Christie Taps Career Police Manager to Run Medical Pot Program


New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has hired a career lawman who is both computer whiz and crime fighter to run the state's fledgling medical marijuana program after criticism of the program's slow progress and disorganization, reports the Newark Star-Ledger. State officials made it clear that the appointment of John H. O'Brien Jr., a 26-year State Police veteran with extensive experience creating and managing managing FBI and state criminal record systems was meant to give an air of strictness and top-down control to the nation’s most restrictive medical marijuana program.

With the State Police, O’Brien, 51, created a system that tracked the criminal history of gun buyers, as well as another “consumer-friendly program” that provided fingerprinting records and services for people applying to be teachers, child care workers, and nurses' aides. O'Brien “has the expertise to get this program up and running with integrity,'' said Mary O'Dowd, commissioner for the Department of Health and Senior Services.

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