Tuesday, February 3, 2015

CMMNJ 2/10/15 Meeting Agenda



Monthly Public Meeting Agenda 
Lawrence Township Library, Room #3
Tuesday, February 10, 2015, 7:00 PM -- 9:00 PM

Approve January 2015 minutes.  Discuss:

NJ Legislature:  Support NJ marijuana bills: A3525/S2312 (comprehensive MMP fix); S1896/A3094 (legalize, tax and regulate marijuana); A3726 (adds PTSD); A218 (decrim).
NLRB Hearing 3/16/15 in Philadelphia: UFCW Local 152 v. Egg Harbor CCF ATC.
“CMMNJ TV” is broadcasting from Princeton Community TV.  Episodes run for two weeks--Tues., 10 pm & Fri., 10:30 am on Comcast Ch. 30 & Verizon FIOS Ch. 45.  Next taping: 2/24.
“Petition for Rulemaking,” requests MMP regulatory changes; send letters of support to DOH.
AAP endorses limited pediatric use, rescheduling, & decrim for minors and young adults.

Upcoming Events:
“Medical Marijuana” Princeton House, 2/23/15, 12:15pm-1:30 pm with Dr. Jahan Marcu.
“Medical Marijuana: Myths & Medicine,” PA State Nurses Assn., 3/26/15 Millersville Univ.
Central NORML NJ meeting at Firkin Tavern, Ewing, NJ 2/18 (3rd Wed. of the month), 7pm.
March for the Love of Cannabis, 101 S. Market Street, Wilmington, Delaware, 2/14/15 at 4:20 pm.
NJ SPRING SMOKE-OUT Sat., March 21, 2:00pm New Jersey State House in Trenton
ASA’s National Medical Cannabis Unity Conference, March 27-31st in Washington, DC.
"Patients Out of Time" conference, W. Palm Beach, Florida, 5/21-23/15. http://bit.ly/1z3o1Y3
Trial of Jon Peditto, Toms River, 2/9/15.
“Cannabis and the Endocannabinoid System” webinar, Sunil Aggarwal, MD, 2/21/15, 1 pm-2pm: http://mycompassion.org/event-1832565

Recent events: “Fully Baked Radio” interview, 1/19/15. "Cannabis Frontier" interview, 1/24/15.

Treasury report: Checking: $3696; PayPal: $3526.

CMMNJ's meetings are the second Tuesday of each month from 7 - 9 PM at the Lawrence Twp. Library, 2751 Brunswick Pike, Lawrence Twp., 08648 Tel. #609.882.9246.  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 13, 2015

December 2014 minutes approved.  Discuss:

NJ legislature is back.  Marijuana bills include: A3726 (PTSD); A3525/S2312 (MMP fix); S1896/A3094 (legalize); A218 (decrim).

“CMMNJ TV” is broadcasting from Princeton Community TV.  Episodes run for two weeks--Tues., 10 pm & Fri., 10:30 am on Comcast Ch. 30 & Verizon FIOS Ch. 45.  Interview with Dr. Jahan Marcu scheduled for 1/24/15.

Support "East Coast Cannabis Coalition" on Facebook.

Update on Jim Price’s creating a Patient’s Handbook for CMMNJ.

CMMNJ awaits action on “Petition for Rulemaking” requesting MMP regulatory changes; write letters of support to DOH. Petition posted on CMMNJ web site. CMMNJ plans Op Ed when DOH decides on petition

Recent events: Sabina Rose Memorial, Statehouse, Trenton, 12/2/14; Jim Miller got Gov. Christie to join “Moment of Silence” for Sabina Rose.
DE NORML’s Annual Pot Luck Dinner 12/16; DE NORML Lobby Day 1/29/15.
Medical marijuana “Patients Panel” at Ramapo College, 11/13/14.
“Ignorance is No Excuse” tour distributes the MMP A.G. guidelines to local P.D.’s.
Central NORML NJ meeting at Firkin Tavern, Ewing, NJ 1/21/15 canceled due to snow.
“Homegrown Radio” interview posted 12/9.

Treasury report: Checking: $3611; PayPal: $3626. CMMNJ is selling hand-rolled hemp bracelets/necklaces from Romania @ $3 each or 2/$5.

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



Recent Media Coverage and Blogs:

LETTER: N.J. should overhaul restrictive pot law
http://www.app.com/story/opinion/readers/2015/01/08/letter-nj-overhaul-restrictive-pot-law/21452249/

New Funding For Privateer Highlights Marijuana’s Massive Market In The U.S.
http://techcrunch.com/2015/01/08/new-funding-for-privateer-highlights-marijuanas-massive-market-in-the-u-s/

Drug War Facts
http://www.drugwarfacts.org/cms/#sthash.pU9NSfj0.dpbs

No Smoke, but Haze Around E-Joint
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/13/health/with-the-e-joint-the-smoke-clears-.html?emc=edit_tnt_20150112&nlid=17961243&tntemail0=y&_r=0

NJWeedman’s Passing The Joint: Adventures in New Jersey Family Court
http://www.trentonian.com/opinion/20150114/njweedmans-passing-the-joint-adventures-in-new-jersey-family-court

Medical marijuana coming to Secaucus
Alternative Treatment Center projected to open this year
http://www.hudsonreporter.com/view/full_story/26402331/article-Medical-marijuana-coming-to-Secaucus--Alternative-Treatment-Center-projected-to-open-this-year-?instance=latest_story

Interview on Cannabis Frontier:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2dK9dLwHdI

Medical pot only OK for sick kids failed by other drugs: MDs
http://nj1015.com/medical-pot-only-ok-for-sick-kids-failed-by-other-drugs-mds/?trackback=tsmclip

Growing pains: Labor strife at N.J.'s first medical marijuana dispensary
http://www.philly.com/philly/business/labor_and_unions/20150129_Growing_pains__Labor_strife_at_N_J__s_first_medical_marijuana_dispensary.html#8Ws1Dr54BbT1F7Cs.99

How Medical Marijuana’s Chemicals May Protect Cells
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-medical-marijuana-s-chemicals-may-protect-cells/

Daily Marijuana Use Is Not Associated with Brain Morphometric Measures in Adolescents or Adults
http://www.jneurosci.org/content/35/4/1505.abstract

The Impact of Marijuana Policies on Youth: Clinical, Research, and Legal Update
http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2015/01/20/peds.2014-4146.full.pdf+html

Can medical marijuana curb the heroin epidemic?
http://theconversation.com/can-medical-marijuana-curb-the-heroin-epidemic-35287 

The Medical Minute: Cannabis Use Associated With Lower Body Mass
http://www.leafly.com/news/medical/the-medical-minute-cannabis-use-associated-with-lower-body-mass?fb_action_ids=10152629534818657&fb_action_types=og.comments

New Jersey Appeals Court Rules Cannabis Use Alone Not Reason to Remove Child
http://www.ladybud.com/2015/01/08/new-jersey-appeals-court-rules-cannabis-use-alone-not-reason-to-remove-child/

Parents Coalition for Rescheduling Medical Cannabis Makes Case for Sick Kids
http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-1203560

Fully Baked Radio Interview 1/19/15:
http://www.hamiltonradio.net/index.php/component/content/article?id=359

95170: Medical Marijuana and Other Cannabinoids
https://www.netce.com/coursecontent.php?courseid=1128#chap.1

Why everybody should be allowed to Grow Marijuana at Home
https://www.marijuanadoctors.com/blog/medical-marijuana-recommendations/why-everybody-should-be-allowed-to-grow-marijuana-at-home

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Petition for Rulemaking – Medical Marijuana Regulations

October 14, 2014

Mary O'Dowd, Commissioner
New Jersey Department of Health
P.O. Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

Re:  Petition for Rulemaking – Medical Marijuana Regulations

Dear Commissioner O’Dowd:

Pursuant to N.J.A.C. 1:30-4.1, the Coalition for Medical Marijuana--New Jersey petitions for modifications to the existing regulations to provide effective access to medical marijuana for patients and specifically hospice patients. The petitioner seeks modifications to the existing regulations to comport with the statutory scheme and, for example, eliminates requirements such as doctor registration which is not required by the Compassionate Use Act. 

Full name and address of the petitioner.
Coalition for Medical Marijuana—New Jersey, Inc.
219 Woodside Avenue
Trenton, NJ 08618.  Tel.  609-394-2137.

The nature and substance of the rulemaking request
Petitioners request that the Department of Health (DOH) modify certain medical marijuana regulations as explained in this petition.  The proposals herein seek modification of the existing regulations to allow adequate access to medical marijuana for qualified patients as intended by the Compassionate Use Act by:

a.  Eliminating the $200 fee required in N.J.A.C 8:64-2.1(f) for all volunteer caregivers and eliminate the illegal sales tax on medical marijuana. 

b.  Deleting the clearly ultra vires registration requirement for doctors contained in N.J.A.C. 8:64-2.4, as well as the unwarranted course requirement in pain management in order for licensed physicians to recommend medical marijuana. 

c.  Eliminating the regulatory requirement in NJAC 8:64-2.5(a)6 which requires physicians to violate patient confidentiality and in (a) 9 of that section which interferes with the physician’s professional judgment.

d.  Eliminating the regulatory requirement in N.J.A.C 8:64-2.5(a)9i which requires physicians to provide warnings to patients that directly contradicts N.J.S.A 24:6I-2a.

e.  Adding as an additional qualifying debilitating condition Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) to accommodate the influx of recent military service veterans inasmuch as the DOH failed to establish the panel as required by N.J.A.C 8:64-5.1 to add new conditions.   

f.  Eliminating the requirement in N.J.A.C. 8:64-2.5b for parents to seek the approval of three licensed physicians in order to obtain medical marijuana for their child.

The reason and basis for the request  
The below sub-paragraphs parallels those used in Paragraph 2 above.

a.  Most if not all the caregivers involved are volunteers who already have to pay for background checks and should not pay to render a necessary service to seriously ill patients. Moreover, there are over 30,000 hospice patients in NJ, all of whom statutorily qualify for medical marijuana but are unnecessarily hindered by the requirement that each of their caregivers pay $200 for a simple registration.  Elimination of this cost would ease the burden on all patients and especially those in hospice care enabling them to access a much needed medication.  As to the tax, NJSA 54:32B-8.1 specifically exempts any prescribed or over the counter medication.  That statute broadly defines “drug” to be any substance or preparation “intended for use in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease” or, “intended to affect the structure or any function of the body.”  No other medicine is taxed and this illegally treats marijuana used as medicine as an illegal drug--which it is not, when used pursuant to the Compassionate Use Act. The Technical Bulletin issued by the Division of Taxation on February 16, 2010--after passage of the Compassionate Use Act--recognized the expansion of the sales and use tax exemption for drugs. Nowhere does it even hint that there is any exception for medical marijuana. There is nothing in the Compassionate Use Act nor in the DOH’s Regulations regarding or even hinting at imposition of a sales tax.  This tax is blatantly illegal and the Regulation must reflect the non-taxable status of medical marijuana.   

b.  Fewer than 1% of the doctors in NJ have registered to provide medical marijuana.  This requirement is not in the statute and is entirely unnecessary.  All licensed New Jersey physicians are statutorily authorized in the Compassionate Use Act to authorize their patient’s use of medical marijuana.  Notably, such physicians are authorized to provide any patients in New Jersey with narcotics without any special registration with the DOH.  Additionally, there is no pain management course required for doctors to prescribe narcotics, which are far more dangerous than marijuana. Physicians are well aware that their right to prescribe narcotics is strictly controlled by the Federal Government.  Historically, the Federal Government has taken an adverse position to medical marijuana.  Although this position is possibly diminishing, there is no formal federal recognition of medical marijuana.  Thus, registration as a “pot doc” presents a real threat to a doctor’s right to prescribe narcotics. It thus poses a significant impediment to a doctor’s willingness to register as a medical marijuana provider, as documented by the few doctors willing to take the risk.

The legislature clearly did not intend for physicians to register or it would have so stated as it did for patients and caregivers.  The omission of physicians can only be seen as deliberate.  Section 6I-4 of the Act, specifically states that the department shall establish a registry of patients and primary caregivers.  Section 6I-5(a) of the act specifically states “in order to provide such certification, a physician shall be licensed and in good standing to practice in the state.”  Nowhere does the act even hint at a need for physicians, who are already licensed professionals, to register in order to recommend the use of marijuana. Logic, basic statutory interpretation and the reality of the situation all point toward no registration requirement for physicians.

c. There is no requirement in the act for doctors to provide any administrative agency with the specifics of the patient’s condition, diagnosis or course of treatment.  This is in accordance with Federal Law protecting patient’s rights to privacy. 

d. In the Compassionate Use Act, the legislature specifically stated that marijuana has been scientifically demonstrated to provide relief for certain conditions.  Section 6I-2a of the Act states: “Modern medical research has discovered a beneficial use for marijuana in treating or alleviating the pain or other symptoms associated with certain debilitating medical conditions, as found by the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine in March 1999.”   In direct refutation of the legislature’s finding, the DOH’s regulation requires doctors to make statements about marijuana that are completely untrue, more befitting a “reefer madness attitude” rather than a mature regulatory implementation and contrary to express legislative declarations.  The fact that the Department believes there is no consensus does not trump the legislature’s recognition of the great benefits science has documented for marijuana.  As to the demanded education on the “risk of addiction” the DOH may wish to take note that marijuana has been equated to the addiction risk of caffeine. If there is to be a mandated statement it should include that virtually ALL the regularly used drugs present significant dangers to health and even life itself whereas marijuana, if it does not help, will almost certainly do no harm.

e. Reliable scientific evidence documents that marijuana is an effective treatment for post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).  At the date of this application nine other states with medical marijuana programs have accepted its use to treat PTSD.  The DOH may wish to review studies documenting the science behind this position and to that end petitioner has attached a sampling of supporting sources (see Attachment).  If DOH desires, petitioner is prepared to submit numerous other sources. Thousands of New Jersey’s returning service members, suffering from PTSD and committing suicide in record numbers, would benefit from the use of medical marijuana.  Because the DOH has failed to follow the statutory mandate to form a panel to evaluate conditions, no conditions have been added in four years while these service members continue to suffer needlessly.  Again, as science documents, should marijuana not help the veteran, it will not harm him or her as will many other accepted treatments.

f.  In order to avoid additional financial and psychological burdens placed on families with children who benefit from the use of medical marijuana, petition requests elimination of N.J.A.C 8:64-2.5(b).  There is no requirement in the Compassionate Use Act that a minor requires not only a treating physician, but also a pediatrician and a psychiatrist before allowing use of medical marijuana.  The only requirement in Section 6I-5(b) of the Act is that the parent, guardian or legal custodian consents, and will control, acquisition and possession.  As a matter of fact, New Jersey has very few pediatric psychiatrists. Moreover, there is no benefit for a child possibly months old to have to undergo a psychiatric evaluation before allowing a treatment to stop life threatening seizures.  The regulation thus imposes not only an extremely expensive, entirely unnecessary burden but one not in accordance with the Act.  This is nothing less than an insult to parents who are solely acting in the best interest of their seriously ill child and an example of cruel bureaucratic overreaching.

SUMMARY
As currently written, the regulations not only fail to comport with both statutory language and intent, they intentionally serve to block patient access to a necessary medicine.  None of the requested changes poses any danger to the public or to patient welfare.  On the contrary, allowing the medical marijuana program to function as intended by the Act will divert patients from the illegal, and therefore wholly unregulated, drug market which these defective Regulations force upon them.  The current dysfunctional state of the program is well documented and that is solely because the Regulations fail to meet the documented needs of suffering people as intended by the Compassionate Use Act. 

As the alternative treatment centers (ATCs) themselves have pointed out, the impediments to patient access have caused serious damage to their ability to function.  If access were provided in accordance with the strict statutory mandates, the ATCs would be economically viable enterprises.  As the situation stands now, only two ATCs function with any regularity and the other ATC cannot provide any set times of operation.  The unnecessary and ultra vires burdens on access imposed by the existing regulations have forced most qualified patients to continue to rely on illegal black market sources for their marijuana.  This is a disgrace and the antithesis of the statutory intent that patients not be forced to become criminals. 

The petitioner’s interest and request, including without limitation, any relevant organizational affiliation or economic interest  
The Coalition for Medical Marijuana—New Jersey is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization formed and devoted to insuring that New Jersey patients have access to medical marijuana as authorized by law.  Members of the coalition testified at all legislative hearings leading up to the enactment of the Compassionate Use Act and provided evidence of scientific acceptance.  During this time and continuing to present, the Coalition has met with and discussed marijuana access and use with thousands of patients.  It is well acquainted with complaints from both patients and doctors which generated this petition for rulemaking to address their concerns. Although the Coalition cooperates with any person or entity advocating for patient access, it has no affiliations.  Similarly, the Coalition has no economic interest in the proposed changes to allow greater patient access other than eliminating the need to raise funds to fight for patient access.

The statutory authority under which the department may take the requested action  
The DOH was authorized by the Compassionate Use Act, NJSA 24:6I-16 to “promulgate rules and regulations to effectuate the purposes of this act, in consultation with the Department of Law and Public Safety.”

Emphasis should be placed on the phrase “to effectuate the purposes of this act.”   The statute specifically provides that marijuana is a legitimate medical treatment and should be made readily available to patients suffering from conditions enumerated in the statute. Under the current regulations this has not happened and without necessary changes, it will not happen, in direct contradiction to the clear statutory intent. 

Conclusion
For the reasons stated above, the petitioner respectfully requests the adoption of the rule modifications as explained above.

Respectfully submitted,

Kenneth Wolski, RN, MPA
Executive Director
Coalition for Medical Marijuana--New Jersey, Inc.
219 Woodside  Ave.
Trenton, NJ 08618

Attachment

Attachment
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


46 NJR 12(1)
December 1, 2014
Filed November 10, 2014

PUBLIC NOTICE
HEALTH
THE COMMISSIONER
Notice of Receipt of Petition for Rulemaking
Revision of N.J.A.C. 8:64 Medicinal Marijuana Program Rules
Petitioner: Ken Wolski, RN, MPA, Executive Director, Coalition for Medical Marijuana - New Jersey, Inc., Trenton, NJ.

Take notice that on October 16, 2014, the Department of Health (Department) received a petition for rulemaking from Ken Wolski, RN, MPA, Executive Director of the Coalition for Medical Marijuana - New Jersey, Inc., of Trenton, New Jersey.

Substance or nature of the requested rulemaking action

The petitioner requests that the Department make certain amendments to N.J.A.C. 8:64, the Medicinal Marijuana Program rules.
N.J.A.C. 8:64 implements the New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act (Act), N.J.S.A. 24:6I-1 et seq.

Problem or purpose of the request

The petitioner requests that the Department:
1. Eliminate the fee to apply for issuance or renewal of a primary caregiver identification card of $200.00 at N.J.A.C. 8:64-2.1(f);
2. Eliminate the sales tax on medical marijuana;2
3. Delete the requirement at N.J.A.C. 8:64-2.4 that physicians register with the Department to be eligible to submit a certification pursuant to N.J.A.C. 8:64-2.5;
4. Delete the “course requirement in pain management in order for licensed physicians to recommend medical marijuana”;
5. Delete N.J.A.C. 8:64-2.5(a)6, and 9, which establish some of the required content of a physician certification for a patient to be eligible to obtain medicinal marijuana from an alternative treatment center;
6. Add post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to the definition of “debilitating medical conditions” at N.J.A.C. 8:64-1.2; and
7. Delete the part of N.J.A.C. 8:64-2.5(b) that petitioner characterizes as “requiring parents to seek the approval of three licensed physicians in order to obtain medical marijuana for their child.”

http://www.nj.gov/health/legal/petitions.shtml

Public Meeting Agenda for January 13, 2015

Monthly Public Meeting Agenda 
Lawrence Twp. Library, Rm. #3
Tuesday, January 13, 2015, 7:00 PM -- 9:00 PM 

Approve December 2014 minutes.  Discuss:

NJ Legislature is back: State of the State Address today, 1/13/15.  

Support NJ marijuana bills: A3726 (PTSD); A3525/S2312 (MMP fix); S1896/A3094 (legalize); A218 (decrim).

“CMMNJ TV” is broadcasting from Princeton Community TV.  Episodes run for two weeks--Tues., 10 pm & Fri., 10:30 am on Comcast Ch. 30 & Verizon FIOS Ch. 45.  Next taping: 1/20.

Patient’s Handbook for CMMNJ due soon.  

“Petition for Rulemaking,” requests MMP regulatory changes; send letters of support to DOH.  

Upcoming Events: 

“Medical Marijuana” Grand Rounds at Princeton House, 1/26/15, 12:15pm-1:30 pm with Dr. Jahan Marcu & DPA NJ’s Meagan Glaser.

“Medical Marijuana: Myths & Medicine,” PA State Nurses Assn., 3/26/15 Millersville Univ.

Central NORML NJ meeting at Firkin Tavern, Ewing, NJ 1/21 (3rd Wed. of the month), 7pm.

DE NORML Lobby Day, 1/29/15, Dover, Delaware. 

NJ SPRING SMOKE-OUT Sat., March 21, 2:00pm New Jersey State House in Trenton

ASA’s National Medical Cannabis Unity Conference & Citizen Lobby Day, March 27-31st in Washington, DC. 

Recent events: 

Sabina Rose Memorial, Statehouse, Trenton, 12/2/14.

Medical marijuana “Patients Panel” at Ramapo College, 11/13/14.

CMMNJ’s Year End Report for 2014: 
http://cmmnj.blogspot.com/2014/12/year-end-report-2014-coalition-for.html

Treasury report: 
Checking: $3611; PayPal: $3526. 
CMMNJ is selling hand-rolled hemp bracelets/necklaces from Romania @ $3 each or 2/$5.

CMMNJ's meetings are the second Tuesday of each month from 7 - 9 PM at the Lawrence Twp. Library, 2751 Brunswick Pike, Lawrence Twp., 08648 Tel. #609.882.9246.  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 9, 2014 

Approve October 2014 minutes (no November meeting).  Discuss:

“CMMNJ TV” began broadcasting from Princeton Community TV on 11/11/14.  Interview Dr. Jahan Marcu?  Patients in NJ’s MMP should ask their doctors if they’d like to discuss the issues on CMMNJ TV.

Jim Price is developing a Patient’s Handbook for CMMNJ.  

CMMNJ awaits action on “Petition for Rulemaking” requesting MMP regulatory changes; write letters of support to DOH.  Post petition on CMMNJ web site.

Ed Forchion (NJWeedman) asks appeals court to agree NJ pot laws are racist and contradictory.

Election 2014: Alaska, Oregon, & Washington D.C. legalize marijuana.  Fla. medical falls short. NJ bills: A3726 (PTSD); A3525/S2312 (MMP fix); 
S1896/A3094 (legalize); A218 (decrim).

Recent events: Sabina Rose Memorial, Statehouse, Trenton, 12/2/14; Jim Miller got Gov. Christie to join “Moment of Silence” for Sabina Rose.
DE NORML’s Annual Pot Luck Dinner 12/16.
Medical marijuana “Patients Panel” at Ramapo College, 11/13/14.
“Ignorance is No Excuse” tour distributes the MMP A.G. guidelines to local P.D.’s.
Central NORML NJ meeting at Firkin Tavern, Ewing, NJ 11/19 (3rd Wed. of the month), 7pm.
Thursday demonstrations at the Statehouse ended 11/20/14; to resume in the spring.
“Homegrown Radio” interview posted 12/9: 
http://www.mixcloud.com/djezywind/homegrownradionjorg-interview-w-ken-wolski-rn-ed-cmmnj-12-04-14/

Treasury report: Checking: $3861; PayPal: $3626. CMMNJ is selling hand-rolled hemp bracelets/necklaces from Romania @ $3 each or 2/$5.

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



Recent Media Coverage and Blogs:

Washington Post: Why 2014 was the year of pot
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/govbeat/wp/2014/12/23/why-2014-was-the-year-of-pot/

1. Legal sales begin in Colorado
2. Obama: ‘I don’t think it is more dangerous than alcohol’
3. Congress allows hemp cultivation
4. CNN chief medical correspondent backs medical marijuana
5. Poll finds more Americans identify tobacco, alcohol and sugar as “most harmful”
6. Utah passes limited medical marijuana law
7. D.C. decriminalizes
8. Maryland approves medical marijuana and decriminalizes possession
9. Minnesota approves medical marijuana
10. New York approves medical marijuana
11. Legal pot sales begin in Washington
12. New York Times editorial board calls for an end to prohibition 
13. Study: Medical marijuana laws associated with 25 percent fewer prescription overdose deaths
14. Philadelphia becomes largest U.S. city to decriminalize marijuana possession
15. Federal court considers whether marijuana should be classified as a Schedule I controlled substance
16. Two more states and D.C. vote to legalize
17. Florida medical marijuana loses, with 58 percent of the vote
18. Native Americans reservations allowed to legalize marijuana
19. Congress blocks D.C. legalization
20. Congress ends the ban on medical marijuana
21. Colorado approves $8 million for marijuana research
22. Oklahoma and Nebraska are suing Colorado over marijuana legalization

Judge Rules Against Police Search of Home
http://spartaindependent.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20141204/NEWS01/141209971/Judge-rules-against-police-search-of-home

Congress Prohibits Justice Department from Undermining State Medical Marijuana Laws
http://www.thedailychronic.net/2014/39312/congress-prohibits-justice-department-from-undermining-state-medical-marijuana-laws/

Congress’s Double-Edged Marijuana Stance
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/11/opinion/congresss-double-edged-marijuana-stance.html?emc=edit_tnt_20141210&nlid=17961243&tntemail0=y&_r=0

Victory: Congress ends war on medical marijuana
http://blog.sfgate.com/smellthetruth/2014/12/12/congress-ends-war-on-medical-marijuana/

Booker, Supporter Of Medical Marijuana, Criticizes the Criminal Justice System
http://www.mmjobserver.com/booker-supporter-of-medical-marijuana-criticizes-the-criminal-justice-system/812/

NJ Medical Marijuana Regulation is Unconstitutional
http://www.ahherald.com/letters/19098-nj-medical-marijuana-regulation-is-unconstitutional

Homegrown Radio Interview with Ken Wolski
http://www.mixcloud.com/djezywind/homegrownradionjorg-interview-w-ken-wolski-rn-ed-cmmnj-12-04-14/

Israeli Marijuana Companies Smoking Up Wall Street
http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/israeli-marijuana-companies-smoking-up-wall-street/2014/12/16/

New Jersey Healthcare: December 1, 2014 Regulatory Developments
http://www.njhealthcareblog.com/2014/12/december-1-2014-regulatory-developments/

An Activist’s Perspective on the NJ Marijuana Movement
http://kylemoore.blog.com/2014/12/07/an-activist%E2%80%99s-perspective-on-the-nj-marijuana-movement/

Year End Report 2014 Coalition for Medical Marijuana—New Jersey
http://cmmnj.blogspot.com/2014/12/year-end-report-2014-coalition-for.html

PTSD SUFFERERS NOW ELIGIBLE FOR MEDICAL MARIJUANA TREATMENT IN ARIZONA
http://www.missterrones.com/mmjmovement/2014/12/31/ptsd-sufferers-now-eligible-for-medical-marijuana-in-arizona

Parents Coalition for Rescheduling Medical Cannabis Makes Case for Sick Kids
http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-1203560

Feds stick to court argument that marijuana is dangerous
http://www.sfgate.com/nation/article/Feds-stick-to-court-argument-that-marijuana-is-5990798.php?cmpid=twitter-desktop

NJWeedman’s Passing the Joint: We the people are winning!
http://www.trentonian.com/opinion/20150102/njweedmans-passing-the-joint-we-the-people-are-winning

American Herbal Pharmacopoeia: ‘Welcome Back, Marijuana!’
http://blog.sfgate.com/smellthetruth/2013/12/11/american-herbal-pharmacopoeia-welcome-back-marijuana/

Ignorance Is No Excuse Tour - Brick City
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7bOAVEP5dKg

Taking steps to get their sick children usable pot
http://articles.philly.com/2014-12-23/news/57320698_1_vivian-wilson-edible-marijuana-cannabis-oils

2014 ASA Accomplishments & What's on the Horizon in 2015
http://www.safeaccessnow.org/2014_asa_accomplishments_what_s_on_the_horizon_in_2015?utm_campaign=holiday251&utm_medium=email&utm_source=americansforsafeaccess

Letter: If only people would care to reflect a little more
http://www.nj.com/opinion/index.ssf/2014/12/letter_if_only_people_would_care_to_reflect_a_little_more.html

Breakwater Alternative Treatment Center Issued
Permit to Cultivate Medicinal Marijuana
http://www.nj.gov/health/news/2014/approved/20141121a.html

Tribes Can Legalize Pot, Justice Department Decides
http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2014/12/11/tribes-can-legalize-pot-justice-department-decides

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Year End Report 2014 Coalition for Medical Marijuana—New Jersey



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 and lawmakers about the medical benefits of marijuana. The goal of CMMNJ is to have safe and legal access to medical marijuana for qualified New Jersey patients.

In 2014, CMMNJ held eleven monthly public meetings at the Lawrence Township Library in Mercer County.  (The November meeting was not held due to the Veterans Day holiday.)  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 3000 supporters each month and posted the agendas on Facebook, Twitter and on the CMMNJ blog.

CMMNJ’s open public meetings for 2015 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 no charge to attend.

Highlights of 2014:

CMMNJ’s Op Ed on 1/24/14 endorsed legalization of marijuana in New Jersey as the best way to meet patients’ needs.  “Opinion: N.J. should legalize, tax and regulate marijuana:”
http://www.nj.com/times-opinion/index.ssf/2014/01/opinion_nj_should_legalize_tax.html

CMMNJ argued:
“Patients need a consistent and reliable source of marijuana, in a wide variety of preparations, for illnesses that may well last a lifetime. Many patients and their families are fleeing New Jersey — they are becoming medical refugees — in order to obtain adequate treatment with types and preparations of marijuana that are only available out of state. Colorado’s orderly implementation of a system of taxed and appropriately regulated marijuana — free of unreasonable federal interference — shows that we can do the same in New Jersey and meet the needs of all the medical marijuana patients in this state.”

State Senator Nicholas Scutari promised to introduce marijuana legalization legislation the day CMMNJ’s Op Ed was published. Sen. Scutari introduced S1896 on March 24, 2014.  An Assembly companion bill to legalize marijuana, A3094, was introduced by Assemblywoman Linda Stender and Assemblyman Reed Gusciora.

There was growing support for marijuana legalization during 2014 as the New Jersey State Prosecutor’s Association (150 state prosecutors) endorsed legalization, and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU NJ) called for legalization, taxation and regulation of marijuana as a top priority.  A Gallup Poll from 10/13 showed 58% of Americans now support marijuana legalization.  Media support for legalization of marijuana in NJ was very encouraging.

The New York Times endorsed legalization of marijuana with a powerful and persuasive five-part editorial series.  The Times said:
"It has been more than 40 years since Congress passed the current ban on marijuana, inflicting great harm on society just to prohibit a substance far less dangerous than alcohol. The federal government should repeal the ban on marijuana."

Election 2014: Alaska, Oregon, & Washington D.C. legalized marijuana.

The Florida medical marijuana constitutional amendment fell just short of passing with 58% of the vote (60% was needed), but advocates insist the fight is far from over.  Indeed, marijuana law reform, and the conversations leading to it, is sweeping the nation.

In addition to the legal sales of marijuana in Colorado, legalized marijuana sales started in Washington State on 7/8/14.

“CMMNJ TV” began broadcasting from Princeton Community TV on 11/11/14.

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. The first taping of “CMMNJ TV” was at the Princeton TV Studio on 6/24, and tapings continue one day each month.  Episodes of “CMMNJ TV” also include footage shot outside the studio and are edited by Ed “Lefty” Grimes of “Sativa Cross”.

Petition for Rulemaking: CMMNJ filed a formal request to the Department of Health (DOH) for medical marijuana regulatory changes in October.
The Petition was noted in the National Law Review.

Opinion: CMMNJ had two additional Op Eds published in 2014: “The elderly and medical marijuana” in the Courier-Post on 9/17:
http://www.courierpostonline.com/story/opinion/columnists/2014/09/17/commentary-elderly-medical-marijuana/15758431/Ken
and,
“Legal marijuana use for adults - a smart idea” in The Times of Trenton on 11/2:
http://www.nj.com/opinion/index.ssf/2014/11/opinion_legal_marijuana_use_for_adults_would_be_a_smart_idea.html
 
Marches and Rallies: Several large and successful rallies for marijuana reform were held in Trenton this year.  These rallies were coordinated by local activists Ed “NJWeedman” Forchion and Kyle Moore.  On April 20, about 150 people marched through Trenton and rallied at the Statehouse in Trenton. On October 18, 2014, about 250 people again marched through Trenton and rallied at the Statehouse during the “NJ Cannabis Conference.” This was the largest marijuana demonstration in New Jersey history.

The rallies included the open use of marijuana by adults, both by card-carrying patients and also as acts of civil disobedience by non-qualifying patients and their supporters. Marijuana was also openly used at the rallies by those who support the non-medical use of marijuana for religious and social/recreational and creative purposes.  There were no arrests at the rallies.

Jennie Stormes, RN demonstrated the shortcomings of the state’s Medicinal Marijuana Program (MMP) each Thursday at the Trenton Statehouse from 11am–1pm.  These weekly demonstrations were held a total of 20 times, from July 10 through November 20. Jennie called these demonstrations, “PATIENTS SPEAK UP—The NJ Medical Marijuana Program is failing patients!” Jennie asked, “Why do parents have to beg for their children’s lives?”  CMMNJ supported Jennie and the other parents who demonstrated.

CMMNJ’s Jim Miller continued the weekly demonstrations after Jennie was forced to flee to Colorado in search of appropriate medical marijuana treatment for her son, Jax.

Jennie & CMMNJ met with officials from the DOH and the Christie administration on 8/7/14. While this and previous meetings were cordial, they have not led to any progress in the MMP.

The weekly protests also included the parents of Sabina Rose Joana, who died on Dec 2, 2013.  Sabina Rose was a 15 month old NJ resident with Dravet Syndrome, a seizure disorder, who died because her parents could not obtain high CBD medical marijuana for her in New Jersey.  Sabina died on the very day, and the very hour, that Governor Christie announced he was “done” expanding the medical marijuana program.  Many other parents with sick children attended the weekly demonstrations.

Demonstrations at Governor Christie’s “Town Hall” meetings let the governor and the public know of the general dissatisfaction with the MMP.

For more info on the growing movement for marijuana reform in the Garden State, see: http://kylemoore.blog.com/2014/12/07/an-activist%E2%80%99s-perspective-on-the-nj-marijuana-movement/

Congress and the Feds: The House of Representatives voted in May to defund the federal war on medical marijuana.  New Jersey’s representatives cast 8 “Yes” votes and 3 “No” votes: Democrats – Holt, Y; Pallone, Y; Pascrell, Y; Payne, Y; Sires, Y. Republicans – Frelinghuysen, N; Garrett, Y; Lance, N; LoBiondo, Y; Runyan, Y; Smith, N.

The U.S. Senate agreed to defund the federal war on medical marijuana programs as part of an appropriations bill and President Obama signed the bill into law in December.  More at:
http://cmmnj.blogspot.com/2014/06/house-votes-to-end-war-on-medical.html

New York: Governor Cuomo endorsed medical marijuana in New York. British TV (ITV, an affiliate of NBC) met CMMNJ to get the reaction of New Jersey advocates to Gov. Cuomo’s announcement. British ITV also wanted to film some of this state’s MMP participants as they partook in their medicine. Volunteers were happy to oblige.

The New York medical marijuana bill was approved by the Assembly and Senate; New York became the nation’s 23rd medical marijuana state when Governor Cuomo signed the bill into law on 7/7/14.  New York’s limited medical marijuana bill included a “no smoking” provision.

Pennsylvania: The Pennsylvania State Nurses Association (PSNA) endorsed medical marijuana in 2013 and it has consistently supported the issue throughout 2014.  A legislative hearing was held in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on that state’s medical marijuana bill, S1182, on 1/28/14.

The bill made significant progress in the legislature, though some of the amendments made during this process weakened the bill.  It is hoped that with a new governor coming on board who is more supportive of medical marijuana, further progress will be made in 2015.

Nurses, the largest group of healthcare professionals in the U.S., and the strongest supporters of medical marijuana in the healthcare industry, were ranked by the American public as the most honest and ethical profession for the thirteenth straight year according to a Gallup poll this December.  Fully 80 percent of Americans rated nurses’ honesty and ethical standards as “very high” or “high,” 15 percentage points above ANY other profession.  The American Nurses Association endorsed medical marijuana more than a decade ago.

New Jersey’s Medicinal Marijuana Program (MMP):
Dec. 6, 2014 was the second anniversary of legal sales of marijuana in New Jersey.  Jan. 18, 2015 will be the 5th anniversary of the Compassionate Use Act becoming law.

The DOH reported that over 3,000 ID cards for patients and caregivers have been issued in the state; over 300 doctors have signed onto the physician registry (about 1% of the doctors in the state) and three Alternative Treatment Centers (ATCs) are open--half the minimum allowed by the law--dispensing medical marijuana to qualified patients.

Overall, the MMP is the failure that CMMNJ predicted it would be.  New Jersey’s program has limited patient access to limited varieties and only one form of medical marijuana—dried flowers--while charging the highest price in the nation.  The Biennial Report from the DOH notes, “The price of one ounce of medicinal marijuana dispensed by New Jersey ATCs ranges from $400.00 to $520.00 with an average price of $469.00.”

No state charges more than New Jersey, and the illegal market prices are significantly lower.  On top of this, New Jersey charges patients 7% sales tax on medical marijuana—the only medicine in the state that is taxed.

The MMP fails the vast majority of patients in the state who could benefit from it.

Hundreds of thousands of residents of the state could benefit from the therapeutic effects of marijuana, yet they continue to be denied access.  Tens of thousands of qualified patients die every year without getting legal access to marijuana. Over 25,000 hospice patients die every six months in NJ. They are all entitled to safe and legal access to medical marijuana and none of them get it.   Marijuana can help dying patients in many ways: it eases pain without over-sedation, it improves appetite, and it raises spirits.  It's unconscionable to let these people die without it because of bureaucratic foot-dragging or overly-cautious government restrictions.

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

The Compassionate Use Act allowed for the expansion of the MMP’s outlets and qualifying conditions, but the DOH has not even begun the process for expanding the program.  Gov. Christie said of New Jersey’s MMP and the programs elsewhere: "This program and all these other programs, in my mind, are a front for legalization.”

Jim Miller confronted Governor Christie before his 2014 State of the State speech, letting him know we were NOT done expanding the Medicinal Marijuana Program, as the governor insists.

The Appellate Court finally ruled in January on the lawsuit against the DOH that CMMNJ took part in.  New Jersey lawyers Anne Davis and William Buckman filed a lawsuit in April 2012 on behalf of patient-plaintiffs who qualified for medical marijuana in the state but who were unable to obtain it, and who suffered harm as a result.  The lawsuit asked the court to award damages to these plaintiffs and to remove many of the restrictions in the MMP, in order to provide patients greater ease of access, and to appoint CMMNJ a monitor for the MMP.

The three-judge panel ruled that the DOH must produce MMP reports within 45 days (from 1/13/14). The Court rejected the tort claims and complaints about the restrictive regulations.  The DOH produced two Medicinal Marijuana Program reports as a result of this Appellate Court decision.  See:
http://www.state.nj.us/health/medicalmarijuana/reports.shtml

Current bills in New Jersey’s Legislature: Several marijuana reform bills were introduced into the New Jersey Legislature in 2014, S1896/A3094 (to legalize, tax and regulate marijuana); A3525/S2312 (to fix the MMP); A3726 (to add PTSD to the list of conditions that qualify for marijuana therapy) and, A218 (to decriminalize marijuana).

None of these bills had committee hearings in 2014, which is the first step in the process of a bill becoming law in New Jersey.  Gov. Christie has vowed to veto any of the bills that get through the legislature to his desk.

S1896/A3094 Legalizes the possession, use, and purchase by adults in New Jersey of one ounce or less of marijuana; legalizes the home cultivation of up to six marijuana plants, and possession of the marijuana produced by the plants on the premises where the plants were grown, provided that the growing takes place in an enclosed, locked space, is not conducted openly or publicly, and is not made available for sale; allows the free transfer of one ounce or less of marijuana to a person who is 21 years of age or older; permits the use of marijuana, as long as it is not used openly and publicly or in a manner that endangers others; allows for the licensing of marijuana cultivation facilities and retail marijuana stores; provides for the taxation of marijuana that is commercially produced and sold in the state.

A3525/S2312 Provides a comprehensive fix to the state’s inadequate MMP.  A3525/S2312 eliminates the physician registry, expands qualifying conditions, restores limited home cultivation for patients, protects organ transplant patients, eliminates the tax on the sale of marijuana, includes explicit employee protection, eliminates the caregiver background check and all fees, allows patients to obtain medical marijuana from out-of-state, and honors out-of–state ID cards in New Jersey, allows any edible form of marijuana for patients of any age; eases rules for ATCs, provides for testing of marijuana on request, provides training for Law Enforcement Officers on the MMP, and forbids the DOH from issuing overly restrictive or unduly burdensome regulations for the law.

A218 Decriminalizes possession of 15 grams or less of marijuana for adults in New Jersey, and establishes civil  penalties instead: $150 for a first violation; $200  for a second violation; $500 for a third or subsequent violation.  The bill does not provide for a legal system of production and distribution of marijuana.  There is no Senate companion bill.

A3726 Authorizes medical marijuana for qualifying patients with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). There is no Senate companion bill.

Medical marijuana patients in court:
In November 2014, Ed (NJ Weedman) Forchion submitted court papers appealing a 270-day jail sentence he had already served from a 2010 motor vehicle stop.  Forchion said New Jersey’s marijuana laws are “racist” and contradictory.  In January 2013 a Superior Court Judge in Burlington County sentenced Forchion to fines and probation for possessing a pound of marijuana in 2010.
Unfortunately for Mr. Forchion, there was a technical violation of his probation for which he was sentenced to intermittent incarceration.  Forchion argued in his recent 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."

The ACLU NJ report on racial disparity in marijuana arrests can be found at:
https://www.aclu.org/criminal-law-reform/aclu-report-reveals-black-new-jerseyans-are-more-likely-be-arrested-marijuana

John Wilson neared the end of his prison sentence, and 2-years of probation (including forced attendance at Narcotics Anonymous Meetings), for treating his multiple sclerosis (MS) with home-grown marijuana.  Probation Officers also subjected Mr. Wilson to urine drug screenings to ensure that he was NOT taking the medical marijuana that he is legally entitled to take in New Jersey by virtue of his diagnosis.  Mr. Wilson was just one of many medical marijuana patients who have been dragged through the criminal justice system in New Jersey.

Colleen Begley is currently incarcerated in the state prison system for providing medical marijuana to patients.

Mike Whiter, a veteran with PTSD, pled guilty to marijuana possession in federal court and was fined. Mike was one of the leaders of “Smoke Down Prohibition,” the monthly demonstrations at the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia that have been high-profile events for marijuana reform.

Former CMMNJ Board member Chris Goldstein was cited for marijuana smoking along with Don DeZarn and others in acts of civil disobedience.  Goldstein and DeZarn faced six months in prison for possession of a small amount of marijuana when they went to trial in federal court. Chris and Don were sentenced to two years of supervised probation, $3000 fine each, and banned from Independence Hall National Historic Park, which included being banned from the Free Speech Zone.

CMMNJ members attended the following public events in 2014:

SMOKE DOWN PROHIBITION rallies and civil disobedience at Independence Park, Philadelphia, PA. Chris Goldstein & Don DeZarn’s federal marijuana possession court cases as a result of these rallies, 1/27/14 at 601 Market St., Philadelphia, PA. Sentencing of Chris Goldstein & Don DeZarn, 3/26/14.  SMOKE DOWN PROHIBITION rally continued on 4/20/14 at Independence Park, Philadelphia, PA.

“Ignorance is No Excuse” tour of NJ police departments (PDs) with Ed “Lefty” Grimes, Chuck Kwiatkowski and others document their attempt to find areas to safely medicate in NJ and they distribute the state Attorney General’s Medical Marijuana guidelines to local PDs.

Central NORML NJ meetings resumed monthly at Joe’s Mill Hill Saloon, Trenton 1/13, 3/10, 4/14, 5/12, 6/9, 7/14, 8/11, 9/8/14.  In November and December, the NORML NJ meetings moved to Ewing Twp.'s Firkin Tavern where they will continue on the 3rd Wednesday of each month at 7 pm in 2015.

CMMNJ testified at the Assembly Regulatory Oversight Committee Hearing on NJ’s MMP, 2/20/14.

Parents’ Medical Marijuana Press Conference, State House, 2/27/14.

“Going Away Party” for Medical Refugee Diane Fornbacher, Collingswood, NJ 2/22/14.

Sanjay Gupta’s documentary, “Weed 2” aired on CNN, 3/11, featuring NJ's Wilson family.

Radio interview with Peter Lamont: Marijuana in the Garden State with Ken Wolski, 3/31/14.

NORML NJ Women’s Alliance at Ramapo College, 3/13/14 at 1 pm.

Marijuana Panel Discussion, National Council on Alcoholism & Drug Dependence, 3/25/14 Bloustein School Theater, New Brunswick, NJ.

Joys of Hemp Expo, Embassy Suites Piscataway, NJ, 4/4 – 4/6. CMMNJ had a table & talk.

ASA’s National Medical Cannabis Unity Conference, April 5 – 7th, Mayflower Hotel in D.C.

4/20 Rally at the Trenton Statehouse at 4:20 pm (following a march from the Train Station).

Marijuana Legalization Debate featuring CMMNJ at Montclair State College, 4/17/14.

Ramapo College NORML Greenfest, 4/13/14, Mahwah, NJ.

New York Market Radio (NYMRAD) Interview, 4/30/14 in NYC.

Patients Out of Time Conference, May 8 – 10, Portland, Oregon, with certification course given by American Cannabis Nurses Association.

Peter Lamont’s blogtalkradio Episode 52 with Ken Wolski, 5/22/14.

Decarceration panel and demonstration, 5/2/14, New Brunswick, NJ.

CMMNJ meets Telemundo in “Marijuana: A question of life” Parts I & II.

Petition on Change.org to allow edible marijuana products for adults in NJ.

Lancaster Cannabis Reform Rally, 6/7/14, Penn's Square, Lancaster, PA.

PA Medical Marijuana Bill, SB 1182, Hearing & Press Conference, 6/10/14, Harrisburg, PA

CMMNJ volunteer Daniel Price established where patients can use medical marijuana near Atlantic City casinos. Daniel Price had his medical marijuana seized in Washington, D.C., prompting a thoughtful response from Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP).

CMMNJ volunteers appeared on Freedom Underground News: Cannabis Chronicles.  See: http://funatfun.com/category/cannabis-chronicles/

PA Legislative Forum 6/14/14, U. of PA School of Law, Philadelphia, PA

Hemp Heals, 8/2/14, Philadelphia, PA.

Slightly Stoopid, 8/3/14, The Stone Pony, Asbury Park, NJ.

Marijuana March in Philadelphia 9/6/14 at 12:30 pm, 5th and Market Sts.

Boston Freedom Festival, 9/13 & 14.

“Medical Marijuana: Myths & Medicine,” Pennsylvania State Nurses Assn., 9/18/14, DeSales University.

William Buckman, Esq. died in October 2014, a sad and shocking loss to the marijuana reform community.  Bill was only 61 years old.  Bill was the leading civil rights lawyer in the state.  Bill was always ready to contribute to drug policy reform, and often to do so pro-bono. More at:
http://www.ladybud.com/2014/10/16/rip-bill-buckman-ladybud-attorney-and-nj-norml-board-member/

Legalize Marijuana Rally (NJ Cannabis Conference), Trenton, NJ on Saturday, 10/18/14, included a march from the Riverline Light Rail Station to the Statehouse by 3:30 pm for speeches and optional civil disobedience at 4:20 pm. Jennie Stormes left for Colorado, becoming another medical marijuana refugee from NJ the next day, 10/19.

CMMNJ awaits action on “Petition for Rulemaking,” requesting MMP regulatory changes, that DOH received 10/16/14.

Kevin Sabet’s talk about marijuana at Glassboro, NJ on 10/30/14.

Medical marijuana “Patients Panel” at Ramapo College, 11/13/14.

Kane Dickerson started a Rowan University Coalition for Medical Marijuana group (RUCMM).

Sabina Rose Memorial, Statehouse, Trenton, 12/2/14 at 11 am.

Cannabis Christmas Party & Poe Roast, Underground Arts, Philadelphia, 12/13/14 at 8 pm.

12/04/14 - Ken Wolski’s interview with HomegrownRadioNJ.org , Ken discusses the current state of affairs regarding implementation of existing laws and restrictions on Medical Marijuana in NJ in 2014:
http://www.mixcloud.com/djezywind/homegrownradionjorg-interview-w-ken-wolski-rn-ed-cmmnj-12-04-14/

CMMNJ TV--tapings at Princeton TV Studio continued from June through December.

Vimeo Episode #1: https://vimeo.com/112526679?email_id=Y2xpcF90cmFuc2NvZGVkfGE4NWY1OThkZjg2NjBlMTIxY2FhYjk4ODk5OTc2NmEyNDc5fDIzOTE1ODF8MTQxNjYwMjYwM3w3NzAx&utm_campaign=7701&utm_medium=clip-transcode_complete-finished-20120100&utm_source=email

2014 CMMNJ Publications:
CMMNJ Monthly Agendas and Minutes also contain links to published reports by and about CMMNJ Board members and friends.  For the 2014 CMMNJ Agendas and Minutes, see:

Dec. 2014: http://cmmnj.blogspot.com/2014/12/cmmnj-december-9-2014-meeting-agenda.html

Nov. 2014: http://cmmnj.blogspot.com/2014_11_01_archive.html (Minutes only)

Oct. 2014: http://cmmnj.blogspot.com/2014_10_01_archive.html

Sept. 2014: http://cmmnj.blogspot.com/2014_09_01_archive.html

Aug. 2014: http://cmmnj.blogspot.com/2014_08_01_archive.html

July 2014: http://cmmnj.blogspot.com/2014_07_01_archive.html

June 2014: http://cmmnj.blogspot.com/2014/06/cmmnj-monthly-public-meeting-agenda-for.html

May 2014: http://cmmnj.blogspot.com/2014_05_01_archive.html

April 2014: http://cmmnj.blogspot.com/2014_04_01_archive.html

March 2014: http://cmmnj.blogspot.com/2014_03_01_archive.html

Feb. 2014: http://cmmnj.blogspot.com/2014/02/cmmnj-public-meeting-agenda-february.html

Jan. 2014: http://cmmnj.blogspot.com/2014_01_01_archive.html

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, who continues to volunteer his time updating the cmmnj.org web site; Jim is also developing a Patient’s Handbook for CMMNJ, which will be available soon;

Ed “Lefty” Grimes, who has been almost single-handedly 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;

Don DeZarn waged a very public and courageous fight for medical marijuana workplace protection at Princeton University;

Also, CMMNJ is 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 Board Update:
In September, Carolyn Piro was voted onto the Board of CMMNJ to replace Diane Fornbacher, a “medical marijuana refugee” who fled to Colorado in order to obtain access to her medicine.  Diane is a tireless advocate for marijuana law reform and she has dedicated decades of her life to this issue.  We are grateful for her many contributions to CMMNJ and for her ongoing advocacy.

Carolyn Piro is a licensed clinical social worker who works with trauma patients and we are happy to have another healthcare professional on the CMMNJ Board.

In December 2014, James Bissell resigned from the Board pending his move to Florida.  CMMNJ is very grateful for the support that Jim and his wife, Lisa, gave to medical marijuana in New Jersey during his time on the Board.

CMMNJ Board of Directors meetings were held on 1/9/14, 1/31/14, 2/21/14, 9/29/14 and 12/18/4.

At the close of 2014, the CMMNJ Board consists of the following 9 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, Carolyn Piro and Jay Lassiter.

CMMNJ’s Honorary Board Member is Allan Marain, Esq.

Treasury Report:  A detailed treasury report was forwarded to CMMNJ Board members.  In summary, CMMNJ has a checking account and a PayPal account.  In 2014, CMMNJ had expenditures of $3,223 and income of $2,624.  CMMNJ finished the year with a checking account balance of $3,611, and a PayPal account balance of $3,526.

CMMNJ is now selling hand-rolled hemp bracelets/necklaces from Romania @ $3 each or 2/$5.
CMMNJ is very 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 2015 Recommendations:
Stop all federal harassment of medical marijuana patients and treatment centers.
Begin national clinical studies of marijuana for MS and PTSD.
Reschedule marijuana to a more appropriate schedule.
Implement the New Jersey Compassionate Use Act in a way that brings timely access of high quality and affordable marijuana to qualified patients in a safe and secure manner.

Schedule of CMMNJ 2015 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 #3.  (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

December 31, 2014

Monday, December 1, 2014

CMMNJ December 9, 2014 Meeting Agenda


Monthly Public Meeting Agenda 
Lawrence Township Library, Room #3
Tuesday, December 9, 2014, 7:00 PM -- 9:00 PM

Approve October 2014 minutes (no November meeting).  Discuss:

“CMMNJ TV” began broadcasting from Princeton Community TV on 11/11/14.  Episodes run twice a week for two weeks--Tues., 10 pm & Fri., 10:30 am on Comcast Ch. 30 & Verizon FIOS Ch. 45.

Patient’s Handbook from CMMNJ coming soon.

CMMNJ awaits action on “Petition for Rulemaking,” requesting MMP regulatory changes, that DOH received 10/16/14.

Ed Forchion (NJWeedman) asks appeals court to agree NJ pot laws are racist and contradictory.

Election 2014: Alaska, Oregon, & Washington D.C. legalize marijuana.  Fla. medical falls short.

NJ bills: A3726 (PTSD); A3525/S2312 (MMP fix); S1896/A3094 (legalize); A218 (decrim).

Upcoming Events: Sabina Rose Memorial, Statehouse, Trenton, 12/2/14 at 11 am.
Cannabis Christmas Party & Poe Roast, Underground Arts, Philadelphia, 12/13/14 at 8 pm.
“Medical Marijuana: Myths & Medicine,” PA State Nurses Assn., 3/26/15 Millersville Univ.
Medical Marijuana patient Chris Donahue’s trial in Doylestown, PA.

Recent events: Legalize Marijuana Rally (NJ Cannabis Conference) in Trenton, 10/18/14; Jennie Stormes fled to Colorado (medical marijuana refugee) the next day, 10/19/14.  Thursday demonstrations at the Statehouse ended 11/20/14 for winter break—to resume in the spring.
Medical marijuana “Patients Panel” at Ramapo College, 11/13/14.
“Ignorance is No Excuse” tour distributes the MMP A.G. guidelines to local P.D.’s.
Central NORML NJ meeting at Firkin Tavern, Ewing, NJ 11/19 (3rd Wed. of the month), 7pm.

Treasury report: Checking: $3861; PayPal: $3626. CMMNJ is selling hand-rolled hemp bracelets/necklaces from Romania @ $3 each or 2/$5.

CMMNJ's meetings are the second Tuesday of each month from 7 - 9 PM at the Lawrence Twp. Library, 2751 Brunswick Pike, Lawrence Twp., Tel. #609.882.9246.  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:

Opinion: Legal marijuana use for adults - a smart idea
http://www.nj.com/opinion/index.ssf/2014/11/opinion_legal_marijuana_use_for_adults_would_be_a_smart_idea.html

Obstructionist Policies Prevent Successful Implementation of Medical Marijuana Program
http://www.ahherald.com/letters/18764-obstructionist-policies-prevent-successful-implementation-of-medical-marijuana-program

A call to action on medical marijuana: Letter
http://www.nj.com/opinion/index.ssf/2014/11/a_call_to_action_on_medical_marijuana_letter.html

Philly420: Cannabis candies for Trick-or-Treat? Unlikely
http://www.philly.com/philly/news/Cannabis_candies_for_Trick-or-Treat_Unlikely.html

Rastafarian college student sues police over pot bust,
claims they profiled his dreadlocks
http://www.nj.com/monmouth/index.ssf/2014/11/rastafarian_college_sues_keansburg_police_claims_they_profiled_him_for_his_dreadlocks.html

Judge tosses out evidence in medical marijuana patient's possession case
http://www.nj.com/sussex-county/index.ssf/2014/11/judge_tosses_out_evidence_in_medical_marijuana_patients_possession_case.html

Updated: Employee who confronted Princeton over medical marijuana no longer employed by U.
http://dailyprincetonian.com/news/2014/11/employee-who-confronted-princeton-over-medical-marijuana-use-no-longer-employed-by-u/

Princeton Univ. employee who protested medical marijuana ultimatum no longer works for school
http://www.nj.com/mercer/index.ssf/2014/11/princeton_university_fires_employee_seeking_to_smoke_medical_marijuana.html

NYC has come to its senses on marijuana. Will N.J.? (Editorial)
http://www.nj.com/opinion/index.ssf/2014/11/nyc_marijuana_policy.html

N.J. Weedman appealing sentence he already served,
contends state pot laws are racist
http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2014/11/nj_weedman_contests_racist_contradictory_marijuana_laws_he_says_in_court_filing.html

New medical marijuana dispensary in Cranbury gets permit to grow
http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2014/11/new_medical_marijuana_dispensary_in_cranbury_gets_permit_to_start_growing.html

Victory in fight to legalize marijuana
http://www.northjersey.com/news/nj-state-news/victory-in-fight-to-legalize-marijuana-1.1141979

CMMNJ TV 1.14
https://vimeo.com/112526679?email_id=Y2xpcF90cmFuc2NvZGVkfGE4NWY1OThkZjg2NjBlMTIxY2FhYjk4ODk5OTc2NmEyNDc5fDIzOTE1ODF8MTQxNjYwMjYwM3w3NzAx&utm_campaign=7701&utm_medium=clip-transcode_complete-finished-20120100&utm_source=email

Legalization - What to Expect
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mulahkAmoIQ&feature=youtu.be

Decarboxylation
http://skunkpharmresearch.com/decarboxylation/

Remembering Cheryl Miller
http://www.ladybud.com/2014/11/12/remembering-cheryl-miller-beloved-wife-and-friend-activist-and-inspiration/