Medical Marijuana: Delays Cause Confusion in New Jersey

Though the feds have come down on California dispensaries, including Oakland's Harborside Health Center, other states are pushing ahead with prescription pot initiatives.

New Jersey, in fact, is so down with medical marijuana that one lawmaker has criticized state bureaucracy for taking too long to roll out a program.

Assemblyman Reed Gusciora, a Trenton Dem, has called for hearings to explain the delays, as the first pot shop was supposed to open in July 2011 but won't be operational until August, as detailed by The Associated Press.

It's unclear when this hearing will take place.

A lot of the delays in New Jersey's medical marijuana program stem from officials' confusion about regulations, as well as waiting periods for towns to grant permits to dispensaries.

Elsewhere in the weed world, the Arizona Republic is reporting that the state's health officials might add post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, and migraines to the list of conditions for which medical marijuana is permitted. The Department of Health and Human Services is slated to issue a decision this week.

Follow Victoria Bekiempis @vicbekiempis.

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Jersey Teapot-Party
Jersey Teapot-Party

Gov Chris "Roadblock" Christi, has to keep his buddy's halfway house full of pot patients so the buddy doesnt go broke.   

Corey Miller
Corey Miller

The dispensaries in California never had the amount of regulation that Jersey's and even Arizona has. If the FEDS step in it will to deal with operators of these facilities that are not compliant in the smallest aspect. Too close to a school or park. Not paying taxes those are the facts that close dispensaries down. Lets see what happens...

Malcolm Kyle
Malcolm Kyle

Some simple facts: * Prohibition has been a slow but relentless degradation (death by a zillion cuts) of all our cherished national institutions, that will leave us crippled for numerous generations.  * The US federal government is now the most dangerous and corrupt corporation on the planet. * In 1989, 'The Kerry Committee' found that the United States Department of State had made payments to drug traffickers. Concluding, that even members of the U.S. State Department, themselves, were involved in drug trafficking. Some of the payments were made even after the traffickers had been indicted by federal law enforcement agencies - or even while these traffickers were under active investigation by these same agencies. * Colombia, Peru, Mexico or Afghanistan with their coca leaves, marijuana buds or poppy sap are not igniting temptation in the minds of our weak, innocent citizens. These countries are duly responding to the enormous demand that comes from within our own borders. Invading or destroying these countries, thus creating more hate, violence, instability, injustice and corruption, will not fix our problem. * A rather large majority of people will always feel the need to use drugs such as heroin, opium, nicotine, amphetamines, alcohol, sugar, or caffeine. * The massive majority of adults who use drugs do so recreationally - getting high at the weekend then up for work on a Monday morning.  * Apart from the huge percentage of people addicted to both sugar and caffeine, a small minority of adults (nearly 5%) will always experience the use of drugs as problematic. - approx. 3% are dependent on alcohol and approx. 1.5% are dependent on other drugs such as methamphetamine, cocaine, heroine etc.  * Just as it was impossible to prevent alcohol from being produced and used in the U.S. in the 1920s, so too, it is equally impossible to prevent any of the aforementioned drugs from being produced, distributed and widely used by those who so desire.  * Prohibition kills more people and ruins more lives than the drugs it prohibits. * Due to Prohibition (historically proven to be an utter failure at every level), the availability of most of these mood-altering drugs has become so universal and unfettered that in any city of the civilized world, any one of us would be able to procure practically any drug we wish within an hour. * Throughout history, the prohibition of any mind-altering substance has always exploded usage rates, overcrowded jails, fueled organized crime, created rampant corruption of law-enforcement - even whole governments, while inducing an incalculable amount of suffering and death.  * The CIA in running Heroin from Vietnam, Southeast Asia and Afghanistan, and moving Cocaine from Central America. This has been well documented. - by the 1989 Kerry Committee, as well as academic researchers such as Alfred McCoy and Peter Dale Scott, and the late journalist Gary Webb. * It's not even possible to keep drugs out of prisons, but prohibitionists wish to waste trillions of dollars in an utterly futile attempt to keep them off our streets.

Ken Wolski
Ken Wolski

When it comes to the NJ Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act, Gov. Christie is failing to live up to his oath to uphold the laws of this state.  I expect no meaningful medical marijuana program during the Christie administration.  He has done nothing but obstruct this program since the day he took office.

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