Once again opponents of medical marijuana are showing contempt for the will of the people, this time recently-elected governor of New Jersey Chris Christie, a new favorite of conservative Republicans statewide, in some cases rightfully so. He's just flat-out wrong on this one, however, and one hopes the 1/3 of Republicans (conservatively speaking) who typically support medical marijuana will call him on it.
Briefly: 10 months ago the New jersey legislature passed a law authorizing the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes and polls show 82% of New Jerseyans support it. But Gov. Christie, elected since then, isn't fond of the law and is in charge of implementing it through regulations. The draft regulations he has issued seem informed by myths rather than anything resembling scientific information. He wants to limit the THC potency of cannabis used medically -- an utterly wrongheaded idea since the only effect will be that patients smoke more to get the same effect. He also wants to mandate that doctors every three months try to get patients off marijuana, even terminal patients, when there's simply no evidence that it's addictive.
It appears that medical marijuana advocates still have enough legislative votes to stymie the governor's stupid proposals (a vote has been postponed from November to Dec. 13), but it will take an all-out fight and a good deal of time; more delays for seriously ill patients.
Meantime the feds are throwing up roadblocks to cannabis dispensaries despite the DOJ statement that the feds will leave well enough alone in states with medical marijuana laws. According to Americans for Safe Access, The latest tactic is to use an antiquated tax code to prohibit medical marijuana dispensing facilities from taking IRS deductions and credits attributed to amounts paid or incurred during the taxable year.