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Gov. Chris Christie Supports N.J. Medical Marijuana Law But Wants To Delay


Nug of the Month: Aug 2008
Gov. Chris Christie believes New Jersey's medical marijuana law "is very good as written,'' but he wants to delay implementation "so we can do it the right way,'' his spokesman said today.

The law former Gov. Jon Corzine enacted on his last day in office Jan. 18 says the program must begin within six months, but supporters expect a roll out in the fall because the rule-making process is so time consuming.

But Christie's spokesman Michael Drewniak said the governor's counsel is seeking a postponement until January or July 2011, to sort out the many legal and logistical questions.

"I think the governor is supportive. The law is very good as written,'' Drewniak said. "This is not delay for delay's sake, as I have heard suggested by some political remarks. We are going to do it the right way,'' he added, citing the free-for-all reputation of the law in California, where reports say crime is on the rise.

On the campaign trail last year, Christie said he supported allowing seriously ill people to use marijuana to ease their suffering but feared the pending bill was too lax. Upon reviewing the bill that ultimately passed, Christie does not plan to make any changes, Drewniak said.

Drewniak made the comments following Health and Senior Services Commissioner Poonam Alaigh's appearance before the Senate health committee in Trenton to discuss her priorities for the year.

Citing the Christie administration's repeated requests for more time to roll out the program, Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee Chairwoman Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergen) asked Alaigh what was holding up progress.

"I understand this Governor has some questions but I would like to point out to everybody, including the governor, this is the law,'' Weinberg said.

Alaigh explained New Jersey passed the most comprehensive law compared to the other 13 states that legalized marijuana for medical use, and because of that, the process of deciding how and by whom the plants will be grown and sold, designing a patient registry, and educating physicians and law enforcement officers is a complex task.

"At this point, we are still working internally. I don't have a time frame for you but all I can say is it is a top priority,'' Alaigh said.

NewsHawk: Ganjarden: 420 MAGAZINE
Source: NJ.com
Author: Susan K. Livio
Contact: NJ.com
Copyright: 2010 New Jersey On-Line LLC.
Website: Gov. Chris Christie supports N.J. medical marijuana law but wants to delay implementation
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