Presidential Aspirations Gone to Pot

As the scandals around Chris Christie continue to pile up, it made me revisit the story of how Christie handled – well, mishandled – the implementation of New Jersey’s medical marijuana program. I didn’t pay too much attention to it at the time, but it was certainly a reason that drug law reformers were some of Christie’s loudest detractors in the 2013 campaign for governor.

From April 2011:

The aspirations of New Jersey’s first medical marijuana businesses range from modest to potentially massive, but marijuana advocates say the state’s startup dispensaries have stronger ties to traditional medicine than most — and an unusual number of politically connected people involved in them.

Christie inherited the law from his predecessor, Jon Corzine, but has done just about everything possible to keep it from being implemented in a way that might actually help people – well, not counting well-connected people hoping to make money.

Fast forward to this month:

A state appeals court today ruled the state Health Department must produce a report within 45 days that explains how New Jersey’s medical marijuana program has been implemented, the status of dispensaries that have not yet opened, and whether there are enough growers to meet patient demand.

The decision, however, is only a partial win for the patients and physician who sued the Christie administration in 2012 for intentionally delaying the program. The plaintiffs wanted the court to nullify the health department’s choice of three nonprofits that have yet to have their plans for dispensaries approved nearly three years later.

Yesterday, Jay R. Lassiter in PolitickerNJ also called out Christie for this horrible track record:

Now that the entire universe knows about Chris Christie’s insatiable appetite for recriminations, it’s a good time to reexamine the scandal-plagued Governor’s role in destroying NJ’s medical marijuana law. Why? Because the five-year-old program — signed into law shortly before Christie took office — has been a case study in big-government incompetence.

Yes, worth taking a much longer look.


  1. 1

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    NBC Poll: Stick A Fork In Him; He’s Done

    “Chris Christie’s political future looks to be in serious danger with more Americans believing the embattled New Jersey governor is lying about the bridge closure scandal than telling the truth, according to the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.

    “Christie’s overall standing has taken a major hit in the survey, with just 22 percent of Americans viewing the Republican New Jersey governor favorably ….

    “Christie has denied ordering or knowing anything about the traffic jam-inducing George Washington Bridge lane closures, but 44 percent believe that Christie mostly is not telling the truth. By comparison, 42 percent say he’s mostly telling the truth. …

    “Christie’s ratings have taken a hit across the board, not just with Democrats. … Since October, his favorability rating fell 35 points with Democrats, 20 points with independents, and 7 points with Republicans.

    “Christie is also struggling with every demographic group and in nearly every region. The only region where his favorable ratings outweigh his negative ones is the Northeast, but even there, he’s barely above water at 31 percent favorable/30 percent unfavorable. …

    “With African-Americans, Christie … saw one of his largest collapses, dropping 42 points. In October, he had a 45 percent positive/6 percent negative rating with blacks. Now, it sits at 22 percent/25 percent.”

    Roger Rabbit Commentary: I’d say he’s well done; and, well, just done.

  2. 2

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Chris Christie isn’t the only high flyer whose numbers took a fall. Apple’s iPhone sales came up short and its stock plunged 8% in after-hours trading. I hope none of you own AAPL shares. I don’t.