Chris Christie to sign law easing pot use for sick kids

Credit: Reuters
Credit: Reuters

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Friday acted on new legislation that will make it easier for children and teenagers suffering from serious illnesses to obtain medical marijuana.

Christie agreed to sign the so-called pot-for-tots bill if the New Jersey legislature makes changes, including removing wording that would have reduced the number of required physician recommendations for children.

He also agreed that children should be allowed access to edible forms of marijuana besides lozenges, considered difficult for young patients to use properly, but asked for tighter language in the bill to be sure only minors can get the medication.

Christie agreed with other parts of the bill, including eliminating the three-strain cultivation limit on authorized dispensaries, which would allow growers to develop products tailored for individual patients, including some adults, according to proponents.

Christie, who is running for reelection as New Jersey’s governor and widely considered a contender for president in 2016, gave his “conditional” approval to the bill but sent it back to the legislature with the suggested changes.

“I am making commonsense recommendations to this legislation to ensure sick children receive the treatment their parents prefer, while maintaining appropriate safeguards,” he said in a statement.

New Jersey is one of 19 states with a medical marijuana program, but the state’s rules have made it difficult for young patients to enroll in treatment, according to proponents of the bill.

The legislation has been sitting on Christie’s desk for nearly two months and his conditional approval comes two days after he was confronted at a campaign stop by a Scotch Plains father whose 2-year-old suffers from Dravet Syndrome, a potentially deadly form of epilepsy.

Brian Wilson urged Christie in a restaurant full of voters to sign the bill saying, “Don’t let my daughter die.”

Wilson said the kind of marijuana that helps stop his daughter’s seizures currently is grown only in Colorado.

Christie acknowledged that marijuana is a controlled substance under U.S. federal law and “implementing a state controlled program while the drug remains illegal has raised numerous challenges.” The administration of President Barack Obama has discouraged federal prosecutors from pursuing people who distribute marijuana for medical purposes under state laws.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 22,…

The Percy Sutton Harlem 5K and NYC Family Health Walk-a-thon and Pakistan Day Parade and Fair will cause traffic delays and street closures in New York City this weekend. Plan…

International

U.N. nuclear inquiry on Iran seen making slow…

The U.N. nuclear watchdog appears to have made only limited progress so far in getting Iran to answer questions about its suspected atomic bomb research, diplomatic sources said on Friday,…

National

Violence-weary Missouri town sees second night of calm

By Nick Carey and Carey GillamFERGUSON Mo. (Reuters) - The violence-weary town of Ferguson, Missouri, saw a second straight evening of relative calm on Thursday…

National

Journalist James Foley's parents, after call with pope,…

The parents of James Foley, the American journalist killed by Islamic State militants in Iraq, on Friday called for prayer and support to free the remaining captives held by Islamic…

Television

Recap: 'The Knick,' Season 1, Episode 3, 'The…

The third episode of Steven Soderbergh's "The Knick" finds Dr. Thackery (Clive Owen) meeting an old flame and other characters embracing self-destruction.

Music

Webcast: Watch Polyphonic Spree live on Sunday Aug.…

Polyphonic Spree singer Tim DeLaughter sits with Metro Music Editor Pat Healy for a chat and then the big band performs live. It begins on Sunday at 9:30 pm

Movies

Matthew Weiner on directing 'Are You Here' and…

"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner discusses his movie "Are You Here," his history writing comedy and the tiny movie he directed in 1996 you can't see.

Movies

Michael Chiklis on his football past and 'When…

Michael Chiklis remembers playing football in high school and how that prepped him to play a coach in "When the Game Stands Tall."

NFL

3 things we learned about the Giants in…

The Giants claimed the Snoopy trophy in a battle of MetLife Stadium tenants Friday night. But more importantly, the offense finally showed some life in…

NFL

3 things we learned about the Jets in…

The Jets lost the Snoopy Bowl, 35-24, to the Giants, losing the trophy and local bragging rights.

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

Sex

Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…

Tech

Siren: A new dating app that puts women…

Online dating can be brutal, especially for single women. Noting that many women hate wading through inappropriate messages and photos, two tech entrepreneurs decided to…