Medical Pot User Beats Rap in NJ Thanks to Lack of Rules

Judge dismisses case as Governor Christie and Legislators argue

New Jersey's struggle to come up with rules to guide its medical marijuana law that was passed a little more than a year ago may have kept Tewksbury man out of jail, or at least saved him a stiff fine.

David Barnes, 50, was arrested a year ago in Readington Township for possession of a small amount of pot as well as drug paraphernalia.

But last week in Municipal Court, the two charges against him were dismissed because he uses the marijuana for medicinal purposes.

"It was something we worked with the court and the prosecutor," Barnes' attorney Allan Marain told NBC New York.

Barnes suffers from a condition he says his doctors call cyclic vomiting syndrome.

"For no apparent reason, I'll start throwing up," Barnes explained and then added "It's not uncommon for me to lose 10 percent of my body weight after a single episode."

He said he has seen more than 50 doctors over the years and added "I've tried every medicine."

He has testified in Trenton in favor of the medical marijuana law passed just over a year ago by the Legislature.

But the dispute between Governor Christie and Legislators over the rules to run the program have left users like Barnes in limbo, still unable to legally buy marijuana.

While the Governor has gone on record supporting medical marijuana, he has also expressed strong concern that the program not end up like the one in California.

Nonetheless, as the two sides argue over what kind of limits should be defined by the rules, Barnes' attorney released a statement criticizing Governor Christie for turning "a deaf ear to the sick and the dying while hypocritically continuing to mouth his support.

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