A reader writes:
Andrew, have you looked at the draft rules for New Jersey's medical marijuana program? They put an onerous burden on a patient to get approved for a permit in the first place, and then slap them with a $200 permit fee. If the person is too sick or infirmed to get to a dispensary (and since there are only planned to be four in the state, this could involve hours of travel), they can designate a caregiver to make their purchase for them -- after they too have paid a $200 fee. A good vaporizer (recommended delivery method) can easily costs another $200 or more.
This means that if a doctor believes his or her patient would benefit from medical cannabis, the patient has to commit to spending hours and hundreds of dollars just to try it out.
The rules would arbitrarily limit the number of growers in the state to two, and they could grow no more than three strains each, reducing the opportunities for growers to offer specialized strains that target specific medical problems. The product could only be sold as dried buds, lozenges, or as a topical ointment; cannabis would not be available in cakes, brownies, or other edible forms. Must patients promise not to enjoy the product too?
Wondering how this is going to play for Chris Christie. He evidently wants to show Arnold and the other GOP governors what a good law-and-order figure he is, but there's something in these rules to annoy or anger just about every constituency. Clearly the libertarian element in the GOP should be disappointed by all of the meddling, bureaucratic, and anti-market elements in this program.