Chris Christie’s Claim That He ‘Supported And Implemented’ New Jersey’s Medical Marijuana Laws

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?

The Facts

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.”

Sheriffs Sue Colorado Over Legal Marijuana

COLORADO: Sheriffs from Colorado and neighboring states Kansas and Nebraska say in a lawsuit to be filed Thursday that Colorado’s marijuana law creates a “crisis of conscience” by pitting the state law against the Constitution and puts an economic burden on other states.

The lawsuit asks a federal court in Denver to strike down Colorado’s Amendment 64 that legalized the sale of recreational marijuana and to close the state’s more than 330 licensed marijuana stores.

Lead plaintiff, Larimer County, Colo., Sheriff Justin Smith, calls the case a “constitutional showdown.” Each day, he says, he must decide whether to violate the Colorado Constitution or the U.S. Constitution. Colorado legalized recreational marijuana sales Jan. 1, 2014, but marijuana remains illegal at the federal level.

Berkley Is Next Michigan City Expected To Vote On Easing Marijuana Penalties

MICHIGAN: Volunteers who’ve walked the streets of Berkley for the last month said Monday they plan to turn in about 700 signatures today aimed at putting yet another marijuana-legalization question before yet another city’s voters.

By the time the door-to-door campaigns end, similar questions likely will appear on ballots in nearly 20 communities around the state, from Utica to the U.P., said leaders of Safer Michigan, a Detroit-based nonprofit group coordinating the far-flung petition drives.

Campaigners said they’re hard at work in Berkley’s neighbors, Huntington Woods and Pleasant Ridge. They expect that the three towns’ November ballots will ask residents: Should the city allow “the use, possession or transfer” of up to 1 ounce of marijuana on private property that is “not used by the public” by those 21 and older.

4 Keys To Moving Forward With Marijuana Reform

Guest Opinion: A leader in the legalization effort says there is a lot more to do to fulfill the promise of the voter-approved initiative.  By Pete Holmes

WASHINGTON: Some time this summer, retail marijuana stores will open around the state, providing residents with the legal access they demanded when they approved Initiative 502 a year and a half ago.

While that step is huge, much work remains to be done in four crucial areas before we can call Washington’s legalization of recreational marijuana a success: (1) Regulatory enforcement to keep I-502’s promises to voters; (2) an adequate supply of legal marijuana to put illegal (unlicensed) drug dealers out of business; (3) reconciling the recreational and medical marijuana systems; and (4) incentivizing local governments not to “opt out” of I-502.

Tickets For Public Pot Use In Boulder Quadruple Since Amendment 64

COLORADO:  In the year since Amendment 64 legalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana in Colorado, Boulder police have issued nearly four times as many tickets for smoking pot in public — which is still illegal.

Boulder police Chief Mark Beckner said that while his officers have stopped ticketing people for mere possession of marijuana, more and more people have been smoking it in public since Amendment 64 was passed by voters. [Read more…]

Portland Maine Marijuana Law Adds To Enforcement Haze

MAINE:  The city’s new law legalizing the use of small amounts of marijuana took effect Friday, Dec. 6, but no one seems quite sure what the impact of the ordinance will be.

Voters approved a citizens’ initiative on Nov. 5 allowing adults over age 21 to possess up to 2.5 ounces of the drug. The referendum passed with 67 percent of the 14,000 ballots cast, making Portland the first city on the East Coast to legalize pot.

But it remains illegal under federal law. And under state law, possessing small amounts of marijuana is still a civil infraction, meaning it’s illegal, but offenders pay a fine and don’t go to jail. [Read more…]

Denver’s Licensing Director Resigns As Retail Marijuana System Begins

COLORADO: Denver Excise and Licensing Director  quit on Monday — leaving a position that led the city’s regulation of medical marijuana and was in charge of putting together a framework for the coming  system that begins in January. [Read more…]

Washington State Approves 334 Retail Pot Stores; 61 in King County

WASHINGTON: Revised state rules for a recreational marijuana system include the location of 334 retail pot stores, an overall cap on pot production and limits on concentrated ownership of pot stores, growing and processing facilities. [Read more…]

Washington State Approves 334 Retail Pot Stores; 61 in King County

WASHINGTON: Revised state rules for a recreational marijuana system include the location of 334 retail pot stores, an overall cap on pot production and limits on concentrated ownership of pot stores, growing and processing facilities. [Read more…]