Pubdate: Tue, 22 Jun 2010
Source: Times, The (Trenton, NJ)
Copyright: 2010 The Times
Author: Ken Wolski


The New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act calls for
alternative treatment centers (ATCs) to produce, process and
distribute marijuana to qualified patients in New Jersey in a program
starting in October. As provided by the law, the state Department of
Health and Senior Services has the power to "monitor, oversee and
investigate all activities performed by" these ATCs.

Many nonprofit entities in New Jersey stand ready to apply to the
NJDHSS to become ATCs, to pay whatever fees the NJDHSS requires, and
to begin providing medical marijuana to qualified New Jersey patients
in compliance with the law.

The law was originally introduced in the Legislature in 2005.
Legislators have had five years to consider every aspect of it, and
the result was a very conservative and very restrictive piece of
legislation that Gov. Chris Christie has gone on record as saying he

Now Gov. Christie's administration said Rutgers University should grow
the medical marijuana and that New Jersey hospitals should dispense
it. This is a very different law. There is no guarantee that Rutgers
or New Jersey hospitals have any interest in becoming involved in the
program. If Mr. Christie wants to propose a production and
distribution system for medical marijuana that is different than the
law now allows, by all means, let him do so. Let the state discuss
this for another five years. But there is no need to interfere with
the current law and the current timetable for implementing that law.

Ken Wolski, R.N., MPA,


The writer is executive director of the Coalition for Medical
Marijuana-New Jersey Inc. ( 
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