Medical marijuana, legal in 14 states and under consideration in at least 12 others, may benefit sick people but it is a headache for regulators, says Newsweek. Unlicensed dispensaries, crooked doctors, and fake medical-need cases have plagued places like Colorado and California. New Jersey may have an answer: state control.
Gov. Chris Christie has put a law allowing prescription marijuana on hold while he explores making Rutgers University the sole grower, and state-approved hospitals the sole suppliers. The idea has drawn fire from patient advocates, who worry that an official monopoly would limit both the variety of herb and the number of outlets, making it harder for people to fill doctor's orders. As Colorado and California struggle to rein in their markets retroactively, the New Jersey model may emerge as an attractive middle ground–a way for lawmakers to look cool but not soft. The state's example could catch on, says Christie spokesman Michael Drewniak, “If we do this right.”