New Jersey Gov. Won’t Expand MMJ Program

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will not expand the state’s current medical marijuana program “under any circumstances,” saying he believes doing so would help efforts to legalize cannabis for recreational use.

A recently proposed bill would allow medical marijuana patients in New Jersey to buy the plant in other states where it is legal and then bring it home. Of the 20 legal marijuana states, six have such reciprocity agreements.

Christie made it clear this week that such bills are dead in the water.

“Here’s what the advocates want: they want legalization of marijuana in New Jersey. It will not happen on my watch, ever,” Christ said in a press conference. “Every time you sign one expansion, then the advocates will come back and ask for another one.”

New Jersey legalized medical marijuana in 2010; however, its program has been slow to materialize due to stringent licensing policies. The state’s third medical marijuana dispensary is expected to open this week in Woodbridge.

Christie said there is not enough demand from marijuana patients to expand the current MMJ program.

The idea for the new bill came from Meghan and Brian Wilson of Scotch Plains, whose two-year-old daughter suffers from a form of drug-resistant epilepsy. The Wilson’s say that edible marijuana helps their daughter, but infused products are not currently produced in New Jerseyt.

Brian Wilson said the state’s expensive licensing fees are to blame for the state’s small number of registered patients. Currently there are 1,500 registered patients in New Jersey.

“Who wants to spend $200 on sign-up fees plus the countless doctors fees, not covered by insurance, to participate in a program that cannot serve the current client base?” Wilson told The Star-Ledger.