Chris Christie Worried About "Profit Motive" of Medical Marijuana Dispensaries
At a town hall in South River, New Jersey, yesterday, Gov. Chris Christie (R) was asked by a mother about the the lack of availability of edible medical marijuana for her child. "The medical marijuana program that exists in New Jersey right now isn't really helpful," the mother told Christie, blaming a lack of communication on the program not working the way it should. Christie finally signed a law last summer permitting edible medical marijuana only after spending several months mulling it over and then conditionally vetoing it.
In the course of a long and winding answer, Christie indirectly addressed the recent bill submitted in the state legislature to legalize possession of marijuana of up to an ounce. While insisting he was willing to make changes to the state medical marijuana law, he said:
"What I'm not willing to do is legalize it or permit recreational use or things that will lead to that, and so that's the line that I've drawn in the sand that I'm not willing to do."
As for the supply of edible medical marijuana not meeting the demand, it's largely due to the regulatory burdens imposed by the state. But Christie doesn't see it that way:
"Part of the problem with this is what I originally proposed with the medical marijuana program…was that it be a hospital-based program, that way the profit motive is drained out a lot from it."
Christie said the Democrat-controlled legislature wasn't interested in his idea. "What I want in this state is a medically-based program," the governor told the town hall. "If we're going to have a medical marijuana program, that's what it should be." He noted places like Colorado and California—where medical marijuana programs have been increasingly broadened—and said he didn't want to go there.