TRENTON – Medical marijuana supporters rallied outside the Statehouse Wednesday, calling on Gov. Chris Christie to get moving and implement the program.
The program has been slow to gain ground, largely because of various regulations, advocates said. One of the rules under the state medical marijuana law was a requirement that doctors be registered in the program.
As of this week, though, only 109 of the state’s approximately 28,000 physicians are registered in the program, according to Ken Wolsky, executive director of the Coalition of Medical Marijuana.
However, local zoning boards in recent months have rejected applications for setting up dispensaries, causing more delays. The rally participants called on the state to make dispensaries a permitted use in any zone, bypassing local control that has functioned as a roadblock to the program.
In the meantime, advocates say patients with chronic pain continue to suffer.
Supporters held up signs such as “Support Marijuana Farming,” “Help Group Our Economy,” “It’s the Compassionate Thing to Do.”
Wolsky said the main goal is to get timely access to marijuana for some 50,000 patients suffering from severe pain.