By now most of us have a good idea of how New Jersey’s Governor Chris Christie looks at medical marijuana laws and marijuana reform as a whole – he is extremely skeptical at best and doesn’t seem to want to help move things forward very often (with the exception of signing a bill to allow medical marijuana in schools, though this was while he was still campaigning for the position of the president). It appears that now he is back to his old ways of skepticism when it comes to the medical marijuana program being ran in his state.
There is currently a bill sitting on his desk called Assembly Bill 457, which would add Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) to the list of qualifying conditions as long as conventional treatments have not been found effective. The bill was rather quick to go through legislature and had overwhelming support on both sides compared to other pieces of medical marijuana legislature to go through in the past. The final tally for the Senate was 29-9 in favor and for the Assembly, the final count was 56-13.
However, the bill continues to sit on Governor Christie’s desk untouched and uncommented on at all. Already part of the way through the 45 day waiting period in which the governor has the opportunity to sign the bill into law or veto it, patients who have been waiting for legal access to needed medicine are getting impatient. If the bill is not signed within that 45 day period it will become law regardless, but at that rate why won’t Christie simply sign it and allow patients to start medicating legally?
“There’s a growing excitement thinking there might be a chance,” Miller said (president of the Coalition for Medical Marijuana in New Jersey). “I am hopeful that the governor will have a couple of veterans come in and witness the signing. That’s just a good photo op for him.”
In hopes of encouraging the governor to sign the bill, a Change.org petition has been started by TheJointBlog.com. With a goal of 15,000 signatures, the petition has only been active for six days and is already 1,000 away from reaching its goal. The petition cites studies in which it was proven that medical marijuana can be beneficial to patients with PTSD – in hopes that this will sway Governor Christie’s opinions and fears that the program is becoming a “backdoor to recreational use”. Hopefully with the large amount of support in such a short time, the petition will help to move this bill into law for the patients who have been waiting for relief.