June 19, 2010


I thought Republicans were for the small businessmen and against more government regulation? (Not to mention that most business experts recommend concentrating on "core competencies." Think growing marijuana is Rutgers' area of expertise?)

If the GOP ever acted consistently with their stated principles, I think I'd drop dead from the shock. But Gov. Christie has already proved he has no such scruples:

TRENTON — Gov. Chris Christie’s administration said Rutgers University’s agricultural center should grow the pot and hospitals should dispense it under the state’s medical marijuana program, according to three people briefed on the proposal.

If legislators agree with the administration and amend a law that passed in January, New Jersey would be the first among the 14 medical marijuana states to run a centralized production and distribution system. The proposed changes represent an even more restrictive program — beyond one that was already the most conservative in the country — and eliminate the option of entrepreneurial growers and dispensaries getting some of the state’s marijuana business.

Letting the program operate through one grower and hospitals would minimize some of Christie’s concern about the program posing a security and safety threat, according to the sources, who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to disclose the details.

Critics have said the governor is needlessly dragging his feet in a state that has at least 5,000 citizens who need the drug to alleviate pain and suffering.

Roseanne Scotti, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance of New Jersey, said she had heard "rumors" about the state wanting to involve Rutgers and hospitals. She said she wished the administration would stick to the bill that took years to pass.

"Why go back to drawing board, especially when seriously ill people are waiting?" she asked. Scotti also said the changes would limit economic growth from the medical marijuana industry.

"A lot of very responsible and respectable people have begun to step forward," she said. "I thought the Christie administration is supposedly business-friendly."

I don't smoke pot and don't like it, so I have no real dog in this fight. But I do have a close friend who suffers from severe vertigo after a head injury, and sometimes pot is the only drug that makes her functional - an important backup since she builds up resistance to the pharmaceuticals that do help.

I know how difficult it is for her to deal with an ordinary doctor's visit, let alone a trip to the hospital, and I don't think she's the only person like this out there.

So Gov. Christie, whatever your intent, the results are just plain mean.

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