Chris Christie: I’ll sign a bill easing access to medical marijuana for sick kids — with a few conditions

posted at 6:01 pm on August 16, 2013 by Allahpundit

Like the man says, he’s in this business to win.

“Governor Toke,” I’m now calling him. Kidding, kidding:

The governor signaled that he would sign the bill if the Legislature made two changes:

– That edible forms of marijuana would be available to qualified minors only, not for everyone;

– That both a pediatrician and a psychiatrist should sign off on a child’s prescription

Current law allows New Jersey patients to get medical marijuana, but the bill, S2842, would eliminate a limit on the number of marijuana strains that the state’s dispensaries can cultivate — ostensibly making it more likely that they would carry versions that certain patients seek.

It also would simplify the application process for minors, who currently are required to obtain three letters of support — from the prescribing physician, a pediatrician and a psychiatrist. The bill would require minors, like adults, to obtain a single letter.

He’s vetoing the current bill, in other words, but will sign it if they tweak it just a bit to improve the policy give him slightly more political cover on his right flank. The key here, and the chief complaint of Brian Wilson (the father of the sick girl who confronted Christie a few days ago), was the limit on the number of strains of weed that medical marijuana dispensaries in New Jersey can grow. Vivian Wilson needs a particular type that’s low in intoxicating THC but high in non-intoxicating CBD to treat her Dravet Syndrome and reduce her seizures. Per CNN, a new dispensary is opening in Jersey later this year that’ll sell the high-CBD strain but the current dispensary — the only one in the state — doesn’t stock it because it’s capped at three strains. Christie’s willing to lift the cap, which should get the little girl some relief sooner rather than later, and he’s willing to allow ingestible forms for kids, which is easier for Vivian to consume than lozenges are.

That’s the supply part. The other part is ease of access, i.e. how many doctors are needed to, er, “greenlight” a kid’s use. The haggling over whether one, two, or three should have to sign the prescription smells like pure politics: Current law says three, the new bill passed by Democrats says one, so Christie’s settling on two as a compromise so that Rick Santorum can’t call him a hippie or whatever at one of the 2016 debates. (Bonus right-flank cover: The two doctors must be participants in the state’s medical marijuana program. If they aren’t, Christie still wants three signatures.) What’s odd about the two-doctor minimum is that, in his statement this afternoon announcing his decision, Christie said, “As I have repeatedly noted, I believe that parents, and not government regulators, are best suited to decide how to care for their children.” For most illnesses, we let a kid’s primary physician medicate them with one prescription. Why demand two in this case?

Long story short, this guy just kicked off a national epidemic of reefer madness. Done.

Update: Not good enough, says Brian Wilson.

“The quest for children was always finding anybody on the registry who would see a minor,” said Wilson.

“Our initial pediatrician wanted nothing to do with it. We went back to our original pediatrician, she was sympathetic. She signed up,” said Wilson.

But the requirement of a psychiatrist is the real hurdle, said Wilson.

“The psychiatrist is a roadblock. You’re talking about sick kids who aren’t even necessarily capable of talking,” said Wilson.

“To keep that in is just telling parents who are suffering with these horrible diseases with children, ‘I’m going to make it more difficult for you to get treatment for your child,’” said Wilson.


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Bmore on August 16, 2013 at 6:03 PM

novaculus, hammer meats nail. You are good my friend. ; )

Bmore on August 16, 2013 at 6:04 PM

Not good enough, says Brian Wilson.

Sounds like Brian Wilson has an unspoken agenda that matters more than taking yes for an answer.

sharrukin on August 16, 2013 at 6:06 PM

Pharmaceutical Opiates controlled substance – legal
Pharmaceutical Marijuana controlled substance- illegal

Bmore on August 16, 2013 at 6:08 PM

As long as he gets his share of the brownies…..

viking01 on August 16, 2013 at 6:10 PM

Current law allows New Jersey patients to get medical marijuana, but the bill, S2842, would eliminate a limit on the number of marijuana strains that the state’s dispensaries can cultivate — ostensibly making it more likely that they would carry versions that certain patients career stoners seek.

ReWrite™ engaged for accuracy.

Steve Eggleston on August 16, 2013 at 6:10 PM

Sounds like Brian Wilson has an unspoken agenda that matters more than taking yes for an answer.

sharrukin on August 16, 2013 at 6:06 PM

Specifically, bogarting his daughter’s “medical” supplies.

Steve Eggleston on August 16, 2013 at 6:11 PM

Christie’s little run-in with the doping child abuser father was staged.

Just like all his stupid Youtube moments.

sartana on August 16, 2013 at 6:21 PM

Specifically, bogarting his daughter’s “medical” supplies.

Steve Eggleston on August 16, 2013 at 6:11 PM

Or he is an activist using his daughters illness to push another agenda.

sharrukin on August 16, 2013 at 6:24 PM

Christie continues to fertilize his liberal base.

Pork-Chop on August 16, 2013 at 6:24 PM

Or he is an activist using his daughters illness to push another agenda.

sharrukin on August 16, 2013 at 6:24 PM

“What good are kids if you can’t politically exploit them ?”

—— Barky Hussein the Vacationer

/S

viking01 on August 16, 2013 at 6:26 PM

WTF – a psychiatrist?

Aren’t they they same lot who poured Ritalin and crap down every kids throat who “didn’t pay attention” in some flunky teachers classroom?

Odie1941 on August 16, 2013 at 6:26 PM

Not good enough, says Brian Wilson.

 
Sounds like Brian Wilson has an unspoken agenda that matters more than taking yes for an answer.
 
sharrukin on August 16, 2013 at 6:06 PM

 
I’m guessing it was taken from a phone interview as he was house-hunting in Colorado?

rogerb on August 16, 2013 at 6:29 PM

I’m guessing it was taken from a phone interview as he was house-hunting in Colorado?

rogerb on August 16, 2013 at 6:29 PM

More likely from a meeting with his dealer. He doesn’t seem concerned enough about his daughter to even bother moving to another state.

sharrukin on August 16, 2013 at 6:34 PM

Or he is an activist using his daughters illness to push another agenda.

Or, he’s the father of a desperately ill little girl and can’t see any justification why a two-year-old has to be evaluated by a psychiatrist to determine whether her life is worth saving. “Okay, Vivian, go in there and convince this nice man that you’re well-adjusted, or he’s going to let you die.”

Fabozz on August 16, 2013 at 6:39 PM

Or, he’s the father of a desperately ill little girl and can’t see any justification why a two-year-old has to be evaluated by a psychiatrist to determine whether her life is worth saving. “Okay, Vivian, go in there and convince this nice man that you’re well-adjusted, or he’s going to let you die.”

Fabozz on August 16, 2013 at 6:39 PM

Why does anyone’s little girl have to be evaluated by a doctor before they receive needed medicine?

Oh, the humanity!

sharrukin on August 16, 2013 at 6:42 PM

Why does anyone’s little girl have to be evaluated by a doctor before they receive needed medicine?

Not doctor, psychiatrist. A pediatrician doesn’t need a psychiatrist’s permission to prescribe insulin for diabetic kids, or chemotherapy for kids with leukemia. Why does a pediatrician require a psychiatrist’s permission to prescribe CBD for kids with Dravet’s syndrome? What purpose, other than raking in campaign contributions from the American Psychiatric Association, is served by making a psychiatrist the judge between life and death in this case?

Fabozz on August 16, 2013 at 6:50 PM

Not sure if Allah intended this to be the take away from this post or not. It was for me.

smells like pure politics

Bmore on August 16, 2013 at 7:03 PM

Just before some idiot makes some snarky comment about getting kids high, the pot in question has virtually no THC – you can’t get high off it. It’s medicine in the purest sense. The only reason this is even a “thing” is because of politicians pandering to an ill-informed base at the expense of families in need.

triple on August 16, 2013 at 7:04 PM

“The quest for children was always finding anybody on the registry who would see a minor,” said Wilson.

“Our initial pediatrician wanted nothing to do with it. We went back to our original pediatrician, she was sympathetic. She signed up,” said Wilson.

Translation: I hard time finding a doctor to sign off on my kid’s MM, despite the fact that she will die without it, and everyone knows MM is the only thing that will help. Fortunately, if you keep looking long enough, you’ll find someone who doesn’t give a sh@t, and will sign off on anything.

Memo to Brian Wilson: “initial” means “first”; so does “original”. The way you are using them, the two words mean the same. So how did your daughter have two “first” pediatricians?

As for the psychiatrist – I can see why you are wary. A psychiatrist could see you coming from a mile away.

Mr. Arkadin on August 16, 2013 at 7:05 PM

Not doctor, psychiatrist. A pediatrician doesn’t need a psychiatrist’s permission to prescribe insulin for diabetic kids, or chemotherapy for kids with leukemia. Why does a pediatrician require a psychiatrist’s permission to prescribe CBD for kids with Dravet’s syndrome? What purpose, other than raking in campaign contributions from the American Psychiatric Association, is served by making a psychiatrist the judge between life and death in this case?

Psychiatrists are medical doctors, who have completed medical education and training, internship, and residency as a practicing physician before they can even obtain fellowship or additional training in psychiatric medicine. So, perhaps this is a shoe-in for another licensed MD or DO to look at the big picture…a measure of redundancy, basically. Or, just a thought, maybe they have sense enough to look into the “mom and dad,” that seem hell-bent on securing dope for the treatment of the child. Regardless of the negative stereotypes that most psychiatrists get, often deserved in my estimation, they are very good at locating and refusing to prescribe to those patients whose sole purpose is to secure mind-altering drugs.

That whole concept of “doctor shopping,” has been rampant for decades, due to the retrograde evolution we see currently in the American society. That lowlives go out of their way to get narcotics and, in this case hallucinogens, goes beyond telling somebody that “their kid needs to be assessed by a shrink.” Indeed, maybe it’s an extra measure to prevent scumbags more interested in securing dope than securing the kid’s health? Perhaps that never occurred to you, but it is a measure of prevention of allowing unnecessary (in many cases) or unwarranted prescription of leisure drugs into a home that is already on record as having children or other impressionable residents.

Just a few thoughts.

DrScottMD on August 16, 2013 at 7:16 PM

Why does a pediatrician require a psychiatrist’s permission to prescribe CBD for kids with Dravet’s syndrome?

Fabozz on August 16, 2013 at 6:50 PM

To evaluate the parent, not the child would be my guess.

sharrukin on August 16, 2013 at 7:19 PM

What purpose, other than raking in campaign contributions from the American Psychiatric Association, is served by making a psychiatrist the judge between life and death in this case?

Fabozz on August 16, 2013 at 6:50 PM

What was wrong with what the legislature passed as is? Christie mandates 2 doctors, and a psychiatrist? You talk about creating red tape, and making the whole thing unworkable for many so they’ll just go on the black market or move somewhere else, this is what the rotund “Republican” has just signed on to.

What is so friggin deadly about marijuana as medicine that he’s got to have a cow about it as far as signing a bill? Yeah, it’s his “right flank.” Yeah, right, it’s certainly for the most part not any kind of right flank that I find here at hot air. Get with the times, don’t try to make it look like medical marijuana is some kind of radioactive plutonium that has cooties.

Christie is a former prosecutor and has fed at the prohibition trough and came back for seconds, by the looks of him. He could of just gone ahead and signed whatever and said it’s not a big deal, but instead he spent days stewing over it, and came up with a series of convoluted requirements for signing a bill.

Because he handled this medical marijuana question with a 10 foot pole, this signals to his “right flank” that Christie really prefers the status quo as far as the drug war where “draconian penalties” [Holder] lead to the mass imprisonment of millions “for no truly good law enforcement reason” [E Holder]. Wow, that’s what the modern right flank wants, an authoritarian old guard Republican who doesn’t keep step with the times… not!

anotherJoe on August 16, 2013 at 7:22 PM

For the children! give us dope, it is for the children. Legal legal legal, oh and where the F^CK is my damned food stamp EBT deposit and welfare check you freaking lazy no good tax payers!?!

astonerii on August 16, 2013 at 7:27 PM

How much you want to bet the psychiatrist requirement is more to evaluate the parents than the kid? (Dangit! Sharrukin beat me to it!)

GWB on August 16, 2013 at 7:59 PM

Right because potheads are lining up to smoke weed with virtually no thc

triple on August 16, 2013 at 8:21 PM

Honest, doc…it’s, uh, for my kid! Yeah, for my kid!

James on August 16, 2013 at 8:23 PM

Since apparently marijuana is the only thing that can save his daughter’s life, why aren’t they in a car driving to Colorado right now?

Dongemaharu on August 16, 2013 at 8:26 PM

…exhale fatso!

KOOLAID2 on August 16, 2013 at 8:26 PM

Right because potheads are lining up to smoke weed with virtually no thc

triple on August 16, 2013 at 8:21 PM

Its a gateway and enabler. Note that Christie is removing the restrictions on the amount of strains, including higher and higher THC versions. Skirting that under the premiss of for the child.

astonerii on August 16, 2013 at 8:35 PM

Its a gateway and enabler. Note that Christie is removing the restrictions on the amount of strains, including higher and higher THC versions. Skirting that under the premiss of for the child.

astonerii on August 16, 2013 at 8:35 PM

The gateway nonsense???

Cigs and alcohol are “gateway drugs” – along with genetics.

Another “Reefer Madness” meme… and once again – Tylenol OD’s this past year, not allergies – killed more people than 50 years of pot smokers combined.

Odie1941 on August 16, 2013 at 9:21 PM

novaculus, hammer meats nail. You are good my friend. ; )

Bmore on August 16, 2013 at 6:04 PM

Damn right I am.

Uh, what’d I do?

novaculus on August 17, 2013 at 12:11 AM

Just before some idiot makes some snarky comment about getting kids high, the pot in question has virtually no THC – you can’t get high off it. It’s medicine in the purest sense. The only reason this is even a “thing” is because of politicians pandering to an ill-informed base at the expense of families in need.

triple on August 16, 2013 at 7:04 PM

Pandering and ill-informed are the key factors here.

novaculus on August 17, 2013 at 12:14 AM

Christie was boxed in by reality. He couldn’t let these desperately ill children die. But he is obviously terrified of the blowback from closed-minded ignoramuses whose refuse to consider even the possibility that a valuable medicine could conceivably be found in marijuana.

Judging by the prejudice and ignorance that has been displayed on every thread touching this subject, his fears are absolutely justified.

His tweaks are just political posturing that enable him to say he didn’t just capitulate and pass the bill. As Allah points out, he is just manufacturing a little more cover from the shots he knows he will take for this decision.

novaculus on August 17, 2013 at 12:23 AM

God wouldn’t be dumb enough to create medicine from a plant that was illegal you guys!

Gen 9:3 Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.

SirGawain on August 17, 2013 at 2:07 AM

Specifically, bogarting his daughter’s “medical” supplies.

Steve Eggleston on August 16, 2013 at 6:11 PM

Don’t take this wrong, since it’s meant in the spirit of enlightenment, but that was the lowest, scummiest, most anal/cranial thing I’ve heard all day.
Does the thought that you don’t know everything ever enter your head?

Squiggy on August 17, 2013 at 5:46 AM

Right because potheads are lining up to smoke weed with virtually no thc

triple on August 16, 2013 at 8:21 PM

Amen, T!

Some of these dopes decrying MM don’t realize it is much easier to buy off the street than to jump through the hoops to get a prescription filled through the state’s only dispensary.

Laura in Maryland on August 17, 2013 at 9:19 AM

God wouldn’t be dumb enough to create medicine from a plant that was illegal you guys!

Gen 9:3 Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.

SirGawain on August 17, 2013 at 2:07 AM

Big consumer of that all natural snake venom I take it? No? Well then perhaps not all things found in natures garden are meant to be consumed.

sharrukin on August 17, 2013 at 11:59 AM

Just after entering Las Vegas, there’s a billboard ad for “Dr. Weed” — who guarantees prescriptions for all.

unclesmrgol on August 17, 2013 at 5:17 PM