It’s a bit cynical to say, but we’ll say it anyway: There’s nothing like a sick child to fast-track a government response to a medical issue. Take the June fight over whether a little girl should have been put on a list for an adult lung transplant. The parents sued the government, and right away, there was a strong response against the secretary of Health and Human Services’ stance that she would not interfere. A court ruled in favor of the parents, and the child got the lung.
Now, a sick child has instigated a change in the rules on medical marijuana in New Jersey.
On Friday, Republican Gov. Chris Christie conditionally vetoed (or for the glass-half-full people, conditionally approved) a bill that will make it easier for sick children to get pot. As the Associated Press reports, he stipulates that a psychiatrist and a pediatrician have to both agree that marijuana is the best course of action for the child.
Earlier in the week, Brian Wilson, the father of a 2-year-old who suffers daily seizures, confronted Christie on the issue, pleading to him, “Please don’t let my daughter die, Governor.”
There’s some indication that medical marijuana can be helpful in treating the form of epilepsy the child has. Parents obviously want all available options on the table for their sick kids, but current medical-marijuana rules in New Jersey make it very difficult for children to participate, requiring three written letters from doctors. The New Jersey Legislature passed a bill to include children about a month and a half ago. Until Friday, though, the governor had not indicated how he would act on it.
Christie now sends his stipulations back to the Legislature. He says he will sign it if they agree to his pediatrician and psychiatrist sign-off stipulation, and if edible pot is only available to children, not to the larger medical-marijuana-user population.
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When it comes to name-calling among America's upper echelon of politicians, there may be perhaps no greater spat than the one currently going on between Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Donald Trump. While receiving an award Tuesday night, she continued a months-long feud with the presumptive GOP presidential nominee. Calling him a "small, insecure moneygrubber" who probably doesn't know three things about Dodd-Frank, she said he "will NEVER be president of the United States," according to her prepared remarks."We don't know what Trump pays in taxes because he is the first presidential nominee in 40 years to refuse to disclose his tax returns. Maybe he’s just a lousy businessman who doesn’t want you to find out that he’s worth a lot less money than he claims." It follows a long-line of Warren attacks over Twitter, Facebook and in interviews that Trump is a sexist, racist, narcissistic loser. In reply, Trump has called Warren either "goofy" or "the Indian"—referring to her controversial assertion of her Native American heritage.
The House on Tuesday voted 403-12 "to pass an overhaul to the nation’s chemical safety standards for the first time in four decades. The Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act aims to answer years of complaints that the Environmental Protection Agency lacks the necessary authority to oversee and control the thousands of chemicals being produced and sold in the United States. It also significantly clamps down on states’ authorities, in an effort to stop a nationwide patchwork of chemical laws that industry says is difficult to deal with."
"Leaders of the Republican Party have begun internal deliberations over making fundamental changes to the way its presidential nominees are chosen, a recognition that the chaotic process that played out this year is seriously flawed and helped exacerbate tensions within the party." Among the possible changes: forbidding independent voters to cast ballots in Republican primaries, and "doubling the number of early states to eight."
Citing the unpredictable nature of this primary season and the possible leverage they could bring at the convention, John Kasich is hanging onto his 161 delegates. "Kasich sent personal letters Monday to Republican officials in the 16 states and the District of Columbia where he won delegates, requesting that they stay bound to him in accordance with party rules."
"Speaker Paul Ryan is changing the rules of how the House will consider spending measures to try to prevent Democrats from offering surprise amendments that have recently put the GOP on defense. ... Ryan announced at a House GOP conference meeting Tuesday morning that members will now have to submit their amendments ahead of time so that they are pre-printed in the Congressional Record, according to leadership aides." The change will take effect after the Memorial Day recess.