TRENTON, N.J., June 17 (UPI) -- New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says his state's low number of medical marijuana patients makes sense because the legislation is just "a front for legalization" for recreational use of the drug.
According to the New Jersey Star-Ledger, only 2,342 patients have enrolled in the state's medical marijuana program, despite projections of tens of thousands when the law was signed in 2009 by then-Gov. John Corzine.
"What there's a huge demand for is marijuana," Christie said Monday on his monthly radio show. "Not medical marijuana. Because when we run a medically based program, you don't see the demand."
Some New Jersey lawmakers feel it's this attitude keeping enrollment down and doctors from being willing to participate.
Christie has repeatedly stated that while he will uphold the law and administer the medical marijuana program, he will never support legalizing it for recreational use.
"There is so much reticence on the administration's part, I don't know how you break that logjam," New Jersey Assemblyman Reed Gusciora told the Star-Ledger. "All they have to do is open their eyes."
But Christie sees this as an exposed hypocrisy, calling medical marijuana support "a fallacy."
"This program and all these other programs, in my mind, are a front for legalization. Unless you have a strong governor and a strong administration that says, 'Oh, medical marijuana? Absolutely. We are going to make it a medically based program.' No demand there. Or very little."