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No More Delays for Medical Marijuana Law

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We get it already – Gov. Chris Christie doesn't like the state's legalization of medical marijuana.

That's abundantly clear at this point, considering the governor continues to maneuver at every turn to block implementation of the law. He's challenged the number and selection of distribution centers and growers, played around with the required strength of the drug and other provisions, and now says he wants assurances from the federal government that those involved in the program will not be prosecuted for that involvement.

The likelihood of any response from the federal government reaching a level of "assurance" that would satisfy Christie is remote – and the governor undoubtedly knows that. The feds aren't going to guarantee anything, even though it is not uncommon for state laws to conflict with federal laws. Any forthcoming statement from authorities will almost certainly be deemed by Christie as insufficient. And then what?

Christie's critics say this is all about appeasing his Republican right-wing support, denying pain relief to chronically ill patients because, well, marijuana is an evil thing. We'd have to agree with those critics because, frankly, Christie is typically much too sharp to have handled the law's implementation in this way unless he wanted to scuttle it all along.

Consider, for instance, this latest requirement for a federal guarantee. Isn't that something Christie – who is a former federal prosecutor, after all – would have been pursuing much sooner than this if it were so vital to implementation? The state attorney general reportedly has been waiting for a response from the feds since April; if Christie were sincere about working this out, that time frame should be April of last year, or some other point far more distant than a couple of months ago.

During his gubernatorial campaign, Christie expressed support for the concept of legalizing medical marijuana, but said the law wasn't strict enough. He said he didn't want New Jersey's law to become widely abused as it has been in California, for example.

That was a reasonable concern, although his characterization failed to note more successful implementations in many other states. But Christie's actions regarding the law since haven't been those of a governor who genuinely cared about addressing those concerns and making the law work. Instead, he has thrown new obstacles into the mix piecemeal, forcing supporters to overcome those obstacles only to find that Christie has introduced another new caveat or decided to place greater emphasis on another supposed deficiency.

The goal, it appears, is to delay, delay, delay, perhaps forever, or at least as long as Christie has political mileage to gain from the postponement.

It's time for Christie to put some basic compassion for patients who can benefit from medical marijuana ahead of his own self-interest, and allow the law to start providing the relief it is designed to provide.

News Hawk- Jacob Ebel 420 MAGAZINE
Source: mycentraljersey.com
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Copyright: MyCentralJersey.com
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