SCOTCH PLAINS – The governor was here to collect another endorsement by a Democratic elected official.
He did that, bagging the support of Mayor Kevin Glover, but along the way he had to walk a sidewalk gauntlet of local friends of Vivian Wilson of Scotch Plains, who want the governor to sign S-2842 – New Jersey’s medical marijuana legalization bill.
The governor has said he has examining the bill, but has concerns about “a slippery slope.”
Brian Wilson of Scotch Plains, Vivian’s father, was here to try to convince Christie to sign the bill as written.
“I see, I hear,” Christie told the crowd as he moved on foot through the downtown business district, accompanied by Glover.
“Vivian Wilson lives here,” a protestor shouted.
According to LettersforVivian.org, the two-year old Vivian Wilson suffers from a rare and incurable seizure disorder called Dravet syndrome.
“This genetic disorder causes children like Vivian to have numerous types of seizures, including life threatening tonic clonic seizures that last up to 40 minutes,” according to the site. “The rescue medicines used to stop these seizures can, and have, caused Vivian to stop breathing. Additionally, pharmaceuticals used to prevent Vivian’s seizures are highly addictive and have a complex list of side effects, including developmental impairment.”
Her advocates say S-2842 “would make access to a medical cannabis card less cumbersome for the parents of afflicted minors, would allow for safer forms of consumption and would lift the non-sensical three strain limit, giving all patients access to the type of medical cannabis that fits their ailment best.”
There was some political cat and mouse leading up to the event.
The medical marijuana bill supporters had greater strength at 1 p.m., where they assembled with signs outside the local Highlander Restaurant, where the mayor planned to announce his formal support of the governor.
Christie didn’t show up on time, and the crowd of activists with pink signs thinned by the time he arrived.
“I’m tired of standing,” groaned one woman under hat and sunglasses.
GOP reinforcements also amplified those other Scotch Plains residents who showed up happily, simply to have their picture taken with the Republican running for re-election in the November general election.
“Infighting,” said Republican John Campbell of Plainfield, who’s running against Assemblywoman Linda Stender, (D-22), in the Democratic-leaning Central Jersey district. “People are ready for a change. The Democrats have had ten chances to get it right and they haven’t.”
Stender helped craft the medical marijuana bill in question.
Newly elected Mayor Glover, a Democrat, was happy to back the Republican incumbent governor.
“I am endorsing Governor Christie today because he is a man of his word who has set aside partisanship to put New Jersey and New Jerseyans first,” said the mayor. “The Governor fought to bring sanity to the state budget, to help towns by giving us the tools we need to manage our budgets and control costs. At every step, the big reforms for our state were done with bipartisan cooperation and support, which is what people want and what they expect leaders to do.
“Finally, Governor Christie maintained this approach while responding to and recovering from Sandy. I am proud to endorse Governor Christie today. In my mind, there is no one better to lead New Jersey and ensure that our needs are met for the next four years.”