N.J. medical marijuana lawsuit bumped to appeals court

    Lawyers representing two South Jersey residents suing the state for not implementing its medical marijuana law fast enough appeared in a Trenton courthouse Thursday.

    Following a hearing, Judge Mary Jacobson denied the state’s motion to dismiss the suit. But she also transferred the case to the Appellate Division of the New Jersey Superior Court.

    The lawsuit accuses the state Health Department of dragging its feet on making marijuana accessible to people with chronic ailments.

    Attorney William Buckman of Moorestown, N.J., filed the suit last year on behalf of the two patients, one of whom has since died.

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    He says the Health Department is sabotaging the implementation of state law, which passed three years ago.

    “They were already given extension after extension, and we’re years beyond those things,” Buckman said. “It’s pretty straightforward. We want them to comply with the act.”

    “The result of today’s hearing is that we are still proceeding,” he said.

    There’s no word yet on when the case will be heard next.

    The state attorney general’s office, which is representing the Health Department, declined to comment.

    The state’s only operating medical marijuana dispensary is located in Montclair, N.J., northwest of New York City.

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