Some say N.J. marijuana program set up to fail

    Potential patients hold out little hope for a still-unlaunched medical marijuana program. They say the restrictions are so complicated, they may as well continue to obtain pot illegally.

    Some potential patients are critical of the proposed rules for New Jersey’s medical marijuana program. A few of those with serious ailments say the Health Department regulations limiting the number of dispensaries and the strains of the marijuana are too restrictive.

    Steven Cuspilich, a Southampton resident who suffers from Crohn’s disease, said the proposed rules would impair his ability to get medical marijuana.

    “Because they would force my doctor to become a pot doctor and he doesn’t want to do that. I’ve had a 10-year relationship with him. They would want him to register to where he would sit there and watch you,” said Cuspilich.

    Jay Lassiter of Cherry Hill is HIV positive. While he said medical marijuana could help his increase appetite, he believes the proposed regulations are too restrictive

    “It almost seems like it would be an easier choice just for us to remain criminals and obtain our cannabis surreptitiously. The rules are so Byzantine,” said Lassiter. “The process is so cumbersome and, frankly, so expensive for many people, it ‘s almost as if it were designed to fail.”

    Governor Chris Christie says the proposed regulations comply with the law. But the law’s sponsor, Sen. Nick Scutari. said they don’t and he wants the administration to revise the rules.

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