Chris Christie

New Jersey: Bill To Legalize Recreational Marijuana Set To Be Unveiled

NJ.jpg

By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

A New Jersey lawmaker will unveil legislation on Monday that would legalize, tax, and regulate recreational marijuana in the state.

State Sen. Nicholas Scutari (D-Union) plans to formally announce the Democratic-sponsored measure at a noon news conference at the Statehouse in Trenton.

If the bill becomes law, New Jersey will be the ninth state to legalize adult-use, recreational marijuana, joining Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington, as well as the District of Columbia.

"The national trend is toward legalization," Scutari told NJ Advance Media on Friday. "It's absolutely necessary to save our neighborhoods from drug dealers. And we can use the tax revenue. And people are smoking it anyway."

The bill will need to be passed by both houses of the Democratic-controlled state Legislature and signed by the governor to be enacted.

Governor Chris Christie, a Republican, strongly opposes marijuana, arguing that it's a "gateway drug" that can lead users to try harder substances.

Earlier this month, he said that Democrats who want to pass such legislation are willing to "poison our kids" to receive "blood money" from the tax money it will bring in.

"This is beyond stupidity," he said during a speech in Princeton.

New Jersey: Gov. Christie Calls Marijuana Legalization 'Beyond Stupidity'

Christie.jpg

By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie called the push for cannabis legalization “beyond stupidity,” adding that it’s “not time for use to be cool and say, ‘Pot’s OK,’” during a forum on substance abuse hosted by the New Jersey Hospital Association, NJ.com reports.

“We are in the midst of the public health crisis on opiates,” Christie said during his remarks. “But people are saying pot’s OK. This is nothing more than crazy liberals who want to say everything’s OK. Baloney.”

Christie rallied against pro-legalization politicians, including Democrat Phil Murphy who is the favorite in this year’s gubernatorial campaign in the state.

“People like [Rep.] Nick Scutari and [Senate President] Steve Sweeney and Phil Murphy want to bring this poison, legalized, into this state under the premise that, well, it doesn’t matter because people can buy it illegally anyway,” Christie said in the report. “Then why not legalize heroin? I mean, their argument fails just on that basis. Let’s legalize cocaine. Let’s legalize angel dust. Let’s legalize all of it. What’s the difference? Let everybody choose.”

Democrat Scutari is the main sponsor of legalization legislation expected to be introduced in the legislature next year. Sweeney has indicated he would support the bill.

New Jersey: State Sees Renewed Push To Make Marijuana Legal

NJ weed.jpg

By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Following Gov. Chris Christie's surprising reversal on expanding the medical marijuana program, a new batch of bills to allow recreational pot in New Jersey are being proposed.

Christie is not likely to change his strong opposition to legalizing marijuana, even though he signed a bill last month to add post-traumatic stress syndrome to the list of qualifying conditions for medical marijuana. It was the first time a mental-health condition had been added to the list.

But lawmakers say three legalization bills are being introduced this year to get discussions started, in anticipation of the end of Christie's term in 2018.

The newest proposal was introduced last month by Assemblyman Michael Patrick Carroll (R., Morris). It would allow cannabis to be sold the same way as tobacco, to anyone over 19. Carroll, a Libertarian, admits the measure is bold and more "far-reaching" than other marijuana bills.

State Sen. Nicholas Scutari (D., Union), the chairman of the Judiciary Committee and a municipal prosecutor, introduced the state's first legalization bill in November.

His proposal called for cannabis to be regulated the same way as alcohol, sold by stores with a state license, and restricted to those 21 and over. The product would be taxed under his bill, and the revenues used for education and other public purposes.

New Jersey: Gov. Chris Christie Signs Bill Approving Marijuana For PTSD Treatment

New Jersey marijuana.jpg

By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

People in New Jersey can now legally treat their post-traumatic stress disorder with marijuana.

Republican Gov. Chris Christie signed a measure Wednesday allowing people to use marijuana if their PTSD is not treatable conventionally, a move actively sought by combat veterans.

Christie noted in a statement sent with the announcement that federal officials estimate up to 20 percent of veterans returning from combat in Iraq and Afghanistan have been diagnosed with PTSD.

"The mere potential of abuse by some should not deter the state from taking action that may ease the daily struggles of veterans and others who legitimately suffer from PTSD," Christie wrote.

New Jersey is the 18th state to allow PTSD to be treated with medical marijuana.

Medical marijuana in New Jersey is also approved to treat multiple sclerosis, terminal cancer, and muscular dystrophy, Lou Gehrig's disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and any terminal disease with a prognosis of less than one year. It's approved for seizures and glaucoma also if those conditions resist conventional treatment.

Lawmakers praised his decision.

New Jersey: Over 17,000 Signatures On Petition Asking Governor To Allow Cannabis For PTSD

New Jersey marijuana.jpg

By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

A petition calling on New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to sign a bill adding post traumatic stress disorder as a qualifying medical cannabis condition has over 17,000 signatures, collected in only three weeks.

“On August 1st New Jersey’s full legislature gave approval to Assembly Bill 457 which would add post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a qualifying medical cannabis condition. The vote in the Senate was 29 to 9; the vote in the Assembly was 56 to 13?, states the petition. “Now, the measure sits on the desk of Governor Chris Christie, who has the option of signing it into law, allowing it to become law without his signature, or vetoing it.”

It continues; “We are calling Governor Christie to quickly sign it into law, allowing those suffering from the ailment to use a medicine that research has continually shown is beneficial.”

New Jersey: Assembly Advances Bill Adding PTSD To Medical Marijuana List

The NJ Assembly passed legislation Thursday adding PTSD to the list of conditions treatable with medical marijuana.

By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

The Assembly passed legislation on Thursday to allow qualified New Jersey residents to use medical marijuana for treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder.

The Democratic-led Assembly voted 55-14, with 7 abstentions, sending the bill to the Senate for consideration.

Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican, ignored advocates of the bill who asked him to sign the measure as he walked into the statehouse Thursday. He has often been critical of marijuana legalization in other states.

Jim Miller, the co-founder of the Coalition for Medical Marijuana New Jersey, said he has asked the governor at least four times previously to support the measure, but Christie has never answered him.

Although cannabis is illegal in most states and not approved by the Department of Veteran Affairs for PTSD treatment, Miller said he supports the bill.

“They shouldn’t have to fight their government for the inherent right to health,” Miller said.

Marijuana is currently approved in New Jersey to treat multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, and terminal cancer, among other medical diseases. It’s also approved for seizures and glaucoma if those conditions are resistant to conventional treatment.

New Jersey: Scutari Pushes For Marijuana Legalization Despite Resistance From Governor Christie

New Jersey marijuana.jpg

By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

New Jersey Senator Nicholas Scutari (D-22) has just returned from a trip to Colorado where he toured the state's dispensaries and consulted with state officials on the rollout of their legalization effort. He hopes to get New Jersey to follow in that state's footsteps despite resistance from Governor Chris Christie on the issue.

Scutari spoke at a State House press conference, saying that he expects he will be able to draft a comprehensive bill and rally support for the measure before the end of this session. He said that he has been in touch with certain of the Democratic frontrunners in the race to succeed Christie in 2017.

“You’re going to have a new administration next year,” Scutari said. “And we’re going to see which one and what they’re going to do with it. I know that Mr. Murphy has already indicated publicly that he would sign a legalization. I know that no one has talked negatively about it."

Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) and Senator Ray Lesniak (D-20) have said they would consider legalization while Jersey City Steve Fulop has not taken a position.

New Jersey: Christie Won't Apologize To Family Who Left State For Child's Medical Marijuana

VivianAndBrianWilson[NJ.com]

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie on Wednesday defended his state's strict medical marijuana program, shrugging off a suggestion that a family had no choice but to relocate to Colorado so their ailing daughter could access medicinal cannabis products.

"Vivian Wilson's family chose themselves to leave the state of New Jersey," an unapologetic Christie blustered, reports Susan K. Livio at NJ Advance Media. "The fact is we signed into law the ability for children to get medical marijuana under very strict guidelines."

"The folks who want edibles all the time for kids should go to Colorado," Christie said. "So you know, I'm sorry, I am an anti-marijuana guy. You are a pro-marijuana guy," he said to a spectator at Wednesday's town hall who asked about the Wilson family, and whether it was fair they were forced to leave the state for their daughter's health. "That's fine," Christie said. "I'll enforce the federal law."

"This is a medical program, not a recreational program," the incredibly insensitive Christie unnecessarily pointed out. (Is this loud-mouthed lard tub really suggesting that Vivian's parents want to get her stoned?)

Vivian, 4, suffers from Dravet syndrome, a severe, potentially life-threatening form of epilepsy that results in seizures that traditional pharmaceuticals have been unable to control.

U.S.: Hillary Clinton Says Feds Shouldn't Interfere With Legal Marijuana

HillaryClinton[KUSA]

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Hillary Clinton is feeling the heat when it comes to federal marijuana policy. Just after her first primary debate with fellow Democrats who want to be President, Clinton is finally giving some answers about how she'd handle states which have legalized cannabis.

Clinton had declined to take a position on marijuana legalization in Tuesday's CNN debate, but she wasn't asked at the debate how she'd handle legalization by states as President, reports Brandon Rittiman at KUSA.

In stark contrast to GOP candidate Chris Christie, who has said he'd use federal power to stop legalized sales of marijuana in states like Colorado and Washington, Clinton said "I want to give you the space" to experiment with cannabis policy.

"I really believe it's important that states like Colorado lead the way so we can learn what works and what doesn't work," Clinton told 9NEWS political reporter Rittiman. "I would certainly not want the federal government to interfere with the legal decision made by the people of Colorado."

Clinton had previously expressed support for state-level medical marijuana laws, but appears to be the first time she's supported recreational legalization at the state level.

U.S.: PR Firm Refusing Offers To Work On Christie Campaign Due To Anti-Pot Stance

HempPublicRelations(logo)

Hemp Public Relations on Tuesday announced that they are refusing all multi-million dollar offers to provide their expertise to Governor Chris Christie’s presidential campaign. For good measure, Hemp Public Relations has issued a lifetime ban on Christie for all company events.

“Governor Christie has publicly said as president, he would "crack down" on states that have ended prohibitions on marijuana," said Ryan McCormick, cofounder of Hemp Public Relations. "We feel that anyone who would threaten to subvert the will of the people and claim that their own personal ideology trumps that of the people is an affront to the very foundation of America.

"For this reason, Hemp Public Relations will refuse to work or assist the Christie campaign in any capacity for any amount of money,” McCormick said.

Hemp Public Relations helps individuals and businesses in the marijuana industry to achieve greater visibility in the public eye through the media. The company is founded by Mark Goldman and Ryan McCormick, public relations professionals who are the creators of New York based Goldman McCormick PR (www.goldmanmccormick.com) and Legal PR Team (www.legalprteam.com).

U.S.: Legalized Marijuana Would Be Eliminated Under A Christie Presidency

ChrisChristieIntoHimself[Startraksphoto.com]

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie on Sunday promised to eliminate legalized marijuana in states like Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Alaska if he's elected president.

The rotund Republican, speaking on CBS' "Face The Nation," said his administration would use federal law outlawing marijuana to crack down on states that have legalized recreational cannabis use, reports Matt Arco of NJ Advance Media.

"Yes sir," Christie replied to host John Dickerson when asked if he'd go after Colorado and Washington for legalized marijuana.

"If you were President would you return the federal prosecutions in the states of Colorado, Washington state?" Dickerson asked. "Yes," Christie answered.

"So, if somebody's enjoying that now in their state, if you're President, that's getting turned off?" Dickerson pressed. "Correct," Christie responded.

The Obama Administration hasn't punished states which have legalized marijuana, nor has it forced them to roll back the initiatives that voters approved.

Christie, on the other hand, has been a vocal critic of cannabis legalization; ignoring science, he claims it's a "gateway drug."

Photo of Gov. Chris Christie: Startraksphoto.com/New York Post

U.S.: Gov. Chris Christie Promises To Crack Down On Marijuana If Elected President

ChrisChristieEating[FreedomOutpost]

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

If you want to see a massive marijuana crackdown in the United States, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is your guy.

Christie made an appearance on the Hugh Hewitt radio show on Tuesday and claimed he will "crack down" on states that have legalized marijuana if he becomes President in the future, reports Carimah Townes at ThinkProgress.

"Marijuana is a gateway drug," Christie claimed, ignoring scientific studies showing otherwise. "We have an enormous addiction problem in this country. And we need to send very clear leadership from the White House on down through the federal law enforcement.

"Marijuana is an illegal drug under federal law," Christie said. "And the states should not be permitted to sell it and profit from it."

Asked by Hewitt if he would enforce federal marijuana prohibition in Washington, Colorado and other states that legalize recreational cannabis, the Governor responded, "Absolutely. I will crack down and not permit it."

Christie's hardline stance might not prove very popular with voters. According to the latest results from Pew Research Center, 53 percent of Americans favor marijuana legalization.

New Jersey: Governor Refuses To Help Suffering Children With Medical Marijuana

ChrisChristieSmirks[AP-MattRourke]

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's cold-hearted refusal to allow sick children in his state safe access to medical marijuana was the subject of a blistering editorial inMonday's Star-Ledger.

"The issue of edible marijuana in New Jersey comes down to an irrefutable premise: The governor of this state has had numerous chances to liberate children from suffering over the last 18 months, yet he has chosen not to do it," wrote the Star-Ledger Editorial Board.

"Chris Christie seems content to live with this disgrace," the board wrote. "At one time, he summoned the audacity by looking into the faces of inconsolable parents and chirping the dim-bulb refrain, 'It's complicated,' and now he merely dismisses a law that he signed himself and hopes that nobody notices."

The op-ed unsparingly points out that two years after Vivian Wilson's parents were forced to move to Colorado for the sake of their toddler's health, there is still no workable edible marijuana program for New Jersey's needlessly suffering children -- "because Christie's administration doesn't prioritize compassion."

New Jersey: Parents Say Medical Marijuana Brought Back Their Daughter's Ability To Speak

NewJerseySaraEstrellaBegTheGovernor

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A New Jersey family says that medical marijuana brought back their daughter's ability to speak.

According to parents Shawnea and Ernie Estrella, brain surgery and severe, repeated seizures took away their 22-year-old daughter Sara's speech for 17 years, reports New Jersey News 12. Sara has Lennox Gastaut Synedrome, or LGS, which results in severe seizures.

Over the past month, Shawnea and Ernie said medical marijuana brought back Sara's voice. She started on cannabis on June 27. Her seizures decreased drastically, going 48 hours seizure-free at a time.

"We decreased one of her medications, Depakote, by 750 milligrams a day," Shawnea said. "She is more alert and happy than she's been in a long time. Her appetite is increased and she is up to 95 pounds."

According to her parents, Sara hadn't spoken since her brain surgery at age 5, then for the first time in 17 years, used two words, "no" and "out." "I think she's working on a third: 'home,'" Shawnea said.

The Estrellas said they hope to someday get access to pills and oils, because even with Sara's medical marijuana recommendation, they have to concentrate marijuana into oil, a process which can take hours.

U.S.: Christie Says He Wouldn't Treat Marijuana States Well As President

ChrisChristieShakesFinger

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Republican New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said on Friday that states which have legalized marijuana "probably" wouldn't be treated well if he is elected President.

The governor was campaigning with New Hampshire GOP gubernatorial candidate Walt Havenstein when he was asked by Brinck Slattery, a Republican running for state representative: "I know that you have some ambitions for D.C., perhaps. If you were President, how would you treat states that have legalized marijuana?"

"Probably not well," Christie responded, walking away from the conversation, reports Matt Ferner at The Huffington Post. "Not well, but we'll see. We'll have to see what happens." Christie's statement was captured in a video shot by Matt Simon, New England political director for the Marijuana Policy Project.

"It's one thing for Governor Christie to say he doesn't like what's happening in Colorado; quite another thing for him to threaten federal interference if he became President," Slattery said.

"Widely and generally speaking, that reflects his philosophy on marijuana, legalization and restrictions for medically based programs," said Michael Drewniak, Christie's press secretary, of the governor's comment.

Twenty-three states have legalized cannabis for medicinal purposes, with New York being the latest; Colorado and Washington have legalized recreational use as well. Alaska votes on legalization in August.

New Jersey: Gov. Christie Says Medical Marijuana 'A Front For Legalization'

NJGovChrisChristieYelling

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

If there was any doubt in anyone's mind about just how ignorant New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is when it comes to medicinal cannabis, the big guy has put those doubts to rest. Following reports that patient enrollment in the state's medical marijuana program is low (due largely to his own foot-dragging and ineffective implementation), Christie called the New Jersey program and others like it across the nation "a front for legalization."

The New Jersey Legislature passed the state's medical marijuana law back in 2009, and former Gov. Jon Corzine, a Democrat, signed it just before he left office. The Christie Administration, since then, has been notably slow in implementing the program; the first dispensary didn't open until December 2012, reports Brent Johnson at The Star-Ledger.

Only 2,342 patients have signed up for New Jersey's medical marijuana program, after initial predictions had estimated tens of thousands of patients might be helped. Last week, the president and CEO of Compassionate Care Foundation, Inc., in Egg Harbor -- one of only three operational dispensaries in the state -- announced he is quitting because, he said, he couldn't keep working for no pay.

New Jersey: Medical Marijuana Program Struggling Under Rigid Rules, High Costs

NewJersey-GardenStateDispensary

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

When New Jersey's medical marijuana law was being written and passed, it was often boasted that it was "the strictest in the nation," as if serving fewer patients was somehow something to brag about. Now, after initial predictions that the program could serve tens of thousands of patients, only 2,342 have signed up, a participation rate so small some worry about the future of the program.

Lawmakers, some dispensary operators and patients blame the low enrollment on New Jersey's strict rules, high costs for both patients and growers, and Governor Chris Christie's barely concealed hostility to the program, including his contention that he doesn't need to do anything to boost participation, reports Susan K. Livio at The Star-Ledger.

One major roadblock, according to almost everyone involved, is that so few physicians in New Jersey are willing to authorize patients for medical marijuana.

"We have a dysfunctional program, and I think it's going to take some sort of 'pot summit' bringing together patients, doctors and legislators to really make this a success," said Assemblyman Reed Gusciora (D-Mercer), one of the lead sponsors of the law.

New Jersey: Gov. Christie Says He Opposes Bill To Legalize Marijuana

NewJerseyChrisChristieMugs

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie on Wednesday emphasized that he is against any effort to legalize marijuana in the state, weeks after a state senator introduced a bill that would make sale and possession of cannabis legal.

"I'm not going to do that on my watch," the GOP governor told a crowd of about 500 at Winston Churchill Elementary School, reports Brent Johnson at The Star-Ledger. "I'm just not. I don't think it's the right thing to do for our state."

State Senator Nicholas Scutari (D-Union) last month introduced a bill that would regulate the cultivation, possession and sale of recreational marijuana, providing new tax revenue for the state.

"It's time to update our archaic drug laws and get real about the detrimental effects they are having on the lives of residents in New Jersey," Scutari said.

A Monmouth University/Asbury Park Press poll released on Wednesday showed that nearly 60 percent of New Jersey adults believe alcohol and tobacco are more risky than marijuana. But residents are still split on whether to legalize, with 48 percent in favor of allowing adults to buy small amounts, and 47 percent opposed.

Christie, who has his eye on the White House in 2016, has long said he is against relaxing the marijuana laws because that would "the wrong message" to kids.

U.S.: Top GOP Presidential Hopefuls Declare Commitment to Drug Policy Reform

RepublicanMarijuana

Rick Perry, Chris Christie Join Barack Obama, Kofi Annan and Juan Manuel Santos in Denouncing Current Drug Policy This Week

Politicians from Both Sides of Aisle Support Change

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

President Barack Obama may have said this week that marijuana is no more harmful than alcohol, but the Republican Party appears determined not to be outflanked by the Democrats on the issue of cannabis law reform.

Rick Perry, Republican governor of Texas who ran for the presidency in 2012 and is widely expected to consider a run in 2016, repeatedly recognized state governments’ right to legalize marijuana and touted his implementation of “policies that start us toward a decriminalization” in a drug policy reform panel at the World Economic Forum Thursday.

Perry joins New Jersey governor Chris Christie, another expected candidate for the 2016 Republican presidential primary, who also noted his commitment to drug policy reform this week, saying “We will end the failed war on drugs that believes that incarceration is the cure of every ill caused by drug abuse” in his second inaugural address Tuesday.

New Jersey: Gov. Christie Says 'We Will End the Failed War On Drugs'

NJGovChrisChristieBridgegate

Embattled Governor, Fighting 'Bridgegate' Allegations, Calls for Alternatives to Incarceration and Expanded Drug Treatment

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Governor Chris Christie on Tuesday took the oath of office for a second term and delivered his inaugural address at the War Memorial in Trenton. During his inaugural address he called for an end to the drug war and compassion for those suffering from drug addiction.

Drug policy reform advocates applauded the Governor's remarks, even as cynics derided Christie for what they called a desperate attempt to draw public attention away from the Bridgegate scandal, which is threatening to derail Christie's Presidential ambitions. Christie had been the front-runner for the GOP nomination for President until the scandal broke recently.

Christie's sudden conversion to Drug War reformer is particularly startling, coming as it does after four solid years of obstructionism and foot-dragging when it comes to New Jersey's medical marijuana program, signed into law by Christie's predecessor, Gov. Jon Corzine, on Corzine's last day in office. Many patients have been left in the lurch by Christie's neglect of, and active opposition to, the program.

Syndicate content