Trenton, NJ: Members of the NORML Legal Committee filed suit yesterday against the State of New Jersey over regulators' failure to implement the Compassionate Use of Medical Marijuana Act.
Signed into law by former Gov. Jon Corzine on January 18, 2010, the law - which establishes the creation of up to six state-licensed 'alternative treatment centers' to provide medicinal cannabis to qualified patients - was initially scheduled to take effect in July 2010. Since that time state regulators, at the behest of present Gov. Chris Christie, have unduly delayed the law's implementation.
In the 27 months since the measure was signed into law, no treatment centers have obtained the necessary licenses to open for business and not a single patient in New Jersey has been afforded legal protections under the Act.
On Wednesday, April 4, NORML Legal Committee attorneys William H. Buckman of Moorestown and Anne M. Davis of Brick filed a lawsuit on behalf of a New Jersey medical patient who qualifies for cannabis access under state law. The suit also represents a physician who has registered with the state to recommend medical marijuana. Named in the suit are the Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) Commissioner Mary O'Dowd and the newly appointed director of the Medicinal Marijuana Program John O'Brien.
Stated attorney Buckman in a press release, "Today we are filing suit to require the DHHS to do what every other citizen must do - follow the law."
Added Davis: "Our neighbors with AIDS, cancer, multiple sclerosis and the worst of medical conditions have testified before the legislature and changed the law. Now, patients and doctors have to go to court to win the rights that they should have already been afforded."
For more information, please contact Keith Stroup, NORML Legal Counsel, at (202) 483-5500. Attorney William Buckman may be contacted at (856) 608-9797. Attorney Anne Davis may be contacted at: (732) 477-4700.