Suing State of New Jersey over Medical Marijuana Law Being Considered by Advocates

Suing State of New Jersey over Medical Marijuana Law Being Considered by Advocates

7/20/2011

 

Filing a lawsuit against the state of New Jersey is an option being considered by marijuana advocates in case Gov. Chris Christie continues to vacillate on the implementation of a law that legalizes pot for medical use.

The advocates, however, are not that enthusiastic about the prospect.

Roseanne Scotti, the director of the Drug Policy Alliance in New Jersey, said, “I would hope that would be a last option. A court case can drag on for years and our concern is patients having access now.”

The governor has yet to respond to a U.S. Justice Department memo released Thursday which says that marijuana licensed growers and dispensaries in states where medical marijuana laws are in effect could face legal action for federal drug and money-laundering law violations.

Michael Drewniak, the spokesman of Gov. Christie, said that the governor is still waiting for the advice of Attorney General Paula Dow, who apparently is still reviewing the letter. The governor has been very much concerned on whether New Jersey state employees could face also prosecution for performing their regulatory tasks over medical marijuana. Recently, the first-term Republican governor has said that before taking action on the law’s implementation, he wanted to have some assurances first.

Last month, Governor Christie stated, “The federal government is saying medical marijuana is against the law. Until I get that assurance, I cannot ask people to do things that they might get prosecuted (for) by federal prosecutors. What happens if they get arrested and I ordered them to do it? That’s wrong.”

Legal experts and marijuana advocates, however, said that the governor is very much aware of federal laws, having spent seven years as U.S. Attorney for New Jersey.

WRITTEN BY:

blakeh@wellsdrew.com