Patient sues N.J. over delays in medical marijuana program

A lawsuit claims those in charge of New Jersey’s medical marijuana program have failed to take action to implement it.

Civil rights lawyer William Buckman filed the lawsuit on behalf of Medford resident Richard Caporusso.

The suit maintains the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services has delayed the start of the program by not coming up with doctor and patient registries and not approving permits for facilities to grow and dispense the marijuana.

“Nothing has happened since the Legislature and the governor signed this bill into effect over two years ago,” Buckman said Wednesday. “We want a receiver appointed to see it that the program is put together properly.”

  • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

A Health Department spokeswoman says the state is making strides to get the program going, and an alternative treatment center in Montclair may soon get a temporary permit to be the first in the state to start growing medical marijuana.

In the meantime, Buckman said his client is suffering needlessly.

“He’s somebody that suffers from various conditions and the medications that he takes give him side effects that are almost more serious than the conditions that he suffers, and marijuana would be the drug of choice,” Buckman said.

The state attorney general’s office declined comment on the suit.

WHYY is your source for fact-based, in-depth journalism and information. As a nonprofit organization, we rely on financial support from readers like you. Please give today.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal