Sen. Nick Scutari: Revamp Strict N.J. MMJ Rules
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Sen. Nick Scutari: Revamp Strict N.J. MMJ Rules
Posted by CN Staff on October 14, 2010 at 18:01:52 PT
By Angela Delli Santi, Associated Press Writer
Source: Associated Press
Newark, N.J. -- A New Jersey senator who sponsored the state law giving chronically ill patients access to medical marijuana wants to force the state to rewrite what he says are overly restrictive rules that make the program unworkable.Sen. Nick Scutari said Thursday the Health Department's draft regulations for growing, distributing and buying the drug set up too many roadblocks for people the law was designed to help.
"The regulations are making it impossible to implement the medical marijuana statute that was signed into law," said Scutari, a Democrat and municipal prosecutor.Scutari said he'll introduce a resolution Monday challenging the proposed regulations. If it passes  a likelihood in the Democratic-controlled Legislature  the Health Department would get 30 days to withdraw the rules or rewrite them. The state Constitution gives the Legislature the power to invalidate rules that go beyond what lawmakers intended.Scutari said the medical marijuana regulations go beyond what's specified in the law. For example, he said New Jersey's rules weaken the strength of the available marijuana to just 10 percent of the strength available in the pill form of the drug.Gov. Chris Christie, a former federal prosecutor, has said he would not have signed the law in its current form. He said he does not want to deny sick patients access to marijuana, but he has insisted that New Jersey's regulations be strict. He has said he does not want New Jersey to be like California, whose medical marijuana law is generally seen as lax.New Jersey became the 14th state to allow medical marijuana.The state's proposed regulations announced Oct. 6 could go into effect in January, with two growers and four clinics to distribute the drug chosen in February and the first legal marijuana available in the summer of 2011.There will be a 60-day comment period during which changes could be made to the regulations before they're official.Advocates say New Jersey's proposals are excessively tough compared to regulations used in the 13 other states that allow medical marijuana. They fear that other states could follow New Jersey's example.Among the proposed rules:* Patients would have to pay up to $200 every two years for a card that gives them the right to buy from an alternative treatment center. Those fees, like the $20,000 annual fee for treatment centers, would pay for the state's oversight.* There would be two legal growers and four centers to distribute marijuana. The dispensaries could also each open one satellite office. Home delivery would be available for patients too sick to travel.* Patients could only get marijuana recommendations from doctors with whom they have an ongoing relationship, or who take responsibility for their conditions.* Food products with marijuana would not be available for sale.* Each grower could produce no more than three strains  but each would have to have a level of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the psychotropic chemical in marijuana  of less than 10 percent.* And in a provision that none of the 13 other states have, patients would not be allowed to grow their own. (Washington, D.C., has followed New Jersey's example and does not allow home cultivation.)Source: Associated Press (Wire)Author: Angela Delli Santi, Associated Press WriterPublished:  October 14, 2010Copyright: 2010 The Associated PressCannabisNews  Medical Marijuana  Archives
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Comment #3 posted by GentleGiant on October 15, 2010 at 05:24:36 PT:
Let's See This Guy For Who He Is.
Y'all's being too kind, Gov. Christie is megalomaniacal repubConJob of the worst kind.
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on October 14, 2010 at 19:23:00 PT
It's really good to see you. I agree with you about Christie.
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Comment #1 posted by MikeEEEEE on October 14, 2010 at 19:15:19 PT
Chris Christie is a repubiConJob of the worst type. There is more compassion in concrete than in this lower life form.Hello FoM, Kap, and everyone.
Hope to see more dominos fall.
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