N.J. Holds Off On Medical Marijuana Law
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N.J. Holds Off On Medical Marijuana Law
Posted by CN Staff on June 16, 2010 at 13:51:55 PT
By Jonathan Valania 
Source: Philadelphia Weekly
N.J. -- New Jersey has hit a speed bump on the road to medical marijuana. The Christie Administration has been asking for more time to implement the law and PW has learned that the bill's chief sponsor, State Sen. Nicholas Scutari, is going to give it to them.As you may recall, back in January, New Jersey became the 14th in the Union to pass medical marijuana legislation. A last-minute amendment to the legislation—part of a trade-off that made the law more restrictive in terms of who qualifies to receive medical marijuana and how much they were entitled to each month—moved up the timeline for implementation from one year to six months after it was signed into law.
The law calls for the state Health Department to come up with a system of regulations by July 1 that would govern the production and distribution of medical marijuana. After a 60-day comment period, the state would then have until November to get the first six nonprofit medical marijuana dispensaries open for business. However, the Christie Administration has asked for an extension of nine to 12 months, hoping to push back the deadline as far as July 2011, to give Health Department Commissioner Dr. Poonam Alaigh more time to figure out how and where plants will be grown and sold, and by whom. An extension would require the cooperation of the law's chief sponsor—in this case, Sen. Scutari—who would then introduce an amendment to that would have to pass both houses of the Legislature before summer recess, which is just two weeks away.So far, Scutari has remained mum about whether or not he will agree to the extension. But yesterday, during an interview with PW, the senator confirmed that he was willing to give the Christie Administration more time. "I've given it some consideration and I am probably going to give them some additional time, but not [the six to nine months] they are asking for," Scutari tells PW. "I just think it makes sense."When asked if he thought the Christie Administration was asking for an extension in good faith or merely stonewalling the implementation of a law they don't like, Scutari said: "I was not entirely convinced that the administration [was acting in good faith], however, I have just met with the Health Department and I am convinced that they have been doing their homework and I will work with the administration if they can show some progress in getting a patient registry up and running." When asked about the new timeline, Scutari indicated he was leaning towards a 90- to 120-day extension. If the deadline gets pushed back, the soonest that medical marijuana patients could expect to begin receiving their medication would be March 2011, according to Skip Stabile, a legislative aide in Scutari's office.Medical marijuana proponents are threatening legal action if there is any delay. "We have a legal team working on this as we speak," says Anne Davis, executive director of NORML NJ. "We are talking about patients that don't have an extra six months or a year. Some may not be alive that long. I was just meeting with a lung cancer patient last night that wants to participate in the [medical marijuana] program. He is sick right now, he needs medical marijuana right now."Source: Philadelphia Weekly (PA)Author: Jonathan Valania Published: June 15, 2010Copyright: 2010 Philadelphia WeeklyContact: aince philadelphiaweekly.comURL: Medical Marijuana Archives
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on June 18, 2010 at 17:33:39 PT
charmed quark 
I am so very sorry. I knew if Christie was elected that this would happen. That's what Republicans do. 
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Comment #4 posted by charmed quark on June 18, 2010 at 16:34:12 PT
Beginning of the end
This will result in endless delays. Bye, bye medical marijuana in NJ
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on June 18, 2010 at 04:11:04 PT
More News From New Jersey
Gov. Chris Christie Wants All N.J. Medical Marijuana Grown at RutgersJune 18, 2010Trenton, NJ -- Gov. Chris Christie’s administration said Rutgers University’s agricultural center should grow the pot and hospitals should dispense it under the state’s medical marijuana program, according to three people briefed on the proposal.URL:
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Comment #2 posted by charmed quark on June 17, 2010 at 17:57:35 PT
really pissed
I don't think they are acting in good faith. It's just a delaying action.
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on June 17, 2010 at 05:51:56 PT
Related Article From The Philadelphia Inquirer
New Jersey May Postpone Implementing Medical Marijuana Law***By Adrienne Lu, Inquirer Trenton BureauJune 17, 2010Trenton, NJ --  Patients seeking legal access to medical marijuana might have to wait 90 more days under legislation being drafted in response to a request from the Christie administration. Sen. Nicholas Scutari (D., Union), a prime sponsor of the medical-marijuana law, said Wednesday he intends to introduce legislation Monday to grant the state an additional 90 days to implement the law, which was supposed to go into effect in July with marijuana distribution to start by October. Christie had sought a postponement of six to 12 months to ensure that proper regulations and controls could be put in place. Scutari said he was convinced that the health commissioner has been working on the issue and added: "I want to help them get this together so we can have a successful program without the snafus." "I want to be reasonable. I want to give the administration the opportunity to promulgate the rules and enact a bill in a good manner, and I'm hopeful we'll continue to make progress." The governor's spokesman, Michael Drewniak, said, "We appreciate [Scutari's] support to our request." But medical-marijuana proponents argued against a postponement. "We really don't think any delay is necessary," said Ken Wolski, executive director of the Coalition for Medical Marijuana in New Jersey. "We have regulations that we could suggest that are ready to go July 1, so we still don't think that a delay is necessary to implement this law."Copyright: 2010 Philadelphia InquirerURL:
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