Pro-Pot Advocates Upset as NJ Waits on Rules
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Pro-Pot Advocates Upset as NJ Waits on Rules
Posted by CN Staff on June 17, 2011 at 08:36:31 PT
By Geoff Mulvill & Beth DeFalco, Associated Press
Source: Associated Press 
Trenton, N.J. -- Advocates for medical marijuana, long at odds with Gov. Chris Christie, were fuming at him Friday, a day after he said he's waiting for assurances from federal authorities that people involved in state-sanctioned sales of pot to patients won't be prosecuted.Activists say the state is unlikely to get such blanket assurances from the U.S. Department of Justice  and that the people who want to go into the business realize they'll be violating federal law. New Jersey officials have requested information from the federal government on whether people involved in a state-sanctioned medical marijuana business could be prosecuted. So far, there's been no response.
"Gov. Christie is personally holding this law back," said Chris Goldstein, executive director of the Coalition for Medical Marijuana for New Jersey.Supporters of legalizing the drug had already planned a rally Friday at the State House to protest the 40th anniversary of President Richard Nixon's declaration of a war against drugs. But Goldstein said there's more to protest after Christie's comments Thursday evening on the New Jersey Network's "On the Line" television program. Christie said he's specifically concerned that regulators might be prosecuted for following his directions if the medical marijuana program is started.In one of his last acts before leaving office in January 2010, Christie's predecessor, Democrat Jon Corzine, signed a bill to establish a medical marijuana program in New Jersey.Advocates for the law say that Christie, who says he supports the concept but dislikes some of the details, has delayed implementation.Regulations for the program have been drafted but are not yet finalized.Six alternative treatment centers and nonprofit groups have been licensed to grow and sell pot to patients with conditions including terminal cancer, multiple sclerosis and glaucoma.But without regulations in place, it's looking less likely that the state will have legal marijuana sales sometime this summer, as Christie's administration previously said it would.Representatives for the licensed organizations, which have been reticent to speak with the media, did not return messages left Friday morning.Drug Policy Alliance New Jersey Director Roseanne Scotti said the state should move ahead because of how medical marijuana works elsewhere. Fifteen states and the District of Columbia have laws allowing medical marijuana. But the laws have not been implemented in a handful of them."No state worker has ever been prosecuted. No state worker has ever been threatened with prosecution," Scotti said. "They would never prosecute state workers, because honestly, it would be terrible PR for the federal government."Source: Associated Press (Wire)Author: Geoff Mulvill and Beth DeFalco, Associated PressPublished: June 17, 2011 Copyright: 2011 The Associated PressCannabisNews Medical Marijuana Archives
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Comment #2 posted by ekim on June 17, 2011 at 19:42:17 PT
because honestly, it would be terrible PR 
thank you Gov. Chris Christie for doing something tangablecalling everyone to have good thoughts and come together as the people have voted
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Comment #1 posted by HempWorld on June 17, 2011 at 09:14:21 PT
Chris Christie
is an incompassionate human being! So what do you do when you have cancer or MS etc. you just wait?This is generating so much bad karma, I'm not sure Christie can get over this.
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