Halachic Muse

Dear Editor,
Rabbi Yair Hoffman’s articles in the Five Towns Jewish Times add such a great touch of class and dignity to this periodical. I enjoy reading (learning) his words immensely. Y’yasher Kochacha!

Rabbi Binyomin Schubert

Weeding Out The Red Tape

Dear Editor,
In writing about the inevitability of a Hillary Clinton run for president, you mentioned admiration for Chris Christie as someone who “thinks on his feet” (“Presidential Heavyweights,” November 21).
I would like to bring to your attention a despicable policy that Chris Christie has inflicted on sick people in New Jersey. Prior to his election, a medical-marijuana bill was passed by the New Jersey Legislature and signed by the previous governor. It allowed doctors to prescribe or recommend medical marijuana for patients suffering severe ailments. Many other states have programs running that have 50,000 patients.
Christie’s first actions were to create bureaucratic roadblocks to this program so that it took three years to have one dispensary open. He has created more big-government rules that have resulted, after six years, in only three dispensaries open, only 1,500 active patients, a lack of variety and formulations, and very high prices.
In short, he has worked hard to effectively prevent thousands of sick people from qualifying to get this medicine, rather than leaving it up to medical professionals to determine qualification. There was one baby girl, Sabina Joana, who died of seizures brought on by Dravet syndrome for which a strain of marijuana, called “Charlotte’s Web,” in oil form, has been saving hundreds and, by now, thousands of children in Colorado from suffering up to 1,000 seizures a week, down to one or two at most. Because her parents could not get through the Christie red tape fast enough, their child perished.
Others have had to move to Colorado and other adults have suffered and even perished while unable to obtain medical marijuana.
Whatever we may think of recreational use, we surely should not support such a man who knowingly prevents sick people from obtaining relief, all in the name of politics–that is, so-called conservatives have a fear of eventual full legalization of marijuana, so they will not support any legitimacy of it.
While I understand the unfortunate nature of political grandstanding, I do not think our community should overlook this inhumane characteristic of Chris Christie who has even “joked” that if he did become president, things would be very bad for the medical-marijuana programs in this country.

Paul Frazer
Teaneck, NJ


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