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Will Governor Christie Sign Marijuana Legislation that Supports the Kids?

Jul 6, 2015 • 1:22 PM EDT
2 MIN READ  •  By Michael Berger
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Last week, the New Jersey state Health Department issued a permit for the fifth medical marijuana dispensary to begin to grow marijuana in the state

Compassionate Sciences, Inc. built a dispensary and an indoor cultivation facility in Bellmawr, New Jersey. The company will need to submit its cannabis for testing and final approval before the dispensary can open. The company expects to open this fall, as it usually takes around three months to grow and harvest marijuana.

New Jersey has been slow to act

In March 2011, the New Jersey state Health Department awarded medical marijuana licenses to six non-profits. Medical marijuana patients and advocates have complained about the slow pace in which the dispensaries have opened.

Currently, there are approximately 5,300 patients and caregivers and 392 physicians are enrolled in the state’s medical marijuana program.

Legislation being sent to Chris Christie

It took less than a week for pro-marijuana legislation to pass through the state legislature. The legislation that will be sent to Governor Chris Christie allows sick and disabled children to bring their edible medical marijuana to school.

The bill was inspired by 16-year-old Genny Barbour who is diagnosed with autism and severe epilepsy. Genny’s school district has refused to allow her mother’s homemade cannabis oil on school property because they fear they will be breaking the law.

Genny’s father, Roger Barbour, appealed a judge’s decision denying access to edible marijuana at the Larc School in Bellmawr. The decision from January was the subject of a private hearing last week.

According to the bill, school boards would be required to adopt a policy that permits parents, guardians and primary caregivers to bring edible cannabis to give it to the child on school property. The child must be a registered patient with the state’s medicinal marijuana program and diagnosed with a developmental disability.

The New Jersey state Senate approved the bill by a 33-4 vote without discussion. The state Assembly approved the bill on a 59-9 vote with 10 abstentions.

Marijuana tax revenue is blood money?

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said if he was president he would enforce federal drug laws in states that have legalized and regulated cannabis. Christie said he would crack down and not permit it.

Governor Christie is one of the loudest voices against marijuana. He thinks that recreational marijuana should not be legal, even if you can tax it liberally. Governor Christie took his statements even further and said that tax revenue generated from marijuana is blood money.

Governor Christie is more of an opportunist than a governor interested in what best serves his state. We can only hope that his reign as governor of New Jersey ends sooner than later. Marijuana activists need to rally against leaders like Christie because he is out of touch with the American people and their needs. Change will only come with action and we need to elect smarter policy makers who want to serve the people who elected them in the first place. 

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Authored By

Michael Berger

Michael Berger is Managing Partner of StoneBridge Partners, LLC and Founder of Prior to entering the cannabis industry, Michael was an Equity Research Analyst at Raymond James Financial covering the Energy Sector. Michael has been featured in publications such as The Street, Bloomberg, US Money News, and hosts various cannabis events across North America.


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