After 2 years, N.J.’s medical marijuana law still stymied

Supporters of New Jersey’s medical marijuana law are criticizing Gov. Chris Christie’s administration for delays in implementing it.

Two years after the law was enacted, none of the six centers that are supposed to grow and dispense the medical marijuana has received a state permit to operate.

Municipal zoning boards have rejected all but one of the proposed sites. And that irritates Jay Lassiter. The Cherry Hill resident, who is HIV positive, uses marijuana to manage his symptoms.

“Here’s an opportunity to have something in your community which is actually going to help people and generate revenue. What’s wrong with you people?” Lassiter said Wednesday. “What are you waiting for?”

Ed Hannaman of the Coalition for Medical Marijuana of New Jersey is upset that patients who would benefit from using marijuana can’t get it legally.

“Their own choice right now is illegal drugs dealers,” Hannaman said. “I understand from talking to patients some illegal drug dealers are offering a discount to the people who would qualify as medical marijuana users. To me, that’s an appalling disgrace to the state to have that situation.”

The coalition is urging lawmakers to restore a provision in the law that would allow patients to grow six plants at home.

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