other states, and it needs to replace that revenue with something else. Industrial hemp products can fill that niche, and lower the US trade deficit.

Dec. 03 2010 04:30 PM

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