June 5, 2010

NJ Medical Marijuana Program Failing as Predicted

June 5, 2010

The sponsor of New Jersey’s medical marijuana law is speaking out against the delay tactics of Governor Chris Christie. As the program sits right now, patients are not only out of luck when it comes to registering, they also have to break the law in order to medicate in the meantime. The law says that patients with certain conditions can use marijuana for medical purposes. However, since New Jersey doesn’t give the right to patients to ‘grow your own,’ the patients continue to suffer. They are only allowed to purchase medicine from dispensaries, yet no dispensaries exist due to the greed of the New Jersey Legislature. This is yet another byproduct of an implementation process gone awry.

“Certainly we can create this window where we allow them to obtain it on their own,” Assemblyman Reed Gusciora (D-Mercer) said. “It could help alleviate a lot of suffering.” I’m gonna ‘one up’ you Mr. Gusciora; I’m going to suggest that the State of New Jersey take an approach that would cost NOTHING and would alleviate the suffering of countless New Jersey residents INSTANTLY — give the medical marijuana program participants the right to grow their own medicine. By granting the patient the right to grow their own medicine, by default, it allows the patient to legally possess the medicine they are already obtaining.

Giving the patient the right to grow their own marijuana has other implementation benefits as well. Something that I have said since the beginning of the New Jersey program is ‘how in the f are you going to grow that many plants, for that many patients, at such a small amount of locations?’ Think about it, 30,000 patients and as few as six grow sites? I have seen gardens for four patients, and they take up an entire 2,000 square foot house. Do the math on that, and the only facility that is worthy of housing a New Jersey medical marijuana garden is a football stadium. How is that cost effective? And for that matter, how long is that going to take to become a reality?

If you give the patient the right to grow their own medicine, that garden space will be spread out to thousands of gardens. The cost of producing and maintaining the gardens would be the patient’s responsibility, and would result in the medicine being grown faster. Think about the amount of electricity it would require to grow a football stadium full of plants? Is the local power company aware of NJ’s plan? Is that even possible? I have seen grow ops that have a few hundred plants, and the electrical setup that it requires would scare Nicola Tesla.

At the rate things are going, not only will the law fail to be implemented by the October deadline (told you so Marianne Bays), but I would have doubts about a 2011 deadline as well. If anyone doesn’t think so, just think about how many things are figured out versus how many things are still up in the air…then think about the amount of problems no one is even considering (such as electricity, byproduct waste, balanced funding, etc) and the fact that people are still haggling over the rules. Government moves like molasses, and this New Jersey blend of syrup is looking thicker by the minute….