The registration process for patients who want to participate in Jersey’s medical marijuana program has begun, but not everybody is thrilled about it.

Jay Lassiter, a medicinal marijuana advocate who is HIV positive, says “it’s a sign of progress that the registration process is happening but it’s discouraging that for many of us t,he first day that we’re able to register has been a day of revelation, where we realize just how burdensome the registration process is.”

He says relatively few doctors are officially registered to participate in the program – so it makes finding a physician difficult and often-times expensive.

“So you imagine these people” he says, “who are literally at deaths door- who aren’t able to even get out of bed – who are being presented with these bureaucratic and financial hurdles…when Chris Christie ran for Governor I do remember him campaigning on a platform of low taxes, low regulations and low fees – and here we are looking at his administration’s implementation of this medical marijuana law – and it couldn’t be further from his platform promises – this has been nothing but fees, nothing but regulations and quite frankly it seems to go against the conservative ideal that he espouses when he’s out on his road-show…it’s hard to imagine a Governor bumbling a program …worse than Christie has done here.”

Jersey’s first legal dispensary – the Greenleaf Compassion Center  - is expected to open in Montclair after Labor Day. Information about the program is available at www.nj.gov/health/medicalmarijuana.