Tuesday, February 2, 2016

CMMNJ February 9, 2016 Meeting Agenda



Monthly Public Meeting Agenda 
Lawrence Township Library, Room #2
Tuesday, February 9, 2016  
7:00 PM -- 9:00 PM

Approve January 2016 minutes. All 2016 meetings are in Room #2, not #3. Discuss:

1/12/16 was the start of a new, 2-year legislative session in NJ. New marijuana bill numbers:
S2898--To add PTSD as a qualifying condition for marijuana therapy--now A457
S3162--To ensure workplace protections for medical marijuana patients--now A2482
S1896--To legalize marijuana and provide for sales and home cultivation--now A2068
A1129--"Right to Farm" marijuana for medical use--now A2116
S1169--Medical Marijuana is equivalent to the use of any other medication--now A861          
A1730--Dedicates taxes from medical marijuana to medical research--now A416
A218--Decriminalizes 15 grams or less of marijuana, imposes civil penalties--now A2050

Noelle Skodzinski, Editor, Cannabis Business Times in NJ Monthly.

Upcoming Events: Patients Out of Time conference, 4/14-16/16, Baltimore.
NJLP convention 3/12/16, Tavern on the Lake, Hightstown, NJ.
4/20, UNGASS 2016.
Global Marijuana March, 5/7/16 (a city near you).
“CMMNJ TV” taping with Mary Lynn Mathre, RN and Mike Krawitz via Skype rescheduled to 3/1/16 at Princeton Community TV Studio, 10 am to 2 pm.
(See "CMMNJ TV" on Comcast Ch. 30 & FIOS Ch. 45--T 10pm & Th 10:30am.)
American Cannabis Nurses Association (ACNA) meeting at NJWeedman's "Joint," 322 E. State St., Trenton, NJ, 3/14/16, 7pm to 8:30 pm.

Recent events: Free, live streaming "Cannabis Health Summit," 1/23 & 1/24.
Jon Peditto sentenced on 1/29/16 in Toms River to 8 years in prison--supporters demonstrated at the Ocean Co. Courthouse.

Treasury report: Checking: $2335; PayPal: $3650. Multicolored hemp bands from Romania--Suggested retail price: $3/apiece; 2 for $5.  Wholesale prices are available.

CMMNJ's meetings are the 2nd Tuesday of each month from 7 - 9 PM at the Lawrence Twp. Library, 2751 Brunswick Pike, Lawrence Twp., 08648. All are welcome.  (Meeting at the library does not imply Mercer County’s endorsement of our issue.)

More info:  Ken Wolski, RN, (609) 394-2137 ohamkrw@aol.com http://www.cmmnj.org   Facebook: Friends of CMMNJ: https://www.facebook.com/groups/62462971150/?fref=ts

CMMNJ, a 501(c)(3) public charity, is a non-profit educational organization.


Monthly Public Meeting Minutes 
January 12, 2016

December 2015 minutes OK'd. Note change from Room #3 to Room #2 for 2016 meetings. Discuss:

Today, 1/12/16 is the start of a new, 2-year legislative session in NJ.

CMMNJ testified at the Senate Health Committee on 12/21/15 on S3162, to ensure workplace protections for medical marijuana patients (it was released from committee); and on S2898, to authorize medical marijuana for patients with PTSD (discussed but not voted on). Chairman Vitale said S2898 would pass out of committee later. The new bill number is A457. S1896 will be rewritten with NJUMR with more explicit protections for recreational marijuana users.

CMMNJ has 72 copies of the Winter 2015/16 issue of O'Shaughnessy's. beyondthc.com

Gov. Christie signed A4587 on 11/9 to require schools to permit oral marijuana use by qualified patients, but the Barbour lawsuit continues so that nurses can administer it.

New York opened their medicinal marijuana program on 1/7/16 with 71 patients and an MD registry of 174 docs, and 8 of 20 dispensaries open; no smoking allowed!

CMMNJ Year End Report for 2015 was published; detailed account/audit of finances sent to Board members.

Diane Fornbacher resigned from the CMMNJ Board.

Upcoming Events: NJLP convention 3/12/16, Tavern on the Lake, Hightstown, NJ.
Jon Peditto sentencing January 2016, Toms River--faces 10 year minimum (he was very pleased to get the $200 and the letter from NJWeedman's 420 POW fundraiser on 12/20).
“CMMNJ TV” taping 1/19/16 at Princeton Community TV Studio, 10 am to 2 pm; Mary Lynn Mathre, RN scheduled to appear by Skype.
Free, live streaming "Cannabis Health Summit," 1/23 & 1/24; http://cannabishealthsummit.com/
Patients Out of Time conference, 4/14-16/16, Baltimore.

Treasury report: Checking: $2335; PayPal: $3650. Multicolored hemp bands from Romania--Suggested retail price: $3/apiece; 2 for $5.  Wholesale prices are available.

More info:  Ken Wolski, RN, (609) 394-2137 ohamkrw@aol.com
http://www.cmmnj.org  
Facebook: Friends of CMMNJ: https://www.facebook.com/groups/62462971150/?fref=ts

CMMNJ, a 501(c)(3) public charity, is a non-profit educational organization.


Recent Media Coverage and Blogs:




It's time for N.J. to fully embrace medical marijuana | Opinion
http://www.nj.com/opinion/index.ssf/2016/01/nj_needs_to_embrace_medical_marijuana_opinion.html

First Medical Marijuana Dispensaries in New York Open
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/08/nyregion/first-medical-marijuana-dispensaries-in-new-york-are-poised-to-open.html?emc=edit_tnt_20160107&nlid=17961243&tntemail0=y

Cannabis for posttraumatic stress disorder: A neurobiological approach to treatment
http://journals.lww.com/tnpj/Fulltext/2016/01000/Cannabis_for_posttraumatic_stress_disorder__A.6.aspx#

Reefer rap on the docket
http://www.app.com/story/news/2016/01/11/reefer-rap-on-the-docket-jon-peditto/78530484/

Cannabis Business Times
http://www.cannabisbusinesstimes.com/

Philly420: Pennsylvania Medical Society misdiagnosing medical marijuana
http://www.philly.com/philly/news/Pennsylvania_Medical_Society_mis-diagnosing_medical_marijuana.html#s1cT3KSCY1R3uWkH.99

Jim McMahon using medical marijuana, now off narcotic painkillers
http://www.nj.com/sports/index.ssf/2016/01/super_bowl_xx_hero_jim_mcmahon_uses_medical_mariju.html

Jersey gets a C for its medical marijuana program
http://www.philly.com/philly/news/new_jersey/20160129_Jersey_gets_a__quot_C_quot__for_its_medical_marijuana_program.html#8zmfxd3Wc1oq7LLg.99

N.J. man sent to prison for growing 17 marijuana plants
http://www.nj.com/ocean/index.ssf/2016/01/man_sent_to_prison_for_growing_17_marijuana_plants.html

The Time Has Come for an Evidence-Based Cannabis Policy in the US, with NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano
https://thelucidplanet.com/a-scientific-approach-to-cannabis-policy-in-america-a-discussion-with-norml-deputy-director-paul-armentano/

The Big Money Fighting Legal Pot - Follow the Money #7
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RP_ofyRzeag

Courts are forcing marijuana users to get drug treatment they probably don’t need
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/12/14/courts-are-forcing-marijuana-users-to-get-drug-treatment-they-probably-dont-need/

SativaCross Ignorance Is No Excuse Show 2/1
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hcnl8ToKi7I

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Senate Health Committee: Add PTSD to NJ's Marijuana Program



Testimony to the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee
In support of S2898  
(Authorizes medical marijuana for qualifying patients with post-traumatic stress disorder)
December 21, 2015 

Access to marijuana therapy for those who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is literally a matter of life or death.

The Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that 22 veterans commit suicide each day* because PTSD is so poorly managed by traditional pharmaceuticals. Yet the VA continues to forbid even clinical trials of marijuana for our veterans.  Israeli Defense Force veterans, by contrast, who suffer from PTSD do have safe and legal access to marijuana therapy, and marijuana shows great promise in the treatment of this disorder. There is a large and growing body of evidence of marijuana’s effectiveness for PTSD.

Currently, 11 of the 23 states that allow medical marijuana include PTSD as a qualifying condition, but not New Jersey. 

Our veterans deserve the finest medical care available—indeed, all New Jersey residents do—even if that care includes marijuana.  In most of the U.S., no veteran, even one whose PTSD has been resistive to all known treatment, qualifies for marijuana therapy.  They do not even qualify for a clinical trial of medical marijuana.  In fact, no clinical trial of marijuana for PTSD has ever been done in the U.S. because of federal resistance.

The Coalition for Medical Marijuana –New Jersey (CMMNJ) is committed to efforts to add PTSD and other mental and emotional conditions to the New Jersey’s list of qualifying conditions as soon as possible.

Additionally, CMMNJ calls for the immediate start of case studies of medical marijuana involving one or more veterans—as well as non-veterans--with PTSD.  Licensed physicians can supervise these studies and submit summaries of the participants’ medical records before, during and after the studies.  The studies should be conducted with marijuana supplied by the State of New Jersey to qualified participants. 

It promotes nothing but useless pain to say more study is needed and then do nothing about the lack of studies. 

We owe these veterans no less.  Parades are one thing, but let’s work to actually help these vets.

Eventually PTSD will be a qualifying condition in New Jersey. The question is how long will veterans have to wait for effective medical treatment?  How many more suicides will it take before the state takes action on their behalf?

Ken Wolski, RN, MPA, Executive Director
Coalition for Medical Marijuana--New Jersey, Inc.  www.cmmnj.org
219 Woodside Ave., Trenton, NJ 08618 (609) 394-2137 ohamkrw@aol.com

I am a registered nurse and I have practiced as an RN in New Jersey and Pennsylvania for 39 years.  I have a master’s degree in Public Administration from Rutgers University.

The Coalition for Medical Marijuana—New Jersey, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit educational organization whose mission is to educate the public about medical marijuana.  

*US Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs, “VA Issues New Report on Suicide Data” February 1, 2013 http://www.va.gov/opa/pressrel/pressrelease.cfm?id=2427

Research supporting use of cannabis to treat symptoms of PTSD

1.    Mashiah M, “Medical Cannabis as Treatment for Chronic Combat PTSD: Promising Results in an Open Pilot Study” Abarbanel Mental Hospital, Israel presented at Patients out of Time Conference, Tuscon (2012)
2.    Passie T, Emrich H, Karst M, Brandt, Halpern J, “Mitigation of post-traumatic stress symptom byCannabis resin: A review of the clinical and neurobiological evidence” Drug Testing and Analysis  (2012) 649-659
3.    Fraser G, “The Use of a Synthetic Cannabinoid in the Management of Treatment-Resistant Nightmares in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)” CNS Neuroscience & Therapeutics 15 (2009) 84-88
4.    Pacher P, Baktaim Kunos G “The Endocannabinoid System as an Emerging Target of Pharmacotherapy” Laboratory of Physiologic Studies, National Institute of Alcohol and Alcoholism,  National Institutes of Health (2006) 58 389-462
5.    Ware M, Wang T, Shapiro S, Robinson A Ducruet T, Huynh T, Gamsa A, Bennett G, Collet J-P“Smoked cannabis for chronic neuropathic pain: a randomized controlled trial” Canadian Medical Association Journal (2010) 182(14)
6.    Abrams DI, Couey P, Shade SB, Kelly ME, Benowitz NL “Cannabinoid-Opioid Interaction in Chronic Pain” Nature Publishing Group (2011) 90(6) 844-851
7.    Fusar-Poli P et al., “Distinct effects of delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol on neural activation during emotional processing”, Archives of General Psychiatry (2009) 66: 95-105
8.    Chhatwal JP et al., “Functional interactions between endocannabinoid and CCK neurotransmitter systems may be critical for extinction learning”, Neuropsychopharmacology (2009) 34: 509-521
9.    Chhatwal JP et al., “Enhancing cannabinoid neurotransmission augments the extinction of conditioned fear”, Neuropsychopharmacology (2005) 30: 516-524
10.  Lin HC et al., “Effects of intra-amygdala infusion of CB1 receptor agonists on the reconsolidation of fear-potentiated startle”, Learning & Memory (2006) 13: 316-321,
11.  Pamplona FA et al., “The cannabinoid receptor agonist WIN 55,212-2 facilitates the extinction of contextual fear memory and spatial memory in rats”, Psychopharmacology (Berlin) 188: 641-649, 2006
12.  Resstel LB et al., “5-HT receptors are involved in the cannabidiol-induced attenuation of behavioural and cardiovascular responses to acute restraint stress in rats” British Journal of Pharmacology (2009) 156: 181-189

Coalition for Medical Marijuana—New Jersey: Year End Report 2015



The Coalition for Medical Marijuana New Jersey, Inc. (CMMNJ) is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) educational organization, incorporated in the State of New Jersey. The mission of CMMNJ is to educate the public about medical marijuana.  The goal of CMMNJ is to have safe and legal access to medical marijuana for qualified New Jersey patients.

In 2014, CMMNJ’s Board of Directors endorsed legalization of marijuana. The Board recognized legalization as the most efficient and effective way to get the therapeutic effects of marijuana to the vast number of patients who can benefit from this plant.

In 2015, CMMNJ held twelve free public meetings at the Lawrence Township Library in Mercer County. At the meetings, Board members and volunteers planned a number of events and educational programs.  CMMNJ sent the agenda and minutes of these meetings via e-mail to over 2000 supporters each month and posted the agendas on Facebook, Twitter and on the CMMNJ blog.  In November 2015, CMMNJ celebrated its 10-year anniversary of monthly meetings at the Lawrence Library.

CMMNJ’s public meetings for 2016 will continue to be held on the second Tuesday of each month from 7 - 9 PM at the Lawrence Twp. (Mercer County) Library, 2751 Brunswick Pike, Lawrenceville, NJ, 08648.  All are welcome and there is never a charge to attend.

Highlights of 2015:

New Jersey United for Marijuana Reform (NJUMR) launched efforts to legalize, tax and regulate marijuana for adults in New Jersey with a press conference on 2/18/15 in Newark, NJ.  Some of the groups that endorsed the goals of NJUMR, in addition to CMMNJ, include the New Jersey chapters of the American Civil Liberties Union (NJ ACLU), and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP NJ), Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) and the NJ Municipal Prosecutor’s Association.  Support for marijuana legalization reached a new high in NJ in June 2015 in a Fairleigh Dickinson University Poll with 49% in support and 46% opposed.

The first ever legislative hearing in New Jersey to legalize marijuana for adults was held in the Senate Judiciary Committee on 11/16/15.  NJUMR held a Press Conference prior to the hearing.  CMMNJ’s executive director spoke at the press conference and testified at the hearing.  Lefty Grimes conducted a podcast just outside the committee room at the State House Annex in Trenton and other supporters demonstrated the need for marijuana access with a “Die In.”

CMMNJ members testified at the Assembly Regulatory Oversight Committee Hearing about the deficiencies of the state’s Medicinal Marijuana Program (MMP) on 3/16/15. CMMNJ’s Op Ed, “New Jersey's medical marijuana program languishes - so do the patients it could help” was published on the very day of the hearing.  The committee released two bills and one resolution designed to expand the state's program: A-3726, Authorizes medical marijuana for patients with post-traumatic stress disorder; A-4286, Authorizes transfer of excess medical marijuana between alternative treatment centers; and ACR-224, Determines that certain medical marijuana program regulations are inconsistent with the legislative intent.

CMMNJ sponsored and participated in a series of Statehouse Podcasts every Thursday for 34 straight weeks (from 4/2/15 to 11/19/15), rain or shine.  Permits were obtained from the State Police each week for the demonstrations.  The podcasts and demonstrations called attention to the deficiencies of the MMP and the need for legalization of marijuana. A party was held on 11/19/15 to mark the winter suspension of regular podcasts.

Genny Barbour’s story from Maple Shade, NJ made PEOPLE magazine and Good Housekeeping magazine this year after being featured on CMMNJ TV: “Genny's Mom & Dad” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DTBMMyBzlJc
Genny’s father, Roger Barbour, filed a lawsuit when the LARC School and the Maple Shade Board of Education refused to allow his wife, Lora, to administer an oral dose of marijuana to Genny at the school.  Marijuana was the only treatment that helped to control Genny’s seizures.  The judge sided with the school.  This motivated the state legislature to introduce A4587, a bill that requires schools and facilities for the developmentally disabled to adopt policies permitting the use of medical marijuana for qualifying patients.  The bill was introduced on 6/22/15, and passed in the Assembly three days later.  The bill passed in the Senate on 6/29/15 and then awaited action by the governor.  Over four months later, Gov. Christie finally signed A4587 on 11/9/15. The law allows registered caregivers and parents to administer doses of oral marijuana in schools and certain facilities. Roger Barbour is continuing his lawsuit in an attempt to have nurses at those facilities administer the oral doses of marijuana.

A resolution in support of legalizing marijuana passed unanimously at an Asbury Park city council meeting on 7/8/15.  The resolution was introduced by Randy Thompson from Help Not Handcuffs.  Similar resolutions were introduced in other cities and counties in New Jersey.  The resolution in Trenton was tabled by city council on 11/5/15, which led to a protest in City Hall by supporters of the resolution.

CMMNJ members testified at the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee on 12/21/15. Two marijuana bills were considered that day.  S3162, a bill to ensure workplace protections for medical marijuana patients was released from committee.  S2898, a bill to authorize medical marijuana for qualifying patients with post-traumatic stress disorder, was not voted on at the hearing.  However, the Committee Chairman, Senator Vitale, seemed confident that S2898 would pass out of committee at a subsequent hearing.

The December 2015 CMMNJ public meeting was podcast by Sativa Cross. See: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wMNI_LGKC9E

“CMMNJ TV” began broadcasting from Princeton Community TV on 11/11/14 and continued throughout 2015.  Episodes run twice a week for two weeks—on Tues., at 10 pm & Fri., at 10:30 am on Comcast Ch. 30 & Verizon FIOS Ch. 45.  Episodes of “CMMNJ TV” are taped one day each month at the Princeton Community TV Studio.  “CMMNJ TV” episodes also include footage shot outside the studio and are edited by Ed “Lefty” Grimes of “Sativa Cross.”

CMMNJ’s “Patient Handbook 2015” was available by April 2015. The 73-page handbook contains valuable information, resources and support for medical marijuana patients and their families and friends in New Jersey.   However, the handbook resulted in a “Cease and Desist” letter from Compassionate Care Foundation (CCF) Alternative Treatment Center in Egg Harbor, NJ that alleged improper use of the CCF trademark.  CMMNJ suspended distribution of the handbook and obliterated CCF’s trademark from the handbook and agreed not to include any representations of it in future editions.  Handbooks are currently available from CMMNJ with a suggested donation of $10.

CMMNJ partnered with the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) on the largest drug policy reform conference ever held in the country, the 2015 reform Conference, 11/18-21/15 at the Crystal Gateway Marriott, Arlington, VA.
 
New Jersey’s Medicinal Marijuana Program (MMP): 

The third anniversary of legal sales of marijuana in New Jersey was on 12/6/15.  The 6th anniversary of New Jersey’s Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act becoming law will be on 1/18/16.

The New Jersey Department of Health (DOH) reported that over 5,000 ID cards for patients and caregivers have been issued in the state—a state with almost nine million residents.  Over 300 doctors have signed onto the physician registry (out of over 25,000 doctors in the state). Five Alternative Treatment Centers (ATCs) are open and dispensing medical marijuana to qualified patients.  Two new ATC’s opened in 2015: Compassionate Sciences ATC in Bellmawr, NJ, and Breakwater ATC in Cranbury, NJ.

John H. O'Brien, a state police lieutenant who was named director of the New Jersey medical marijuana program more than three years ago, resigned in April 2015. James Baracia, a 19-year veteran of the state police, was named acting director. Patients found O'Brien approachable, but Gov. Christie's administration created delays and obstacles that hurt the program.  The governor said at several town-hall meetings that he was concerned that medical marijuana could fall into the wrong hands and that he would oppose any expansion of the program.

Edible marijuana products are still not available in New Jersey at the end of 2015, nor are residents permitted to obtain these products from jurisdictions where they are available.

The DOH published its 2014 Annual Report in March 2015.  The DOH commissioner said she would start the process to add qualifying conditions to the MMP; however, by the end of 2015 the DOH was still not even accepting applications to add qualifying conditions.

CMMNJ submitted a Petition for Rulemaking to the DOH requesting medical marijuana regulatory changes in October 2014.  Included in this petition was the justification to add post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a qualifying condition for marijuana therapy in New Jersey.  The petition was noted in the National Law Review. The DOH rejected the entire CMMNJ petition on 3/15/15, indicating the rigid refusal of the DOH to allow the slightest expansion of the MMP: http://www.nj.gov/health/legal/documents/njac864mmp.pdf

Marijuana bills in New Jersey’s Legislature: 

Several marijuana reform bills were introduced into the New Jersey Legislature in 2014 and continued through the two-year legislative session throughout 2015.  These bills include S1896/A3094 (to legalize, tax and regulate marijuana); A3525/S2312 (to comprehensively fix the MMP); A3726/S2898 (to add PTSD to the list of conditions that qualify for marijuana therapy) and, A218 (to decriminalize marijuana).  A new two-year legislative session will begin in January 2016 so all bills that have not passed into law will have to be re-introduced with new numbers. Gov. Christie has vowed to veto any of the marijuana reform bills that get through the legislature to his desk.

Major marijuana cases in New Jersey courts: 

In November 2014, Ed (NJWeedman) Forchion appealed his 2010 marijuana conviction.  Forchion said New Jersey’s marijuana laws are “racist” and contradictory.  Forchion argued in his appeal that:
"The pretrial rulings prevented defendant from arguing that the law he was being prosecuted under was contradictory and thus constitutionally flawed…For the foregoing reasons and authorities cited, including the ACLU Report, (New Jersey’s) marijuana laws are unconstitutional as they are inherently and de facto discriminatory. The defendant’s conviction must be reversed and the indictment dismissed."

CMMNJ published the following Op Ed in support of NJWeedman’s appeal: “'Weedman' case proves religious discrimination in Burlington County”
http://www.burlingtoncountytimes.com/opinion/letters/weedman-case-proves-religious-discrimination-in-burlington-county/article_83776f68-b607-53c4-a28d-04f35963f491.html

However, NJWeedman’s appeal was denied by Superior Court Appellate Division in August 2015. CMMNJ’s Emeritus  Board member, Allan Marain, Esq., filed CMMNJ's amicus brief to the NJ Supreme Court in support of Ed (NJWeedman) Forchion's "medical necessity" appeal of his conviction: http://norml.org/pdf_files/brief_bank/NJ_v_Edward_R_Forchion_AmicusMotion.pdf

The NJ Supreme Court approved CMMNJ’s Motion, but declined to review the appellate decision.
 
The courts continue to remain openly hostile to marijuana cases.

In the trial of Jon Peditto in Toms River, NJ, Jon rejected plea bargains in an attempt to appeal to the jury that he should not be found guilty of growing 17 marijuana plants, despite admitting that he grew them. Jon represented himself at court during the week of 10/19/15.  Several attempts were made to educate the public in Toms River about the ability of jurors to find defendants not guilty if they believe the law is wrong or wrongly applied.

There were demonstrations at the courthouse and individuals passed out literature from the Fully Informed Jury Association (FIJA). CMMNJ published an Op Ed in the local newspaper: “WOLSKI: Sentence doesn’t fit crime” http://www.app.com/story/opinion/columnists/2015/10/14/wolski-sentence-fit-crime/73914828/

Judge Blaney made it difficult, if not impossible, for Jon to adequately represent himself by interrupting him repeatedly and disallowing many of his arguments.  The courtroom scene led one observer to declare that he was witness to “the American mass incarceration machine in action.”  The jury seemed unable to render a verdict after three days, but Judge Blaney insisted that they return to their deliberations. Finally, the jury found Jon guilty of the most serious charge.  Jon was immediately taken into custody, where he remains, in the Ocean County jail.  Jon faces a mandatory minimum term of 10 years in state prison when he is sentenced by Judge Blaney in January 2016.  Jon asked for mercy in Toms River, but found none.

Marches and Rallies: 

Several large and successful rallies for marijuana reform were held in the area this year.  These rallies were coordinated by local activists Ed “NJWeedman” Forchion, Kyle Moore, and the East Coast Cannabis Coalition (ECCC).  Some of the organizations that participated in these demonstrations included the Legalize Marijuana Party, the Green Party of North Jersey, New Jersey Libertarian Party, New Jersey Grannies for Grass, Students for Sensible Drug Policy - TCNJ, NORML New Jersey Women's Alliance, Pittsburgh NORML Women's Alliance, Pittsburgh NORML, Ramapo College NORML, Parents 4 Pot Pennsylvania, People's Smokeout - NYC, The National Cannabis Patients Wall, The Human Solution, Maryland NORML, and Delaware NORML.  CMMNJ publicized, supported and attended the marches and rallies. These demonstrations included the open use of marijuana by adults, both by card-carrying patients and also as acts of civil disobedience by non-qualifying patients, as well as by those who support the use of marijuana for religious, creative and social/recreational purposes.  There were no arrests at the demonstrations in 2015.

Pennsylvania:

The Pennsylvania State Nurses Association (PSNA) endorsed medical marijuana in 2013 and continues to consistently support the issue.  The CMMNJ executive director testified at the Pennsylvania Joint House Committee hearing on SB3, PA’s medical marijuana bill, on 3/24/15 in Philadelphia. Senate Bill 3 passed the state Senate on 5/12/15 by a 40-7 vote. Amendments were made during this process that weakened the bill.  The new governor, Tom Wolf, who is supportive of medical marijuana, came on board in 2015. However, progress on SB3 stalled in the House for much of the year, despite polls showing 92% of Commonwealth residents support access to medical marijuana. Lebanon County Sen. Mike Folmer is continuing his efforts to get medical cannabis legislation to the governor’s desk and is urging the House to bring up the measure for a vote as soon as possible. Sen. Folmer asked that stories of NJ patients and their issues with the state’s MMP be sent to kimbetesh@yahoo.com

CMMNJ members attended the following public events in 2015:

“Medical Marijuana” Grand Rounds at Princeton House, 1/26/15 with Dr. Jahan Marcu & DPA NJ’s Meagan Glaser.
“Medical Marijuana: Myths & Medicine,” PA State Nurses Assn., 3/26/15 Millersville Univ.
"Ethical Decisions & Medical Marijuana" Ken Wolski’s lecture for 2 CEU’s, Tri-County Regional Ethics Committee (TREC) Conference, Burlington County College, NJ 11/10/15.

DE NORML Lobby Day, 1/29/15, Dover, Delaware.
NJ SPRING SMOKE-OUT 3/21/15, New Jersey State House, Trenton.
March for the Love of Cannabis, Wilmington, De 2/14/15.
ASA’s National Medical Cannabis Unity Conference, 3/27-31/15, Washington, DC.
"Patients Out of Time" conference, W. Palm Beach, Florida, 5/21-23/15.  http://bit.ly/1z3o1Y3
Protest, March & Concert, 4/20/15 & 4/25/15, Trenton’s Mill Hill Park and the  NJ Statehouse.
Poor People’s Parade for Pot (Global Marijuana March), 5/2/15, Camden, NJ.
420 marijuana legalization event with PhillyNORML, 4/18/15, Connie’s Ric Rac, S. Philly.
Philadelphia Veterans Protest with Mike Whiter, Independence Hall, 11/8/15.
2015 reform Conference, 11/18-21/15, Crystal Gateway Marriott, Arlington, VA.
Asbury Park Event by Roland Ramos & Sara Sensimilla, 9/12/15.
Septemberfest, Hamilton Twp., 9/13/15.
Boston Freedom Rally 9/26/15 & 9/27/15.
Trial of Jon Peditto, Toms River; jury selection and trial 10/19/15 - 10/22/15.
Weed & Greet Summer BBQ at NJWeedman’s “Joint” 8/1/15, Trenton, NJ.
Hemp Heals, Philly, 7/31/15.
NJWeedman’s event, Sat., 9/5/15, and March for Ganja, 9/4/15, Trenton.
"Higher Ground @ Asbury Spark" on 9/12/15, Asbury Park, with Roland Ramos.
PicklePalooza, 9/19/15, Island Beach State Park, NJ.
NJ Cannabis Freedom Rally, 10/17/15, Trenton, with East Coast Cannabis Coalition.
Smoke Down Prohibition 2.0: The Return, Friday, 7/10/15, Love Park, Philly.
Slightly Stoopid, Stone Pony, Asbury Park, 7/11/15.
ACLU NJ Annual Meeting, Princeton, NJ 10/20/15.
Food & clothing drive, "NJWeedman's Joint" 322 E. State St., Trenton, until 12/19/15.

2015 CMMNJ Publications:

CMMNJ Monthly Agendas and Minutes also contain links to published reports by and about CMMNJ Board members and friends.  For the 2015 CMMNJ Agendas and Minutes, see:
Dec. 2015:Minutes only: http://cmmnj.blogspot.com/2015_12_01_archive.html
Nov. 2015: Agenda: http://cmmnj.blogspot.com/2015/11/november-2015-cmmnj-public-meeting-10.html
Testimony to the New Jersey Senate Judiciary Committee in support of legalizing, taxing and regulating marijuana for adults
http://cmmnj.blogspot.com/2015/11/testimony-to-nj-senate-judiciary.html
WOLSKI: Sentence doesn’t fit crime
http://www.app.com/story/opinion/columnists/2015/10/14/wolski-sentence-fit-crime/73914828/
Oct. 2015: Agenda: http://cmmnj.blogspot.com/2015/10/monthly-public-meeting-agenda-lawrence.html
Asbury Park Resolution to Legalize Marijuana for Adults in New Jersey: http://cmmnj.blogspot.com/2015/10/asbury-park-resolution-to-legalize.html
The truth about marijuana | Opinion
http://www.nj.com/opinion/index.ssf/2015/10/the_truth_about_marijuana_opinion.html
Sept. 2015: Agenda: http://cmmnj.blogspot.com/2015_09_01_archive.html
Aug. 2015: Agenda: http://cmmnj.blogspot.com/2015/08/cmmnj-agenda-for-aug-11-2015-public.html
Irish Legislature Urged to Reform Drug Policy http://cmmnj.blogspot.com/2015_08_01_archive.html
July 2015:  Agenda: http://cmmnj.blogspot.com/2015/07/cmmnj-agenda-for-july-14-2015-public.html
Asbury Park Resolution: http://cmmnj.blogspot.com/2015/07/resolution-in-support-of-legalizing.html
June 2015: Agenda:   http://cmmnj.blogspot.com/2015/06/cmmnj-minutes-for-june-2015-public.html
May 2015:  Agenda: http://cmmnj.blogspot.com/2015_05_01_archive.html
April 2015: Agenda: http://cmmnj.blogspot.com/2015_04_01_archive.html
March 2015:  CMMNJ Legislative Testimony 3/2/15 by Maryanne Boniello
http://cmmnj.blogspot.com/2015/03/maryanne-boniellos-legislative.html
CMMNJ Legislative Testimony 3/2/15 by Vanessa Waltz
http://cmmnj.blogspot.com/2015/03/vanessa-waltz-testimony-to-assembly.html
CMMNJ Legislative Testimony 3/2/15 by Ken Wolski, RN, MPA
http://cmmnj.blogspot.com/2015/03/oral-testimony-to-new-jersey-assembly.html
Agenda: http://cmmnj.blogspot.com/2015/03/cmmnj-meeting-agenda-for-march-10-2015.html
Opinion: New Jersey's medical marijuana program languishes - so do the patients it could help http://www.nj.com/opinion/index.ssf/2015/03/opinion_new_jerseys_medical_marijuana_program_lang.html
Feb. 2015: Agenda: http://cmmnj.blogspot.com/2015_02_01_archive.html
Jan. 2015: Agenda: http://cmmnj.blogspot.com/2015/01/public-meeting-agenda-for-january-13.html
Petition for Rulemaking: http://cmmnj.blogspot.com/2015/01/petition-for-rulemaking-medical.html

CMMNJ TV Episodes– 
Randy Thompson "Help Not Handcuffs"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-jXhOqMJaKE&feature=youtu.be
CMMNJ TV - Mary Jane Bunker
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eWZyMSMT1tc
CMMNJ TV- Vanessa Maria
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OI47pi26lsA
CMMNJ TV: Jon Peditto
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CqQLdSlNl08
CMMNJ TV: Louis Santiago
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MTCeDeDyp_w
CMMNJ TV: Dr. David Nathan
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZEJs0Jwkxc
CMMNJ TV: James Babb
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QsiyrPtNwBc

Thanks to CMMNJ Volunteers:

On behalf of the Board of Directors of CMMNJ, I would like to thank all of our supporters for their tireless efforts and contributions throughout the year. As we are an all-volunteer organization, we are nothing without you!  Special thanks go to:

Jim Price, the CMMNJ Communications Director, has developed the “Patient Handbook 2015,” a valuable resource for patients.
Ed “Lefty” Grimes has been editing “CMMNJ TV” episodes while producing high quality videos of medical marijuana patients and families. Lefty is also conducting his “Ignorance is No Excuse” tour which distributes the MMP Attorney General guidelines to local police departments. Lefty has been posting these videos on YouTube and social media sites. Lefty conducts Weekly Statehouse Podcasts, for example, this interview with Bill Caruso and Chris Goldstein: http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/77529685/highlight/666923
At these podcasts, “Magic Butter Machines” which have a retail value $175 - $200, are raffled off monthly. Lefty also conducted the first-ever podcast of a CMMNJ meeting from the Lawrence Library in December 2015.
CMMNJ is also grateful for the many discussions, ably moderated by volunteer administrators, on Facebook’s Friends of the Coalition for Medical Marijuana-NJ at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/62462971150/

CMMNJ 2015 Board Update:

Formal meetings of the CMMNJ Board of Directors were held on 4/22/15 and 8/17/15.

Carolyn Piro and Jay Lassiter resigned from the Board of CMMNJ this year. CMMNJ is very grateful for the support that Carolyn and Jay gave to medical marijuana in New Jersey during their time on the Board.

CMMNJ voted onto its Board in 2015 the following members: Amanda Hoffman, Vanessa Maria, and Diane Fornbacher.  Diane actually resumed her place on the Board after resigning to become a “medical marijuana refugee” and fleeing to Colorado in order to obtain access to her medicine.

At the close of 2015, the CMMNJ Board consists of the following 10 members: Kenneth R. Wolski, RN, Executive Director, James Miller, Senior Director, Edward R. Hannaman, Esq., Secretary, and Board members, Nick Mellis, Peter Rosenfeld, Vanessa Waltz, Larry Vargo, Amanda Hoffman, Vanessa Maria, and Diane Fornbacher.  CMMNJ’s Honorary Board Member is Allan Marain, Esq.  Jim Price continues in his role as Communications Director.

Treasury Report: 

A detailed treasury report was forwarded to CMMNJ Board members.  In summary, CMMNJ finished the year with a checking account balance of $2,475 and a PayPal account balance of $3,650.  In 2015, CMMNJ had expenditures of $4,265 and income of $3,424.

About 50,000 all hemp wristbands and necklaces were donated to CMMNJ by Pete Christopher this year.  The multicolored bands were made in Romania. Suggested price is $3/apiece, or two (2) for $5. Wholesale prices are available.

CMMNJ is grateful for the generous financial support of all who contributed to our mission to educate the public about the benefits of medical marijuana.

CMMNJ’s 2016 Recommendations:

  • Continue to build support for legalization of marijuana in New Jersey.
  • Begin national clinical studies of marijuana for MS and PTSD. 
  • Reschedule marijuana to a more appropriate schedule, both in New Jersey and nationally. 
  • Improve New Jersey’s Medicinal Marijuana Program in ways that bring timely access of high quality and affordable marijuana to patients who can benefit from it.

Schedule of CMMNJ 2016 meetings:

CMMNJ’s free, public meetings will continue to be held on the second Tuesday of each month from 7 - 9 PM at the Lawrence Twp. Branch of the Mercer County Library, Room #2 (NOT the usual Room #3 in 2016).  There will be no April or July meeting in 2016 due to a schedule conflict at the library. (Meeting at the library does not imply the county’s endorsement of our issue.)

Also, follow CMMNJ on Facebook, Friends of the Coalition for Medical Marijuana-NJ at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/62462971150/

Ken Wolski, RN, MPA
Executive Director
Coalition for Medical Marijuana—New Jersey, Inc. www.cmmnj.org
219 Woodside Ave., Trenton, NJ 08618  
(609) 394-2137
ohamkrw@aol.com
kenwolski@gmail.com

January 5, 2016

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

CMMNJ Jan. 12, 2016 Public Meeting Agenda



Monthly Public Meeting Agenda 
Lawrence Township Library, Room #2
Tuesday, January 12, 2016, 7:00 PM -- 9:00 PM

Approve December 2015 minutes. Note change from Room #3 to Room #2 for 2016 meetings. Discuss:

CMMNJ testified at the Senate Health Committee on 12/21/15. Two marijuana bills were considered: S3162, to ensure workplace protections for medical marijuana patients was released from committee; S2898, to authorize medical marijuana for qualifying patients with PTSD was discussed (thanks to J. Miller) but not voted on at the hearing.  Chairman Vitale thought S2898 would pass out of committee at a subsequent hearing.

Gov. Christie signed A4587 on 11/9 to require schools to permit oral marijuana use by qualified patients, but the Barbour lawsuit continues so that nurses can administer it.

CMMNJ Year End Report for 2015 was published; detailed account/audit of finances sent to Board members.

Upcoming Events: 
Jon Peditto sentencing January 2016, Toms River--faces 10 year minimum (he was very pleased to get the $200 and the letter from NJWeedman's 420 POW fundraiser on 12/20).
“CMMNJ TV” taping 1/19/16 at Princeton Community TV Studio, 10 am to 2 pm; Mary Lynn Mathre, RN scheduled to appear by Skype.
American Cannabis Nurses Association (ACNA) meeting scheduled for NJWeedman's "Joint" at 322 E. State St., Trenton, NJ 7pm to 8:30 pm
Free, live streaming "Cannabis Health Summit," 1/23 & 1/24; http://cannabishealthsummit.com/
Patients Out of Time conference, 4/14-16/16, Baltimore.

Treasury report: Checking: $2335; PayPal: $3650. Multicolored hemp bands from Romania--Suggested retail price: $3/apiece; 2 for $5.  Wholesale prices are available.

CMMNJ's meetings are the 2nd Tuesday of each month from 7 - 9 PM at the Lawrence Twp. Library, 2751 Brunswick Pike, Lawrence Twp., 08648. All are welcome.  (Meeting at the library does not imply Mercer County’s endorsement of our issue.)

More info:  Ken Wolski, RN, (609) 394-2137 ohamkrw@aol.com http://www.cmmnj.org   Facebook: Friends of CMMNJ: https://www.facebook.com/groups/62462971150/?fref=ts

CMMNJ, a 501(c)(3) public charity, is a non-profit educational organization.




Monthly Public Meeting Minutes 
December 8, 2015

November 2015 minutes approved.  December meeting was podcast by SativaCross.
See: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wMNI_LGKC9E

Historic Senate Judiciary Committee hearing to legalize marijuana for adults in NJ, 11/16/15, with NJUMR Press Conference, and Die In at the State House, Trenton.

Gov. Christie signed A4587 on 11/9/15—Requires schools to permit medical marijuana use by qualifying patients.  Barbour lawsuit continues to have nurses administer it.

Upcoming Events: Jon Peditto sentencing 12/23, Toms River--faces 10 year minimum.
(Late note: Peditto sentencing was postponed to January 2016.)
Obama: Fire DEA head for calling medical marijuana a joke--over 100,000 agree. California judge to DEA: Stop interfering with state mediccal marijuana laws!
Food & clothing drive, "NJ Weedman's Joint" 322 E. State St., Trenton, until 12/19.
2016 CMMNJ meetings will be in Room #2 at the Lawrence Library--no mtngs. April or July of 2016.
Ken: ask Asm. Gusciora if S2898 (PTSD bill) can get a hearing in Senate Health Committee.

Recent events: “CMMNJ TV” taping 12/1/15 at Princeton Community TV Studio--great interviews with Ari Rosmarin from NJ ACLU and Dr. David Nathan from NJUMR.
"Ethical Decisions & Medical Marijuana" TREC Conference, Burlco College, 11/10/15.
2015 Reform Conference, 11/18-21/15, Crystal Gateway Marriott, Arlington, VA.
Roland Ramos scheduling events in Newark galleries 11/12 & 11/15.
Thursday Statehouse Podcasts--party marking suspension of regular podcasts 11/19 after 34 straight weeks (4/2/15 to 11/19/15) rain or shine.
Breakwater ATC opened in Cranbury, NJ on 10/15, making a total of 5 ATCs in NJ.
Compassionate Sciences ATC is offering 20% discount (1/4 oz. for $65).
Legalization Resolution tabled by Trenton City Council on 11/5/15; Voorhees, Camden?

Treasury report: Checking: $2527; PayPal: $3626. Check for $155 sent to Jim Miller for podcast expenses. Multicolored hemp bands from Romania--Suggested retail price: $3/apiece; 2 for $5.  Wholesale prices are available.

CMMNJ's meetings are the 2nd Tuesday of each month from 7 - 9 PM at the Lawrence Twp. Library, 2751 Brunswick Pike, Lawrence Twp., 08648. All are welcome.  (Meeting at the library does not imply Mercer County’s endorsement of our issue.)

More info:  Ken Wolski, RN, (609) 394-2137 ohamkrw@aol.com http://www.cmmnj.org   Facebook: Friends of CMMNJ: https://www.facebook.com/groups/62462971150/?fref=ts

CMMNJ, a 501(c)(3) public charity, is a non-profit educational organization.


Recent Media Coverage and Blogs:





Judges nix evidence found in medical marijuana patient's home
http://www.nj.com/sussex-county/index.ssf/2015/12/appeals_court_upholds_ruling_favoring_medical_mari.html

N.J. Senate panel approves job protection for medical marijuana patients
http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2015/12/senate_panel_approves_job_protection_for_medical_m.html

Philly420: Two bills that would expand N.J. medical marijuana law debated
http://www.philly.com/philly/news/new_jersey/Philly420_two_senate_bills_NJ_medical_marijuana_law.html#fyK3BmiiDeeOdl4z.99

STORIES OF THE YEAR: NJ Weedman opens businesses across from Trenton City Hall
http://www.trentonian.com/general-news/20151228/stories-of-the-year-nj-weedman-opens-businesses-across-from-trenton-city-hall

CMMNJ TV: Dr. David Nathan
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZEJs0Jwkxc

Prioritizing Alcohol Prevention: Establishing Alcohol as the Gateway Drug and Linking Age of First Drink With Illicit Drug Use.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26645418

GUSCIORA: Legalized pot could revitalize Atlantic City
http://www.app.com/story/opinion/columnists/2016/01/04/legal-marijuana-atlantic-city/78262654/?fb_action_ids=10153332836538657&fb_action_types=og.comments

Our view: No reason for N.J. to rush to legalize marijuana
http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com/opinion/editorials/our-view-no-reason-for-n-j-to-rush-to/article_0702f529-c3a1-5927-a044-d5f518adc201.html?fb_action_ids=10153318447533657&fb_action_types=og.comments

Marijuana decriminalization law begins today (Delaware)
http://delawarestatenews.net/news/marijuana-decriminalization-law-begins-today/

O’Shaughnessy’s Winter 2015/16 (the new issue is out)
http://www.beyondthc.com/

Here’s How Many People Fatally Overdosed On Marijuana Last Year
http://dailyamerica.info/heres-how-many-people-fatally-overdosed-on-marijuana-last-year/

Philly420: 2015 proved greening of America well underway
http://www.philly.com/philly/news/breaking/Philly420_2015_proved_greening_of_America_well_underway.html#jEXSciCdAdHG2SSm.99

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

CMMNJ Public Meeting Minutes from December 2015



Monthly Public Meeting Minutes 
December 8, 2015

November 2015 minutes approved.
December meeting was podcast by Sativa Cross.
See:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wMNI_LGKC9E

Historic Senate Judiciary Committee hearing to legalize marijuana for adults in NJ, 11/16/15, with NJUMR Press Conference, and Die In at the State House, Trenton.

Gov. Christie signed A4587 on 11/9/15—Requires schools to permit medical marijuana use by qualifying patients.  Barbour lawsuit continues in order to have nurses administer it.

Upcoming Events:
Jon Peditto sentencing 12/23, Toms River--faces 10 year minimum. (Late note: Peditto sentencing was postponed to January 2016.)
Obama: Fire DEA head for calling medical marijuana a joke--over 100,000 agree.
California judge to DEA: Stop interfering with state medical marijuana laws!
Food & clothing drive, "NJ Weedman's Joint" 322 E. State St., Trenton, until 12/19.
Ken to ask Asm. Gusciora if S2898 (PTSD bill) can get a hearing in Senate Health Committee.
2016 CMMNJ meetings will be in Room #2 at the Lawrence Library--no mtngs. April or July of 2016.

Recent events:
“CMMNJ TV” taping 12/1/15 at Princeton Community TV Studio--interviews with Ari Rosmarin from NJ ACLU and Dr. David Nathan from NJUMR.
"Ethical Decisions & Medical Marijuana" TREC Conference, Burlco College, 11/10/15 (2 CEU's).
2015 Reform Conference, 11/18-21/15, Crystal Gateway Marriott, Arlington, VA.
Roland Ramos scheduling events in Newark galleries 11/12 & 11/15.
Thursday Statehouse Podcasts--party marking suspension of regular podcasts on 11/19 after 34 straight weeks (4/2/15 to 11/19/15), rain or shine.
Breakwater ATC opened in Cranbury, NJ on 10/15, making a total of 5 ATCs in NJ.
Compassionate Sciences ATC is offering 20% discount (1/4 oz. for $65).
Legalization Resolution tabled by Trenton City Council on 11/5/15; Voorhees, Camden?

Treasury report: Checking: $2527; PayPal: $3626. Check for $155 sent to Jim Miller for podcast expenses. Multicolored hemp bands from Romania--Suggested retail price: $3/apiece; 2 for $5.  Wholesale prices are available.

CMMNJ's meetings are the 2nd Tuesday of each month from 7 - 9 PM at the Lawrence Twp. Library, 2751 Brunswick Pike, Lawrence Twp., 08648. All are welcome.  (Meeting at the library does not imply Mercer County’s endorsement of our issue.)

More info:  Ken Wolski, RN, (609) 394-2137 ohamkrw@aol.com
http://www.cmmnj.org  
Facebook: Friends of CMMNJ: https://www.facebook.com/groups/62462971150/?fref=ts

CMMNJ, a 501(c)(3) public charity, is a non-profit educational organization.

Friday, November 27, 2015

CMMNJ December 2015 Agenda



Monthly Public Meeting Agenda 
Lawrence Township Library, Room #3
Tuesday, December 8, 2015, 7:00 PM -- 9:00 PM 

Approve November 2015 minutes.  Discuss:

Historic Senate Judiciary Committee hearing to legalize marijuana for adults in NJ, 11/16/15, with NJUMR Press Conference, and Die In at the State House, Trenton.

Gov. Christie signed A4587 on 11/9/15—Requires schools to permit medical marijuana use by qualifying patients.  Barbour lawsuit continues to have nurses administer it.

Upcoming Events: Jon Peditto sentencing 12/23, Toms River--faces 10 year minimum.
Obama: Fire DEA head for calling medical marijuana a joke--over 100,000 agree.
Food & clothing drive, "NJ Weedman's Joint" 322 E. State St., Trenton, until 12/19.

Recent events: “CMMNJ TV” taping 12/1/15 at Princeton Community TV Studio.
"Ethical Decisions & Medical Marijuana" TREC Conference, Burlco College, 11/10/15.
2015 Reform Conference, 11/18-21/15, Crystal Gateway Marriott, Arlington, VA.
Roland Ramos scheduling events in Newark galleries 11/12, 11/15 & 11/29.
Thursday Statehouse Podcasts--party marking suspension of regular podcasts 11/19.
Breakwater ATC opened in Cranbury, NJ on 10/15, making a total of 5 ATCs in NJ.
Legalization Resolution tabled by Trenton City Council on 11/5/15; Voorhees, Camden?

Treasury report: Checking: $2527; PayPal: $3626. Multicolored hemp bands from Romania--Suggested retail price: $3/apiece; 2 for $5.  Wholesale prices are available.

CMMNJ's meetings are the 2nd Tuesday of each month from 7 - 9 PM at the Lawrence Twp. Library, 2751 Brunswick Pike, Lawrence Twp., 08648. All are welcome.  (Meeting at the library does not imply Mercer County’s endorsement of our issue.)

More info:  Ken Wolski, RN, (609) 394-2137 ohamkrw@aol.com http://www.cmmnj.org   Facebook: Friends of CMMNJ: https://www.facebook.com/groups/62462971150/?fref=ts

CMMNJ, a 501(c)(3) public charity, is a non-profit educational organization.




Monthly Public Meeting Minutes 
November 10, 2015 

Nov. 2015--CMMNJ celebrates 10 years of meeting at the Lawrence Library!

Gov. Christie signed A4587 on 11/9/15—Requires schools to permit medical marijuana use by qualifying patients.  Barbour lawsuit continues to have nurses administer it.

CMMNJ poll of legislators' opinion on marijuana reform--no replies.

Upcoming Events: This Veteran's Day, Don't Thank Us, HELP US!
Senate Judiciary Committee hearing to legalize marijuana for adults in NJ, 11/16.
2015 Reform Conference, 11/18-21/15, Crystal Gateway Marriott, Arlington, VA.
Roland Ramos scheduling events in Newark galleries 11/12, 11/15 & 11/29.
Thursday Statehouse Podcasts  11am-2pm: see Facebook “Friends of CMMNJ” or Sativa Cross for details. “Magic Butter Machine” raffled off monthly--retail value $200.
TREC Conference Burlington County Conference, 11/10/15.

Recent events: ACLU NJ Annual Meeting, Princeton, NJ 10/20/15.
Jon Peditto Guilty! Faces 10 year mandatory minimum 12/23; no mercy in Toms River.
Philadelphia Veterans Protest with Mike Whiter, Independence Hall, noon, 11/8/15.
Breakwater ATC opened in Cranbury, NJ on 10/15, making a total of 5 ATCs in NJ.
Bob Kane and the Irish legislature's support for harm reduction.
Paul Abramson, Mid-Atlantic rep of MJBA trade assn. gave an update on his company.
Trenton Resolution to legalize marijuana tabled by City Council on 11/5/15.
“CMMNJ TV” October taping cancelled--no guests.  December 1 taping scheduled.

Treasury report: Checking: $2506; PayPal: $3626. Multicolored hemp bands from Romania--Suggested retail price: $3/apiece; 2 for $5.  Wholesale prices are available.

More info: 
Ken Wolski, RN
(609) 394-2137
ohamkrw@aol.com
http://www.cmmnj.org



Recent Media Coverage and Blogs:

Mounting Pressure on DEA Head to Resign for Calling Medical Marijuana “A Joke”
http://www.thedailychronic.net/2015/50045/mounting-pressure-on-dea-head-to-resign-for-calling-medical-marijuana-a-joke/

Congressman Calls For DEA Chief's Removal After He Calls Medical Marijuana A 'Joke'
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/earl-blumenauer-dea-chief_564ca653e4b06037734be861

Drug War Statistics
http://www.drugpolicy.org/drug-war-statistics

New Jersey Teen with Epilepsy and Autism Wins Right to Take Medical Marijuana at School
http://www.people.com/article/new-jersey-teen-genny-barbour-wins-fight-medical-marijuana-school

Marijuana Mercy
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yVzbgzGcSVE

Testimony to the NJ Senate Judiciary Committee in support of legalizing, taxing and regulating marijuana for adults
http://cmmnj.blogspot.com/2015/11/testimony-to-nj-senate-judiciary.html

CMMNJ BY SativaCross.com 11/16 PART TWO
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zosX9ezhR2M

Pro Cannabis Senator Won't Back Down from Battle with Chris Christie
https://www.civilized.life/new-jersey-senate-hearing-on-legalization-1462215467.html

Should N.J. legalize marijuana? See what top lawmakers say
http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2015/11/should_nj_legalize_marijuana_top_lawmakers_are_split.html

Overheard at This Week’s Marijuana Hearing
http://politickernj.com/2015/11/overheard-at-this-weeks-marijuana-hearing/

NJ Lawmakers Consider Marijuana Legalization
http://www.njlawjournal.com/id=1202742569099/NJ-Lawmakers-Consider-Marijuana-Legalization?slreturn=20151027140418#ixzz3sENRdkWE

NJ Weedman’s Passing the Joint: Free all pot prisoners first
http://www.trentonian.com/opinion/20151119/nj-weedmans-passing-the-joint-free-all-pot-prisoners-first

Nov. 16, 2015: NJTV News (coverage--3 minutes worth--starts at the 11:15 mark)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nN2Z25i4Kow

With Trenton hearing, legal pot movement goes mainstream
http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/new-jersey/2015/11/8583119/trenton-hearing-legal-pot-movement-goes-mainstream

BATTLE OVER LEGALIZING MARIJUANA TAKING SHAPE IN NEW JERSEY
http://6abc.com/news/battle-over-legalizing-marijuana-taking-shape-in-new-jersey/1087331/

Legalize recreational marijuana in N.J.? Supporters to pitch for it at hearing
http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2015/11/marijuana_legalization_supporters_will_testify_at.html

CMMNJ TV: James Babb--Jury Nullification
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QsiyrPtNwBc

BILL CARUSO/CHRIS GOLDSTEIN ON CMMNJ SATIVACROSS.COM PODDCAST
http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/77529685/highlight/666923

Philly420: N.J. marijuana arrests increasing as senator eyes legalization
http://www.philly.com/philly/news/politics/Philly420_NJ_marijuana_arrests_increasing_as_senator_eyes_legalization.html#WV6YuiJa2K4dvKGl.99

Cannabis Legalization Back on the Agenda at Senate Hearing
http://www.njtvonline.org/news/video/cannabis-legalization-back-on-the-agenda-at-senate-hearing/

The DEA has failed to eradicate marijuana. Now Congress wants it to stop trying.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/11/27/the-dea-has-failed-to-eradicate-marijuana-now-congress-wants-it-to-stop-trying/?postshare=4741448652492534&tid=ss_fb-bottom

STUDY: Medical Marijuana Is Safe Long-Term
http://growcompare.eu/study-medical-marijuana-is-safe-long-term/

STUDY: Marijuana Users 50% Less Likely To Develop Metabolic Syndrome
http://growcompare.eu/study-marijuana-users-50-percent-less-likely-to-develop-metabolic-syndrome/

Cannabis for the Treatment of Cancer
by Justin Kander
http://www.drugpolicy.org/sites/default/files/Cannabis_and_Cancer_ARblog_081115.pdf

Trudeau Gives Justice Minister Mandate To Legalize Cannabis
https://www.civilized.life/trudeau-gives-justice-minister-mandate-to-legalize-1453717497.html

CMMNJ BY SativaCross.com 11/19
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GMsaGbVW0Lk

LTE in the "New Jersey Monthly" December 2015 issue (not available online):

"NEXT EXIT: MARIJUANA"

In Steve Abudato’s column, “Heroin: An Uphill Battle” (November 2015) he neglects to mention another weapon in the battle against opioid overdose deaths—marijuana. The Journal of the American Medical Association noted in 2014 that, "States with medical cannabis laws had a 24.8 percent lower mean annual opioid overdose mortality rate compared with states without medical cannabis laws."* (New Jersey’s anemic medical marijuana program was not included in the survey.)

Far from being a “gateway” drug, marijuana is actually an “exit drug”—it serves as a substitute and helps to wean people off more dangerous and addicting prescription drugs, street drugs and even alcohol.

Ken Wolski, RN, MPA
Executive Director
Coalition for Medical Marijuana--New Jersey, Inc.
Trenton

*Bachhuber et al. Medical Cannabis Laws and Opioid Analgesic Overdose Mortality in the United States, 1999-2010. JAMA Intern Med. 2014.

Testimony to the NJ Senate Judiciary Committee in support of legalizing, taxing and regulating marijuana for adults

November 16, 2015

Chairman Scutari and members of the committee, thank you for the opportunity to address this issue.

My name is Ken Wolski.  I am Executive Director of the Coalition for Medical Marijuana—New Jersey, Inc.  (CMMNJ)   I am a registered nurse (RN) with 39 years experience in New Jersey & Pennsylvania.  I've studied the issue of medical marijuana for over 20 years.  My resume is included in the packet of material I have provided to the committee, along with some recent articles I have published on the subject.  I have also included testimony from people who could not be here today.

New Jersey's Medicinal Marijuana Program (MMP) is a failure.  When the Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act (CUMMA) passed into law in Jan., 2010, the Legislature found and declared that:

  • there was “beneficial use for marijuana in treating or alleviating the pain or other symptoms associated with certain debilitating medical conditions” and,
  • that this “law will have the practical effect of protecting from arrest the vast majority of seriously ill people who have a medical need to use marijuana.”

That has simply not happened in the nearly 6 years since this bill became law:

  • only five (5) ATCs are open--that's like having 5 pharmacies in the entire state;
  • about 350 doctors are in the MMP--out of over 30,000 physicians in the state; and,
  • about 5000 patients have MMP ID cards, in a state with almost 9 million people.

Marijuana has enormous therapeutic potential, but:

  • most people who could benefit from marijuana therapy do not have one of the severely limited qualifying conditions;
  • those who do have a qualifying condition find the application process and/or the Regulations too difficult, or too time-consuming to manage; and,
  • even those who manage to get an ID card find the program too expensive to afford.

The Department of Health was empowered by the legislation to add qualifying conditions at any time, but they are still not even accepting applications to do so.

Who are the patients who can benefit from marijuana therapy?  The remarkable diversity of therapeutic effects of marijuana often make me shake my head in disbelief.

In 1993 I met an asthma patient who told me that smoking marijuana was the only thing that helped his asthma.  This went against everything that I believed and taught for the first 17 years that I was a nurse.  I repeatedly cautioned asthma patients to avoid any kind of smoke because it might trigger an asthma attack, which can be fatal.  Then other asthma patients told me the same thing.  Then I read a study that showed that the bronchodilator effects of marijuana along with the anti-anxiety effects overcame the irritant effects of the smoke.  Now I believe that smoking marijuana can help some asthma patients.

In 2003 I met Cheryl Miller who was dying of multiple sclerosis while waging a nationwide campaign for medical marijuana.  She died a few months after I met her and there was a memorial service for her in Washington, D.C. a little after that. At the service, I met a woman from California who had MS and who was in a wheelchair, as the MS had already paralyzed her legs.  This woman told me a remarkable thing.  She said, "Ken, when I smoke marijuana, my MS stops getting worse."  I didn't believe that was possible.  Yet five years later, in 2008, the National MS Society published an Expert Opinion Paper that said marijuana is neuroprotective and that it may delay or even stop the progression of these incurable neurological conditions like MS.

I've suspended my disbelief when I hear remarkable stories of marijuana's therapeutic usefulness.

Consider the range of diseases, symptoms and conditions that New Jersey recognizes marijuana as useful for:

  • Seizures
  • Glaucoma
  • Muscle spasticity
  • Neurological conditions
  • Bowel conditions like Crohn's Disease
  • HIV/AIDS and Cancer, if chronic pain, nausea or the wasting syndrome 
  • Any terminal illness if there's less than 12 months to live.

That's just the tip of the iceberg.  There are hundreds of physical conditions, besides AIDS and cancer, that are characterized by chronic pain, nausea, or the wasting syndrome.

Plus, there are a host of mental and emotional conditions that can be helped by marijuana therapy.

Twenty-two (22) veterans commit suicide every day in the U.S. because PTSD is so poorly managed by traditional pharmaceuticals, yet marijuana shows great promise in the management of this condition. One of the cannabinoids in marijuana, CBD, is being used with great success in Europe in treating schizophrenia.  Bipolar disorder, crippling anxiety, and Attention Deficit Disorder can also be managed with marijuana.

Marijuana can do all these remarkable things because scientists have recently discovered the system in the human body that interacts with cannabinoids, the components of marijuana.  The system is called the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) and it is, in part, a series of receptors in every organ of the body for cannabinoids.  The pharmaceutical industry is developing synthetic drugs to manipulate this system and the federal government has a patent on the neuroprotective and antiinflammatory components of this system.

Yet the ECS is only mentioned in 14% of the medical schools in the U.S.

There are hundreds of thousands of people in New Jersey who could benefit from marijuana therapy--perhaps a million or more.  After all, if you live in the Garden State:

  • you have a 1 in 3 chance of having a cancer diagnosis at some point in your life;  
  • you have a 1 in 3 chance of having chronic pain--pain that lasts 6 months or more; and,  
  • we all die, and marijuana helps with some of the common problem associated with terminal illnesses like no other drug.

This is why CMMNJ endorsed legalization of marijuana in New Jersey.  It is the most efficient and effective way to get the therapeutic benefits of marijuana to the vast number of patients who can benefit from it.

CMMNJ believes that marijuana legalization here is inevitable--it's just a question of time.  But we need to learn from the failures of the MMP.  We need to empower people to produce their own medicine. Home cultivation of a limited amount of marijuana could have a very positive effect on the public health of New Jersey residents.  It ensures access to the benefits of this plant, regardless of income status.  It can slash health care costs significantly by reducing the need for expensive pharmaceuticals, hospitalizations, and surgical procedures.  In states with home cultivation there is a 25% reduction in opiate overdose deaths.  The very act of growing a living plant can have a positive effect on a dying person.  The NJ State Senate already approved home cultivation in Feb., 2009 when the CUMMA was working its way through the legislature.  This time, let's make sure we keep home cultivation as part of the law to legalize, regulate and tax marijuana in New Jersey.

Thank you for your attention.

Kenneth R. Wolski, RN, MPA
Trenton, NJ