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
International

Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."

National

Chelsea Clinton pregnant with first child

Chelsea Clinton is pregnant with her first child.

National

Divers struggle in search for South Korean ferry…

By Jungmin Jang and Narae KimMOKPO/JINDO, South Korea (Reuters) - Rescuers struggled with strong waves and murky waters on Thursday as they searched for hundreds…

National

New Hampshire moves to decriminalize adultery

For the first time in hundreds of years, it's about to be legal to cheat on your spouse in New Hampshire.

Television

Dick Wolf to bring fictionalized world of 'Law…

A&E has ordered a pilot called "D.O.A." from "Law and Order" mastermind Dick Wolf that will focus on real detectives reexamining cold cases. A trio…

Movies

Review: 'Transcendence' is not stupid but sometimes lacks…

The cyberthriller "Transcendence" explores artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and other ethical quandaries, but has too much ambition, if anything.

Television

Shane West talks WGN America's 'Salem'

The actor on history lessons, a new network and showing his butt.

Music

Both feet on the ground with Aimee Mann…

What began with a cool double-bill of Ted Leo opening for Aimee Mann morphed into a full-fledged collaborative project that they're calling The Both. “There…

MLB

Jimmy Rollins is key to Phillies success

When John Kruk was asked about what the Phillies need to contend for a playoff berth, the ESPN analyst said Jimmy Rollins needs to play like a MVP again.

MLB

Ben Revere lifts Phillies to avoid sweep

Ben Revere came through with a two-out RBI single against Atlanta’s tough lefthander Alex Wood.

NBA

Season wrap: 76ers make the grade

The 76ers opened the 2013-14 season with a victory over the Miami Heat. The Sixers closed the season with a win at Miami.

NBA

Fantasy basketball: Finding next year's NBA studs

Before we put the 2013-14 fantasy basketball season to bed, it’s worth thinking about next year’s breakouts while they’re fresh in our mind.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.

Travel

Earth Day travel in the Florida Keys

See why this eco-friendly destination deserves your attention.

Tech

Sorry, Facebook — FarmVille goes mobile with 'Country…

Zynga has released a version of the hit "FarmVille" tailored for smartphones and tablets in the hope of reaping a bumper crop of players.