New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (Sort-of) Oks Medical Marijuana For Minors
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie signaled Friday that he would allow a bill giving sick children easier access to medical marijuana — but only if certain conditions were met.
The 2016 presidential potential said Friday that he would sign the medical marijuana bill if it made sure that edible forms of the drug would be dispensed only to qualified minors, and not to people of all ages .(Right now, only dry-leaf and lozenge options are available.) He also rejected a provision that would have necessitated only a doctor's approval to qualify, instead keeping the current requirement of both a pediatrician and a psychiatrist.
“Today, I am making common sense recommendations to this legislation to ensure sick children receive the treatment their parents prefer, while maintaining appropriate safeguards,” Christie said.
But he did agree with a provision to allow dispensaries to produce more than three strains of the drug — an important change for Brian Wilson, who earlier in the week publicly confronted Christie at a campaign stop, demanding changes in the state's laws for the sake of his epileptic daughter. Wilson argued that his daughter needed a particular form and strain of pot in order to survive.
In spite of praising the Governor's decision, Wilson has said that he will still be forced to leave the state in order to save his daughter's life, and pointed out that the bill's provisions would still create difficulties for other parents.
"It makes a lot of headache and heartache for parents to go shopping for doctors who understand anything about medical marijuana to get them to sign up for this," Wilson said. "For parents who are already going through a lot of trouble just with what their children's ailments are, they now have to go through this extra stuff you don't have to go through for any other medical condition or for any other medication."
The bill now goes back to the Legislature, and will become law if legislators agree with Christie's provisions.