There’s an argument brewing in New Jersey. Assemblyman Reed Gusciora is asking for more time to implement the state’s Compassionate Use of Medical Marijuana Act, while patient advocates think that the patients of New Jersey shouldn’t have to wait any longer to legally use their medication of choice.
The delay proposed by Gusciora would extend the implementation time from October 1 to January 1 in order to ‘cement its guidelines related to the growth and distribution of medical marijuana.’
Implementation of the program was supposed to have started in July, with distribution via six alternative treatment centers to commence in October.
Gusciora says that the state’s law is “the most restrictive and responsible” in the nation but that the extra time is needed to ensure that patients have the ready access they need to medical marijuana. It has to be said that we have also reported today on the shortage of medical marijuana for New Mexico patients, so perhaps Gusciora has a point.
It is proposed that Rutgers University should be the focal point of New Jersey medical marijuana cultivation and that hospitals will operate the dispensary side of the equation. However, Michael Drewniak, spokesman for Governor Chris Christie says that this is only one of the options under consideration.
The Coalition for Medical Marijuana, New Jersey branch, said “We don’t think there’s any need for a delay.” Our organization has actually developed regulations that we would be happy to give the Department of Health. We could roll it out July 1.” The branch spokesman, Michael Drewniak, also considers that the Rutgers/hospital plan would be unworkable because of the red tape associated with getting approval from DEA and other government bodies. He went on to say, “This bill was in the Legislature for five years, everyone had ample time to tweak this bill. We have the right (medical marijuana) law for New Jersey.”