Medical Marijuana Patients, Advocates Are Fed Up
Two lawmakers and proponents of New Jersey's Medical Marijuana law claim sick patients suffer needlessly as the program continues to languish. Activists are urging legislators to set up review panel to address what they call the Medical Marijuana Program's “many short-comings.”
"NJ's medical marijuana program is not where it should be three years into its implementation," says patient activist Jay Lassiter who uses medical cannabis to get relief from symptoms associated with HIV treatment. "It's over-regulated, over-taxed and impractical to access, especially for terminally ill patients who live in the Southern two-thirds of the state. It's hard to imagine the state government running any program so incompetently. New Jersey's Medical Marijuana represents big government at its worst."
A coalition of lawmakers, physicians and patient advocates joined together at a State House press conference today to demand prompt improvements in New Jersey's 3-year-old Medical Marijuana law.
“The opening of the Greenleaf Compassion Center is a much welcomed sign in this long-sought progress for the patients who have been waiting for this program to become reality,” says the law’s prime sponsor, Assemblyman Reed Gusciora, a Democrat. “However, this program will only be successful if all patients throughout our state have reasonable access to this treatment, so it’s crucial to see more progress on the additional five locations that should be opened by law.”
The law also has the support of a State lawmaker many consider to be the most conservative member of the legislature. He also feels the Medical Marijuana Program is getting bogged down by over-regulation.
"My philosophy on New Jersey's medical marijuana law is that we should be empowering doctors to treat their patients as they see fit and not have lawyers or bureaucrats standing in the way,” says Republican Assemblyman Michael Patrick Carroll. “That why I'm frustrated at the State's implementation of this law, which smacks of big-government overreach. I concluded long ago that burdensome regulations are bad for business and a threat to our liberties. New Jersey's clumsy, hyper-bureaucratic roll-out of its medical marijuana law only affirms that belief."