November 27, 2014

NJ: Better to ask for permission, than beg for forgiveness

By Vic Pinho in Jersey City, NJ - Just when you thought New Jersey’s medical marijuana program couldn’t get more perverse, the state’s top lawyer decides to inject herself into the mix.

NJ Attorney General Paula Dow’s office sent a letter to US Attorney General Eric Holder late yesterday asking for clarification on the federal government’s stance on NJ’s medical marijuana program. Specifically, Dow’s letter inquired as to whether those licensed to grow or sell pot — as well as the state workers who will administer the program when it launches later this year — could face arrest.

“As the state’s chief legal adviser to all of the departments in the Executive Branch, many of which are participating in carrying out the medical marijuana legislation, it is critical that I properly advise them as to the potential criminal and civil ramifications of their actions in carrying out their duties,” according to Dow’s letter.

“Accordingly, I ask that you provide me with clear guidance as to the enforcement position of the Department of Justice relative to New Jersey’s medical marijuana legislation and the scope of the entities and individuals who may be subject to civil suit or criminal prosecution,” the letter said.

These legal questions potentially raise more obstacles to implementing an already delayed program.

Read more about New Jersey at www.cmmnj.org