Does NJ’s Pot Program Need Overhaul? [AUDIO]
A New Jersey judge has rejected arguments to have the court take over the state's medical marijuana program, but medicinal pot supporters plan to appeal the ruling.
Ken Wolski, the CEO of the Coalition for Medical Marijuana of New Jersey, says their are problems with the current medical marijuana program in Jersey.
"The regulations that were adopted to enact this program were burdensome and really unconstitutional and overly restrictive - to the point where a meaningful program cannot get implemented here with these regulations that are in place."
He says, "More than just a couple of hundred patients need to receive medical marijuana after 3 years of this bill being signed into law. Some of the changes we'd like to see is to do away with the physician registry, to do away with the limits on the potency of the marijuana that's available from the alternative treatment centers, and to do away with the strain limit, the different types of marijuana that's available at these alternative treatment centers…It's been one delay after another that's been imposed by the Christie Administration, they have not really done their job in terms of assuring the local communities that these alternative treatment centers are going to be safe and secure."
Wolski explains that this is not a fight about letting people smoke pot to just get high.
"We're absolutely talking about treating patients who have debilitating medical conditions as the law says and the law was passed after 5 years of study. The legislature and the state has studied this issue for a long time, we passed the most restrictive law in the nation, but unfortunately I get calls from patients who are desperately ill and are suffering tremendously and they know that marijuana can help to relieve their suffering and it's just not being made available."
He points out, "About 30 thousand patients in Jersey are in hospice right now - thirty thousand patients right now qualify for marijuana therapy, and none of them are getting it…We need to really to focus on patients. We need to have a compassionate approach to this law."
State officials insist the rules governing New Jersey's medical marijuana program are needed to ensure the integrity of the program.