For better or worse, weed has been part of our culture, pop-wise and otherwise, for the better part of a century.

And as with likewise mind-altering but arguably far more dangerous legal substances such as alcohol and nicotine, our relationship with cannabis is chronically conflicted.

Exhibit A: Chris Christie, adrift in a smokescreen of legalese as his administration impedes the implementation of New Jersey’s medical marijuana law.

Otherwise not known for tiptoeing, the governor now says he wants a “get out of jail free” card from Washington before he does the right thing.

He's asking the feds to explicitly promise him they will not prosecute chronically ill New Jerseyans for whom marijuana is prescribed.

"Until I get that assurance, I cannot ask people to do things that they might get prosecuted by federal prosecutors," Christie told NJN (which, thanks to him, may soon disappear into a cloud of smoke-and-mirrors).

"What happens if they get arrested and I ordered them to do it…that’s wrong.”

No, governor

That’s ridiculous.

Meanwhile, as Christie dithers, states like Maine -- hardly a hotbed of stonerism – are making medical marijuana work.

Closer to home, the admirably forthright N.J. Assemblyman Reed Gusciora is not only blasting the fuzzy-wuzzy governor, but calling for limited decriminalization of marijuana possession.

Which may be a terrible idea.

But given our dysfunctional, if not disastrous, relationship with legal and illegal intoxicants (best Onion headline ever: "Drugs win 'War on Drugs'"), we ought to discuss Gusciora’s proposal like grownups.

And as for medical marijuana, the governor ought to man up.