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Asks DHSS Commissioner for Cooperation in Fulfilling Spirit of the Law

Assemblyman Reed Gusciora today sent a letter to Department of Health and Senior Services Commissioner Poonam Alaigh voicing his concerns over the direction the department is taking in drafting the regulations necessary to comply with the “Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act” that he sponsored.

“If we don’t follow the spirit of the law to a ‘T’ we will essentially be erasing the compassionate element in this act,” said Gusciora (D-Mercer). “My foremost concerns are that the department is moving towards allowing only four alternative treatment centers and two cultivation centers while also limiting the allowable THC levels and the forms in which patients can use medical marijuana. Not only does this violate the legislative intent of the bill but it also means that we will be limiting the availability of this treatment alternative to only a select few.”

Gusciora also expressed concerns over the timeline for implementation of the law, which is now scheduled to be delayed an additional eight months. After granting the Christie administration’s request to delay the bill’s implementation until October 1, 2010, the department has now stated that the program will not be up and running until July 1, 2011.

“This law was meticulously crafted to incorporate strict measures to prevent any illegal misuse while providing a viable pain management alternative to those who have found little solace in other more traditional methods. I have asked the department to work with us so that we can address any concerns they have without dismantling the spirit of the law.”