As amended, the measure will not become law until October 2010. The Act, which authorizes the state Department of Health to establish regulations for the licensed production and distribution of medical cannabis to authorized patients, is not anticipated to be up and running until some time in 2011.
According to the Associated Press, "The delay allows health officials to write regulations. It also may give politicians time to consider a different model for the program." Republican Gov. Chris Christie requested lawmakers postpone implementing the law, which was signed in January by his predecessor, Democrat Gov. Jon Corzine.
Governor Christie has also suggested that lawmakers consider amending the law by limiting the production of medical cannabis to a single supply source, Rutgers University, and by restricting the drug's distribution to authorized hospitals.
"The additional restrictions suggested by the Governor are overly burdensome and would make the law fundamentally unworkable for New Jersey's patients," NORML Executive Director Allen St. Pierre said. "Lawmakers ought to reject any further amendments or delays to the New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act."
For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director, at (202) 483-5500, or NORML New Jersey at: http://www.normlnj.org.