The New Jersey Senate has voted to force Gov. Chris Christie’s administration to rewrite proposed regulations for the state’s medical marijuana program.
Sen. Nick Scutari, the primary Senate sponsor of New Jersey’s medical marijuana law, said the rules for implementing the program don’t comply with the law the Legislature approved. “Every single step of the way, there’s a roadblock for alternative treatment centers to get off the ground. They want all sorts of money up front. They want restrictions from every step of the way,” said Scutari Monday. “The gatekeepers in this whole process, the doctors, are the ones really being intimidated by these regulations.” Earlier this month, the governor agreed to allow six of the alternative treatment centers to grow and dispense the drugs instead of the two growers and four sellers he proposed. Roseann Scotti, the director of the Drug Policy Alliance of New Jersey, said advocates of medical marijuana are still concerned about the administration’s rules to limit the potency of the drug. “It is not a toxic substance. You can’t overdose from it. We’ve been told over and over again by other state health departments there’s no reason to put a cap on it,” said Scotti. “We don’t see that there’s a reason to do it here.”The measure that was previously approved by the Assembly gives the administration 30 days to rewrite the rules.