As Gov. Chris Christie travels the state on an aggressive campaign to end an epidemic of heroin and prescription drug overdoses, more than two dozen New Jersey citizens came to the capital city Wednesday to offer him a new strategy.
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New Jersey already has a tightly regulated medical marijuana program that includes six alternative treatment centers, or dispensaries, but the issue has largely stalled because of Christie’s opposition.
Patient advocates said the swift addition of these patients to the program demonstrates the pent-up demand for the anxiety-reducing and pain-relieving effects of the cannabis plant, as well as the need for the Christie administration to further expand the seven-year-old program.
Lawmakers in the New Jersey Assembly voted 55 to 14 in favor of a bill that would add post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to the list of accepted health conditions that qualify a patient to obtain medical marijuana in the state.
A new report says legalization of marijuana in New Jersey could bring the state $300 million in annual taxes. The report, released by New Jersey United for Marijuana Reform and New Jersey Policy Perspective, draws on federal data estimating 365,900 state residents 21 years of age and older use 2.53 million ounces of pot annually.
In New Jersey, the advocacy group United New Jersey for Marijuana Reform (NJUMR) made its presence known to the world this week as it held a press conference in Newark to call for the legalization of recreational marijuana.
On April 21, 2014, CNN’s Political Ticker reported on a pessimistic exchange on Christie’s monthly “Ask the Governor” radio spot. His response to a probe concerning the benefits of legalizing marijuana was the flat retort, “You say it’s going to come down the road. You know it may come down the road when I’m gone. It’s not going to come while I’m here.”