Christie Maintains Tough Stance On Medical Marijuana Program [AUDIO]
A couple of days ago we were telling you how state officials have finally given one medical marijuana dispensary permission to grow their first pot crop, but the head of the marijuana Center in Montclair is asking for guarantees the medicinal pot program in the Garden state will be able to move forward.
Governor Christie's message to CEO Joe Stevens is "stop complaining and get back to work."
He says the effort to make medical marijuana available to those who need it is making progress, "but I'm not going to compromise the safety and the security of this program…this bill was passed with no allowances for the type of safety and security we wanted, and Commissioner Dowd and I had this dumped in our laps - by the last administration at 3 o'clock in the morning - when Governor Corzine signed it…we're not going to permit a program like this to be started unless there's the appropriate safeguards available."
Christie says individual towns will decide whether they want to have a medicinal marijuana center in their community, "and what I've said all along is, I'm not putting my thumb on the scale to try to force a town to take a facility…if a town does decide to have one of these dispensaries…we like to work with the municipal officials and we have certain requirements at the state level for security - and for safety in terms of administering this program."
He adds "we do not want to become Colorado or California - and we don't want to have that type of program here… I want to have a compassionate program that makes this available for people in New Jersey who have no other alternative - and who can find relief from their pain in this…but I do not want this to become a cottage industry for unscrupulous doctors who will write prescriptions no matter what, and for folks who might run these facilities, who care more about profit than they care about compassionate care."
Christie points out "we have someone from the state police who is running the security aspect of this program - he has certain requirements which he wants met in order to make sure that the security is available…I don't think those requirements are unreasonable…given my background as a prosecutor- remembering by the way, that we're dealing with a substance that is deemed illegal by the Federal government - so this is a very tricky areas - and we've made progress."