NEW JERSEY: In New Jersey, we have medical marijuana laws, which I supported and implemented. … I’m not against medical marijuana. We do it in New Jersey. But I’m against the recreational use of marijuana.”
— New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), the second GOP debate, Sept. 16, 2015
Several claims from the second Republican presidential debate stood out to our readers as fishy, such as this one. We fact-checked 18 other claims, including some by Christie, right after that debate, with a deeper looks at statements by Marco Rubio and Carly Fiorina. How accurate is this claim?
Christie’s predecessor, Democrat Jon Corzine, signed the New Jersey Compassionate Use of Medical Marijuana Act into law Jan. 10, 2010 — his last day as governor. That left Christie with the responsibility of carrying out the law, which was expected to take effect over six months.
The law made it legal for patients with certain debilitating medical conditions (including cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, Lou Gehrig’s disease and any terminal illness where the patient was not expected to live more than a year). It gave the state health department authority to write regulations for the medical marijuana program.
When campaigning for governor, Christie said he supported medical marijuana in a limited scope for certain patients. But he criticized the law for not being tough enough, and said he wanted to see it “tightened up a little bit.”