Monday, July 27, 2015

Resolution in support of legalizing, taxing and regulating marijuana for adults in New Jersey

City of Asbury Park
County of Monmouth
State of New Jersey

IN SUPPORT OF LEGALIZING, TAXING AND REGULATING
MARIJUANA FOR ADULTS

WHEREAS, New Jersey law currently makes possession by adults of small amounts of marijuana illegal; and

WHEREAS, based upon information available to the City of Asbury Park (the “City”), someone is arrested for marijuana possession in the State of New Jersey (the “State”) every 24 minutes, totaling more than 21,000 possession arrests each year; and

WHEREAS, based upon information available to the City, the State spent over an estimated one billion dollars in the last decade on enforcement of marijuana possession laws; and

WHEREAS, the Mayor and Council of the City believe that the existing laws concerning small amounts of marijuana waste the enforcement resources of police, prosecutors and courts that could be better spent on keeping the City safe from serious crime; and

WHEREAS, based upon information available to the City, minorities in the State are nearly three times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than Caucasians, despite similar rates of marijuana use; and

WHEREAS, based upon information available to the City, an arrest for a single marijuana cigarette in the State can lead to up to six months in jail, loss of a job, a driver’s license suspension, up to $1,225 in fees and fines, immigration consequences, loss of student financial aid, and eviction; and

WHEREAS, based upon information available to the City, despite the prohibition of marijuana and the approximately 800,000 marijuana possession arrests that occur in the United States each year, federal government data estimates that 111 million Americans have tried marijuana and more than 30 million Americans use marijuana each year; and

WHEREAS, based upon information available to the City, in 2014 the New Jersey State Municipal Prosecutors Association, whose members are primarily responsible for prosecuting marijuana possession arrests, voted to publicly support the legalization of marijuana, subject to reasonable regulations; and

WHEREAS, based upon information available to the City, the editorial boards of the New York Times, Star-Ledger, Times of Trenton, and Daily Targum have endorsed the legalization, taxation and regulation of marijuana; and

WHEREAS, based upon information available to the City, the State could potentially receive hundreds of millions of dollars per year in new revenue from the taxation of regulated marijuana sales; and

WHEREAS, the Mayor and Council of the City believe that tax revenue can be used to reinvest in our communities, schools, drug prevention and education programs, re-entry and job training programs and in programs to strengthen community-police relations; and

WHEREAS, the Mayor and Council of the City believe that regulating marijuana in a State-controlled system will limit access to marijuana to adults aged 21 and over in licensed locations; and

WHEREAS, the Mayor and Council of the City believe that regulation will ensure strict controls over marijuana advertising, labeling, and quality, preventing access to youth and controlling quality and potency; and

WHEREAS, the Mayor and Council of the City recognize that driving under the influence of marijuana will remain illegal in the State, and regulating marijuana will not change that; and

WHEREAS, the Mayor and Council of the City are aware that marijuana has been legalized, taxed, and regulated in the States of Colorado, Washington, Alaska, and Oregon, as well as in Washington D.C.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE AND IT IS HEREBY RESOLVED, by the Mayor and Council of the City of Asbury Park, in the County of Monmouth and State of New Jersey, as follows:

1. That the Mayor and Council of the City hereby support fair and effective criminal justice and drug policies; and

2. That the Mayor and Council of the City hereby urge the New Jersey State Legislature to pass, and the Governor to sign, legislation to legalize, tax and regulate marijuana for adults; and

3. That a certified copy of this Resolution shall be provided to each of the following:

a. Members of the New Jersey General Assembly;
b. Members of the New Jersey State Senate;
c. Office of the Governor;
d. Anthony Nuccio, Acting City Manager;
e. Deputy Police Chief Anthony Salerno;
f. Frederick C. Raffetto, Esq., Municipal Attorney.

I, CINDY A. DYE, City Clerk of the City of Asbury Park, Monmouth County, New Jersey, DO HEREBY CERTIFY the foregoing to be a true and exact copy of RESOLUTION NO. 2015-XX, which was finally adopted by the City Council at a meeting held on the 8th day of July, 2015.

CERTIFIED BY ME THIS _______ DAY OF _____________, 2015.

______________________________
CINDY A. DYE
CITY CLERK

Record of Council Vote on Final Passage
COUNCIL PERSON AYE NAY N.V. (Not Voting Abstain)
Mayor John Moor AYE
Deputy Mayor Amy Quinn AYE
Council Member Yvonne Clayton AYE
Council Member Jesse Kendle AYE
Council Member Joe Woerner AYE

Indicates vote N.V.-

Monday, July 6, 2015

CMMNJ Agenda for July 14, 2015 Public Meeting; June Minutes & Media Update


Monthly Public Meeting Agenda 
Lawrence Township Library, Room #3
Tuesday, July 14, 2015, 7:00 PM -- 9:00 PM 

Approve June 2015 minutes.  Discuss:

Asbury Park Resolution in support of legalizing marijuana up for a vote on 7/8/15, 7 pm at One Municipal Plaza, Asbury Park, 07712

A4587—Requires schools and developmental disability facilities to adopt policies permitting the use of medical marijuana for qualifying patients. Introduced on 6/22/15, passed the Assembly on 6/25; passed the Senate on 6/29; awaits action by Gov. Christie.

NJ State Senate support sought for bills that were OK’d by the Assembly: A-3726/S2898 - Authorizes medical marijuana for qualifying patients with PTSD; A-4286/S2899 - OKs transfer of excess medical marijuana between ATCs; ACR224/SCR166 - Certain medical marijuana regulations are inconsistent with legislative intent.

“CMMNJ TV”—taping canceled 6/30: Next taping: July 23, 2015, noon to 4 pm.
Weekly Statehouse Podcasts: see Facebook “Friends of CMMNJ” for details.
CMMNJ Patient Handbook 2015--$10 donation suggested—OK to put handbooks in ATCs?

Upcoming Events:
Smoke Down Prohibition 2.0: The Return, Friday, 7/10/15 at 4 pm in Love Park, Philly.
Slightly Stoopid, Stone Pony, Asbury Park, 7/11/15—Eric & Amanda volunteered.
Trial of Jon Peditto, Toms River; jury selection delayed to 8/3/15; jury nullification attempt.
Fundraiser for CMMNJ?

Recent events:
Barbour lawsuit against LARC School & Maple Shade BOE hearing 6/25/15.
Asbury Park officials agree to pass resolution urging state lawmakers to legalize marijuana.

Treasury report: Checking: $2277; PayPal: $3758.

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. 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 
June 9, 2015 

The NJ Senate Health Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing and take testimony on the following bills on Monday, 6/15/15 at 1:00 pm in Committee Room #1 in the Statehouse Annex.
CMMNJ encourages public testimony in support of these bills:
S2898 - Authorizes medical marijuana for qualifying patients with PTSD.
S2899 - OKs transfer of excess medical marijuana between ATCs.
(Note: the bills were pulled from the committee's agenda at the last minute on 6/15.)

“CMMNJ TV”—episode taped 5/27, next taping: 6/30, noon to 4 pm. Guests?
June Thursday demonstrations at the Statehouse continue 6/11, 18 & 25, 11 am to 2 pm.

News: Gov. Christie vows to eliminate legalized marijuana if elected president.

U.S. House votes to stop DEA & DOJ from interfering with state medical marijuana laws, 6/3.

HUD’s policy “guidelines” for medical marijuana patients—evict them even if no conviction!

Former head of NJ’s MMP, John O’Brien, is now compliance officer at Pallia Tech in NY.

National Geographic and Time both have very positive cover stories on marijuana.

CMMNJ Patient Handbook available--$10 donation suggested.  Handbooks should be in ATCs—letter sent to DOH asking permission for this today.

Upcoming Events:
Smoke Down Prohibition 2.0: The Return, Friday, 7/10/15 at 4 pm in Love Park, Philly.
Slightly Stoopid, Stone Pony, Asbury Park, 7/11/15—Eric & Amanda volunteered.
Oaksterdam Certification Class, Washington, D.C., 6/27 & 6/28 ($600 for 13 hours).
Barbour lawsuit against LARC School & Maple Shade BOE.
Fundraiser for CMMNJ? CMMNJ needs to participate in more community events to raise funds and to collect more email addresses.
Trial of Jon Peditto, Toms River; 8/3/15; jury nullification attempt

Recent events:
"Patients Out of Time" conference, W. Palm Beach, Florida, 5/21-23/15.
NJWeedman’s appellate court oral arguments, 5/27, Hughes Justice Complex. Trenton.
NJ United for Marijuana Reform Conference Call, 5/7/15. https://www.njumr.org

Treasury report: Checking: $2401; PayPal: $3749.

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


Recent Media Coverage and Blogs


Legislature Approves Greenwald & Lampitt Bill to Ensure Students with Debilitating Illnesses & Disabilities are Not Denied Medical Marijuana Relief while at School
http://www.assemblydems.com/Article.asp?ArticleID=9935

Asbury Park backs legalization of marijuana
http://www.app.com/story/news/local/eatontown-asbury-park/asbury-park/2015/06/29/asbury-park-backs-legalization-marijuana/29491579/?fb_ref=Default

Good Housekeeping: Medical Marijuana Saved Our Daughter's Life
http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/health/a33066/genny-barbour-medical-marijuana/

Marijuana saved this mother's life
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8hyRgN8pQXk

PalliaTech hires former New Jersey pot czar as compliance chief
http://www.newsday.com/business/palliatech-hires-former-new-jersey-pot-czar-john-o-brien-as-compliance-chief-1.10499446

N.J. medical marijuana activists annoyed
as dormant nonprofit pushes for N.Y. dispensary
http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2015/06/nj_medical_marijuana_activists_annoyed_as_dormant.html

Medical Marijuana Feeds Familiar Hopes of Renewal Around New York State
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/02/nyregion/medical-marijuana-feeds-familiar-hopes-of-renewal-around-new-york-state.html?emc=edit_tnt_20150604&nlid=17961243&tntemail0=y&_r=0

Would you break the law to help a sick relative if medical marijuana is not approved? PennLive poll
http://www.pennlive.com/opinion/2015/06/breaking_the_law_to_help_a_sic.html#incart_story_package

Legalized marijuana would be eliminated under a Christie presidency
http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2015/06/recreational_marijuana_would_get_turned_off_under.html

7 States Where Medical Marijuana Is Legal But Barely Accessible
http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/7-states-where-medical-marijuana-is-legal-but-barely-accessible-20150609#ixzz3cg9pyklH

PTSD sufferers should have medical pot access, says NJ lawmaker
http://nj1015.com/ptsd-sufferers-should-have-medical-pot-access-says-nj-lawmaker/

Companies Can Fire Workers for Marijuana Use, Colorado Court Rules
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/16/us/companies-can-fire-workers-for-marijuana-use-colorado-court-rules.html?emc=edit_tnt_20150615&eml_thmb=1&nlid=17961243&tntemail0=y&_r=0

'NJ Weedman's Joint' opens in Trenton with $4.20 specials
http://www.nj.com/mercer/index.ssf/2015/06/nj_weedmans_joint_opens_in_trenton_with_420_specia.html

NJ Weedman opens Trenton restaurant
http://www.philly.com/philly/news/NJ_Weedman_opens_Trenton_restaurant.html

Medical marijuana laws don't influence teens to light up, study says
http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2015/06/medical_marijuana_laws_dont_influence_teens_to_lig.html

Study: medical marijuana laws don't influence teens to smoke
http://www.phillyvoice.com/study-medical-marijuana-laws-nfluence-teens/

NJ's medical marijuana patients in danger of losing jobs
http://www.newsworks.org/index.php/local/new-jersey/83123-njs-medicial-marijuana-patients-in-danger-of-losing-jobs

Parents: Let our teen take medical marijuana
http://www.courierpostonline.com/story/news/local/south-jersey/2015/06/16/maple-shade-parents-suing-medical-marijuana/28804985/

Poll: Should N.J. tax and legalize marijuana use by people 21 and older?
http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2015/06/poll_should_nj_tax_and_legalize_marijuana_use_by_p.html

Study: Scant evidence that medical pot helps many illnesses
http://www.my9nj.com/story/29387273/study-scant-evidence-that-medical-pot-helps-many-illnesses

The American Legion: The Cannabis Question
http://www.legion.org/magazine/228290/cannabis-question

Bill permitting edible medical marijuana in N.J. schools up for final vote
http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2015/06/bill_permitting_edible_medical_marijuana_in_nj_sch.html

Allowing kids to get medical marijuana in NJ schools now up to Christie
http://www.newsworks.org/index.php/local/item/83620-allowing-kids-to-be-given-medical-marijuana-in-nj-schools-now-up-to-chrisitie

N.J. lawmakers send bill to Christie allowing students to use medical marijuana in school
http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2015/06/nj_lawmakers_approve_bill_allowing_students_consum.html

Dr. Jahan Marcu, The Biochemical System Controlling the Effects of Cannabis: An Introduction
http://www.safeaccessnow.org/the_biochemical_system_controlling_the_effects_of_cannabis_an_introduction

Dr. David Allen the discovery of the Endocannabinoid System - 420InSight
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0eDy5zdAt9o

'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
and:
https://www.facebook.com/notes/ken-wolski/njweedman-proves-religious-discrimination-in-burlco/10153379365674808

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

CMMNJ Minutes for June 2015 Public Meeting


Monthly Public Meeting Minutes 
June 9, 2015

NJ Senate Health Committee hearing is scheduled for Monday, 6/15/15 at 1:00 pm in Committee Room #1 in the Statehouse Annex to take public testimony on the following bills that CMMNJ supports:
S2898 - Authorizes medical marijuana for qualifying patients with PTSD.
S2899 - OKs transfer of excess medical marijuana between ATCs.

“CMMNJ TV”—episode taped 5/27, next taping: 6/30, noon to 4 pm. Guests?
June Thursday demonstrations at the Statehouse continue 6/11, 18 & 25, 11 am to 2 pm.

News: Gov. Christie vows to eliminate legalized marijuana if elected president.
U.S. House votes to stop DEA & DOJ from interfering with state medical marijuana laws, 6/3.
HUD’s policy “guidelines” for medical marijuana patients—evict them even if no conviction!
Former head of NJ’s MMP, John O’Brien, is now compliance officer at Pallia Tech in NY.
National Geographic and Time both have very positive cover stories on marijuana.

CMMNJ Patient Handbook is available--$10 donation suggested.  Handbooks should be in ATCs—letter sent to DOH asking permission for this today.

Upcoming Events: Trial of Jon Peditto, Toms River; 8/3/15; jury nullification attempt.
Smoke Down Prohibition 2.0: The Return, Friday, 7/10/15 at 4 pm in Love Park, Philly.
Slightly Stoopid, Stone Pony, Asbury Park, 7/11/15—Eric & Amanda volunteered.
Oaksterdam Certification Class, Washington, D.C., 6/27 & 6/28 ($600 for 13 hours).
Barbour lawsuit against LARC School & Maple Shade BOE.
Fundraiser for CMMNJ? CMMNJ needs to participate in more community events to raise funds and to collect more email addresses.

Recent events: "Patients Out of Time" conference, W. Palm Beach, Florida, 5/21-23/15.
NJWeedman’s appellate court oral arguments, 5/27, Hughes Justice Complex. Trenton.
NJ United for Marijuana Reform conference call, 5/7/15. https://www.njumr.org

Treasury report: Checking: $2401; PayPal: $3749.

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.
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

Monday, June 1, 2015

CMMNJ Public Meeting Agenda for 6/9/15




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

Approve May 2015 minutes.  Discuss:

National Geographic and Time magazine both have very positive cover stories on marijuana.

NJ State Senate support sought for the following bills that were OK’d by Assembly floor votes and are now in the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee:

  • A-3726/S2898 - Authorizes medical marijuana for qualifying patients with PTSD. 
  • A-4286/S2899 - OKs transfer of excess medical marijuana between ATCs.
  • ACR224/SCR166 - Certain medical marijuana regulations are inconsistent with legislative intent. 

“CMMNJ TV”—episode taped 5/27: Next taping: late June TBD, noon to 4 pm.

Weekly demonstrations at the Statehouse, (see Facebook Friends of CMMNJ for details) with live Podcasts.

CMMNJ Patient Handbook 2015--$10 donation suggested—OK to put handbooks in ATCs?

Upcoming Events:
Trial of Jon Peditto, Toms River; jury selection delayed to 8/3/15; jury nullification attempt.

Recent events: NJWeedman’s appeal of his conviction in Trenton, 5/27.
"Patients Out of Time" conference, W. Palm Beach, Florida, 5/21-23/15.
NJ United for Marijuana Reform Conference Call, 5/7/15.

Treasury report: Checking: $2401; PayPal: $3749.

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. 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 
May 12, 2015

CMMNJ testified at NJ Assembly Committee hearing on 3/16. Two bills & one resolution were approved by an Assembly floor vote. Jim P. posted phone scripts on CMMNJ website to get Senate support for:
A-3726 - Authorizes medical marijuana for qualifying patients with PTSD.
A-4286 - OKs transfer of excess medical marijuana between ATCs.
ACR-224 - Certain medical marijuana regulations are inconsistent with legislative intent:

SB3 passed in the PA Senate today; now to the house; poll shows 92% OK with MM in PA.

Sen. Folmer wants stories of NJ patients; issues with MMP; send to kimbetesh@yahoo.com

Genny Barbour story from Maple Shade, NJ made PEOPLE magazine.

“CMMNJ TV”—episodes taped 4/28: Next taping: 5/27, noon to 4 pm. Jim M. to host vets.

Weekly Thursday demonstrations at the Statehouse resumed 4/2/15.

CARERS Act gains momentum in U.S. Congress--the first-ever such bill in U.S. Senate.

CMMNJ Patient Handbook available--$10 donation suggested.  Handbooks should be in ATCs—check with DOH first.

Sharon, a researcher from the ACLU NJ, is looking to tell the stories of adults who have been busted in NJ for small amounts of marijuana (no growers, no DUIs):  call her at 973.519.2847.

Upcoming Events: Trial of Jon Peditto, Toms River; delayed; jury nullification attempt.
NJWeedman’s appeal of his conviction: oral arguments scheduled for 5/27, Trenton.
"Patients Out of Time" conference, W. Palm Beach, Florida, 5/21-23/15.

Recent events: CNN’s “WEED 3” with Dr. Sanjay Gupta, 4/19/15 at 9 pm.
Connie’s Ric Rac 420 event with PhillyNORML, 4/18, S. Philly.
4/20 & 4/25 Protest, March & Concert, 8am– 8 pm, Trenton’s Mill Hill Park to the Statehouse.
Million Marijuana March, 5/2, 2pm – 5pm, Camden, NJ.

Treasury report: Checking: $2840; PayPal: $3681.
More info:  Ken Wolski, RN, (609) 394-2137 ohamkrw@aol.com
http://www.cmmnj.org


Recent Media Coverage and Blogs:

“We have just scratched the surface,” (Dr. Raphael Mechoulam) says, “and I greatly regret that I don’t have another lifetime to devote to this field, for we may well discover that cannabinoids are involved in some way in all human diseases.”

Science Seeks to Unlock Marijuana’s Secrets
As the once-vilified drug becomes more accepted, researchers around the world are trying to understand how it works and how it might fight disease.
http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2015/06/marijuana/sides-text?sf9354478=1http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2015/06/marijuana/sides-text?sf9354478=1

The Great Pot Experiment
http://time.com/3858353/the-great-pot-experiment/

Teen Battling Epilepsy Fights for the Right to Take Medical Marijuana at School
http://www.people.com/article/new-jersey-family-appeals-ban-preventing-teen-medical-marijuana-school

Vets with PTSD call for medical marijuana expansion
http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20150510_Vets_with_PTSD_call_for_medical_marijuana_expansion.html

Poll: Should students be allowed to use medical marijuana in school?
http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2015/05/poll_should_students_be_allowed_to_use_medical_mar.html

Medical marijuana at school – Should it be allowed? – Poll
http://nj1015.com/medical-marijuana-at-school-should-it-be-allowed-poll/

CBS2 Exclusive: A Look Inside New Jersey’s Cannabis Factory
http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2015/05/14/medical-marijuana-factor-nj-seen-at-11/

Medical marijuana's sky-high price in New Jersey
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/medical-marijuanas-sky-high-price-in-new-jersey/

Substance abuse risk not greater in those using medical marijuana with prescribed opioids
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2015-05/joso-sar051115.php

An Open Letter to Those Who Oppose Cannabis Clothes
http://www.ladybud.com/2015/05/19/an-open-letter-to-those-who-oppose-cannabis-clothes/

Philly420: Surprises at Gov. Wolf's Medical Marijuana Forum
http://www.philly.com/philly/columnists/philly420/Philly420_Surprises_at_Gov_Wolfs_Medical_Marijuana_Forum_.html#P7DbAJLxuDEOrl37.99

NJ Weedman opens restaurant, sanctuary across the street from Trenton City Hall http://www.trentonian.com/general-news/20150525/nj-weedman-opens-restaurant-sanctuary-across-the-street-from-trenton-city-hall

NJWeedman still fighting Burlington County marijuana conviction
"Our best hope now is NJWeedman," (Wolski) said.
http://www.burlingtoncountytimes.com/news/local/njweedman-still-fighting-burlington-county-marijuana-conviction/article_55015b7a-05d6-50a9-a617-8df976eaf420.html?mode=jqm&m=featuredspot

Medical Cannabis Conference 2015 Highlights
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yJAZvQVshfk&feature=youtu.be

NJ Weedman’s Passing the Joint: Now we wait for court’s decision in NJ v Forchion http://www.trentonian.com/opinion/20150529/nj-weedmans-passing-the-joint-now-we-wait-for-courts-decision-in-nj-v-forchion

NBC10 @ Issue: Medical Marijuana in PA:
http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/video/#!/news/local/NBC10---Issue--Medical-Marijuana--Part-1/305638261

Medical marijuana – criticizing the cost of cannabis in New Jersey
http://nj1015.com/medical-marijuana-criticizing-the-cost-of-cannabis-in-new-jersey/

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

CMMNJ Meeting Agenda for May 12, 2015


Monthly Public Meeting Agenda 
Lawrence Township Library, Room #3
Tuesday, May 12, 2015 
7:00 PM -- 9:00 PM

Approve April 2015 minutes. Discuss:

CMMNJ testified at NJ Assembly Committee hearing on 3/16/15. The committee released two bills & one resolution which were approved by an Assembly floor vote. Senate support sought.

  • A-3726 - Authorizes medical marijuana for qualifying patients with PTSD.
  • A-4286 - OKs transfer of excess medical marijuana between ATCs.
  • ACR-224 - Certain medical marijuana regulations are inconsistent with legislative intent: http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/2014/Bills/ACR/224_I1.PDF 


“CMMNJ TV”—episodes taped 4/28: Next taping: 5/27, noon to 4 pm.

Weekly Thursday demonstrations at the Statehouse Annex on 5/7 & 5/14; with live Podcasts.

DOH rejects entire CMMNJ Petition for Rulemaking. Formal CMMNJ response pending.

DOH published its 2014 Annual Report in March 2015; DOH to add qualifying conditions.

CMMNJ Patient Handbook available--$10 donation suggested.

Upcoming Events: NJWeedman’s appeal of his conviction in Trenton postponed.
"Patients Out of Time" conference, W. Palm Beach, Florida, 5/21-23/15.  http://bit.ly/1z3o1Y3
Trial of Jon Peditto, Toms River; jury selection delayed a month; jury nullification attempt.

Recent events: 4/20 & 4/25 Protest, March & Concert, Trenton’s Mill Hill Park & Statehouse.
Poor People’s Parade for Pot (Global Marijuana March), 5/2, 2pm – 5pm, Camden, NJ.
CNN’s “WEED 3” with Dr. Sanjay Gupta, 4/19/15 at 9 pm.
420 marijuana legalization event with PhillyNORML, 4/18, Connie’s Ric Rac, S. Philly.
CMMNJ Board meeting, 4/22/15 at 7 pm

Treasury report: Checking: $2840; PayPal: $3681.

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.

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 
April 14, 2015

CMMNJ testified at NJ Assembly Committee hearing on 3/16. Two bills & one resolution were approved by an Assembly floor vote. Jim P. to work on CMMNJ Capwiz to get Senate support.
A-3726 - Authorizes medical marijuana for qualifying patients with PTSD.
A-4286 - OKs transfer of excess medical marijuana between ATCs.
ACR-224 - Certain medical marijuana regulations are inconsistent with legislative intent:
http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/2014/Bills/ACR/224_I1.PDF

“CMMNJ TV”—episodes taped 3/31: Next taping: 4/28, noon to 4 pm.
Weekly Thursday demonstrations at the Statehouse resumed 4/2/15.
“Petition for Rulemaking:” DOH rejects entire CMMNJ Petition.
DOH published its 2014 Annual Report in March 2015; DOH commissioner says she will start process to add qualifying conditions to the NJ program. Media frenzy.
CARERS Act gains momentum in U.S. Congress--the first-ever such bill in U.S. Senate.
CMMNJ Patient Handbook available--$10 donation suggested.

Upcoming Events: CNN’s “WEED 3” with Dr. Sanjay Gupta, 4/19/15 at 9 pm.
420 marijuana legalization event with PhillyNORML, 4/18, Connie’s Ric Rac, S. Philly.
4/20 Protest, March & Concert, 8am – 8 pm, Trenton’s Mill Hill Park to the Statehouse.
Million Marijuana March, 5/2, 2pm – 5pm, Camden, NJ.
NJWeedman’s appeal of his conviction: oral arguments scheduled for 5/4, Trenton (postponed).
"Patients Out of Time" conference, W. Palm Beach, Florida, 5/21-23/15.  http://bit.ly/1z3o1Y3
Trial of Jon Peditto, Toms River; jury selection to start 4-5 weeks; jury nullification attempt.

Recent events:
NJ SPRING SMOKE-OUT, March 21 march to Trenton State House & rally.
“Medical Marijuana: Myths & Medicine,” PA State Nurses Assn., 3/26/15 Millersville Univ.
ASA’s National Medical Cannabis Unity Conference, March 27-31st in Washington, DC.
PA Joint Health & Judiciary Committees medical cannabis hearing, 3/24, Philadelphia.

Treasury report: Checking: $2846; PayPal: $3534.

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:

Dr. Sanjay Gupta: It's time for a medical marijuana revolution
http://www.cnn.com/2015/04/16/opinions/medical-marijuana-revolution-sanjay-gupta/

Are New Jersey's marijuana laws outdated?
http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com/news/breaking/new-jersey-marijuana-laws-called-outdated-as-approaches/article_9cb30028-e5fc-11e4-bad1-dfe84c7cc4da.html?fb_action_ids=10152816344588657&fb_action_types=og.comments

Schedule I Constitutional, Rules Federal Judge
http://theleafonline.com/c/politics/2015/04/schedule-constitutional-rules-federal-judge/

Forced to the black market
http://www.northjersey.com/news/nj-state-news/forced-to-the-black-market-1.1305034

Lawyers afraid to defend N.J. medical marijuana dispensary
http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2015/04/nj_medical_marijuana_dispensarys_legal_battle_coul.html

Smoking Marijuana for 50 Years, and Turning Out Just Fine
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/13/nyregion/after-50-years-of-smoking-marijuana-her-life-turned-out-nicely.html?smprod=nytcore-ipad&smid=nytcore-ipad-share&_r=0

Everything You Need to Know to Succeed in the Marijuana Industry Presented at Annual Cannabis World Congress in New York
http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/everything-you-need-to-know-to-succeed-in-the-marijuana-industry-presented-at-annual-cannabis-world-congress-in-new-york-300064764.html

Congressional Research Service:
Marijuana: Medical and Retail— Selected Legal Issues
http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R43435.pdf

N.J. medical marijuana dispensary workers withdraw petition to unionize
http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2015/04/nj_medical_marijuana_dispensary_workers_withdraw_p.html

Chris Christie: ‘I Will Crack Down’ on Marijuana Legalization if President
http://www.thedailychronic.net/2015/42340/chris-christie-i-will-crack-down-on-marijuana-legalization-if-president/

Head of New Jersey's medical marijuana program resigns
http://mobile.philly.com/news/breaking/?wss=%2Fphilly%2Fnews%2Fbreaking&id=300019921&

Medical marijuana coming to Hudson County
Alternative Treatment Center projected to open this year
http://www.hudsonreporter.com/view/full_story/26586229/article-Medical-marijuana-coming-to-Hudson-County--Alternative-Treatment-Center-projected-to-open-this-year-?instance=latest_story

Watch cannabis conversation with NJWeedMan for 420 Day
http://www.nj.com/interact/2015/04/its_420_today_watch_our_live_cannabis_conversation_with_njweedman.html

Poll: If pot is legalized, would you light up?
http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2015/04/poll_if_pot_is_legalized_would_you_light_up.html

Times have caught up with NJ Weedman
http://articles.philly.com/2015-04-21/news/61343761_1_marijuana-laws-legalizing-marijuana-the-weedman

4/20: The Blunt Truth About Marijuana & Taxes
http://www.forbes.com/fdc/welcome_mjx.shtml

Setting The Agenda For The Medical Marijuana Revolution
http://www.enewspf.com/latest-news/health-and-fitness/60590-setting-the-agenda-for-the-medical-marijuana-revolution.html

Marijuana liquid could be ally of kids with epilepsy, study says
http://www.nj.com/healthfit/index.ssf/2015/04/medical_marijuana_liquid_shows_promising_results_f.html

Rally message: Poor people need pot too
http://www.courierpostonline.com/story/news/local/south-jersey/2015/04/29/camden-pot-rally/26575551/

Global drug policy isn’t working. These 100+ organizations want that to change.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2015/05/05/global-drug-policy-isnt-working-these-100-organizations-want-that-to-change/

NJ Family Says Their Daughter is Being Denied the Medical Marijuana She Needs
http://www.myfoxphilly.com/story/28974154/nj-family?fb_action_ids=10152846197348657&fb_action_types=og.comments

Poor People's Parade for Pot
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e57SbQfmQtQ

WEST WINDSOR: On 'Weed Day,' advocate asks council to pass resolution against legalization of non-medical marijuana
http://www.centraljersey.com/articles/2015/04/26/the_princeton_packet/news/doc5537c3e17537c405857133.txt#blogcomments

The Fully Baked Radio Show
http://www.ustream.tv/channel/sativa-cross

NJWeedman’s Passing the Joint: Sign of the times
http://www.trentonian.com/opinion/20150422/njweedmans-passing-the-joint-sign-of-the-times

NJWeedman’s Passing The Joint: Loving Trenton, hating the politics of racism
http://www.trentonian.com/opinion/20150501/njweedmans-passing-the-joint-loving-trenton-hating-the-politics-of-racism

NJ Weedman’s Passing the Joint: The Christie marijuana ultimatum is now a laughing stock
http://www.trentonian.com/opinion/20150415/nj-weedmans-passing-the-joint-the-christie-marijuana-ultimatum-is-now-a-laughing-stock

NJWeedman’s Passing the Joint: NJWeedman vs The Christie
http://www.trentonian.com/opinion/20150408/njweedmans-passing-the-joint-njweedman-vs-the-christie

Marijuana saves lives: At Camden awareness event, stories shared of medical miracles
http://www.nj.com/camden/index.ssf/2015/05/global_marijuana_march_comes_to_camden.html

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

CMMNJ Meeting Agenda for April 14, 2015



Monthly Public Meeting Agenda 
Lawrence Township Library, Room #3
Tuesday, April 14, 2015, 7:00 PM -- 9:00 PM

Approve March 2015 minutes.  Discuss:

CMMNJ testified at NJ Assembly Regulatory Oversight Committee hearing on 3/16/15. The committee released two bills & one resolution which were approved by an Assembly floor vote (see below).

“CMMNJ TV”—episodes taped 3/31: Next taping: 4/28, noon to 4 pm.

Weekly Thursday demonstrations at the Statehouse resumed 4/2/15.

“Petition for Rulemaking:” DOH rejects entire CMMNJ Petition.  DOH published its 2014 Annual Report in March 2015; DOH commissioner says she will start process to add qualifying conditions to the NJ program.  Media frenzy.

CMMNJ Patient Handbook available--$10 donation suggested.

Upcoming Events:
NLRB Hearing 4/15, 6th & Chestnut, Philly 10 am: UFCW v. CCF.
4/20 Protest, March & Concert, 8am – 8 pm, Trenton’s Mill Hill Park to the Statehouse.
Million Marijuana March, 5/2, 2pm – 5pm, Camden, NJ.
Cannabis & the Endocannabinoid System” webinar, Dr. Aggarwal, 4/11, 1 pm.
"Patients Out of Time" conference, W. Palm Beach, Florida, 5/21-23/15.  http://bit.ly/1z3o1Y3
Trial of Jon Peditto, Toms River; jury selection to start 4/13; jury nullification attempt.

Recent events: NJ SPRING SMOKE-OUT, March 21 march to Trenton State House & rally.
 “Medical Marijuana: Myths & Medicine,” PA State Nurses Assn., 3/26/15 Millersville Univ.
ASA’s National Medical Cannabis Unity Conference, March 27-31st in Washington, DC. PA PA Joint Health & Judiciary Committees medical cannabis hearing, 3/24, Philadelphia.

Treasury report: Checking: $2846; PayPal: $3534.
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. 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
March 10, 2015 


NJUMR Press Conference, 2/18, Newark with NJACLU, LEAP & NAACP; CMMNJ endorsed.

Sens. Booker, Paul & Gellibrand’s Press Conference today, 3/10/15, introduced CARERS Act, the first-ever bill in U.S. Senate to legalize marijuana for medical use!

CMMNJ testified at NJ Assembly Regulatory Oversight Committee Hearing, 3/2/15.

“CMMNJ TV”--two episodes taped 2/24: Roger & Lora (Genny) Barbour & Hugh Giordano.  Next taping: 3/31, noon to 4 pm. Distribute our shows nationally?

“Petition for Rulemaking,” for MMP reg changes; media reports DOH will respond 3/15.

Current NJ marijuana bills: A3525/S2312 (comprehensive MMP fix); S1896/A3094 (legalize, tax and regulate marijuana); A3726 (adds PTSD); A218 (decrim).

Upcoming Events: NLRB Hearing 3/16, 6th & Chestnut, Philly 10 am: UFCW v. CCF.
NJ SPRING SMOKE-OUT Sat., March 21, 2:00pm march to Trenton State House.
“Medical Marijuana: Myths & Medicine,” PA State Nurses Assn., 3/26/15 Millersville Univ.
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; jury selection to start. Jury nullification attempt.
CMMNJ Patient Handbook being printed.
PA joint House committee hearing on SB3, 3/24/15, 800 Spruce St., Philadelphia, 10 am.

Recent events: Grand Rounds: “Medical Marijuana” at Princeton House, 2/23/15 Dr. Marcu.
March for the Love of Cannabis, 101 S. Market Street, Wilmington, De 2/14/15.
“Cannabis & the Endocannabinoid System” webinar, Dr. Aggarwal, 2/21 & 3/7.
AAP endorsed limited pediatric use, rescheduling, & decrim for minors and young adults.
PA Medical cannabis bill, SB 3 hearing 2/25, Harrisburg.

Treasury report: Checking: $3651; PayPal: $3526. IRS e-postcard and state corp. updates done.

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



Recent Media Coverage and Blogs:

N.J. medical marijuana program stagnating because state limits illnesses, bars edibles, critics say
http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2015/03/nj_medical_marijuana_program_stagnating_because_of.html

NJ Marijuana Advocates To Hold Spring ‘Smoke Out’
http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2015/03/05/nj-marijuana-advocates-to-hold-spring-smoke-out/

Booker legislation would exempt N.J. doctors dispensing marijuana from federal drug laws
http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2015/03/booker_legislation_would_exempt_nj_doctors_dispensing_marijuana_from_federal_drug_laws.html

A Sensible Bill on Medical Marijuana
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/11/opinion/a-sensible-bill-on-medical-marijuana.html?emc=edit_tnt_20150311&nlid=17961243&tntemail0=y&_r=0

CARERS Act Press Conference
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YTPi5lpXqOE

Senators Introduce Bill To End Federal Curbs On Medical Marijuana
http://www.forbes.com/sites/davidkroll/2015/03/11/is-congress-planning-to-legalize-marijuana/

Federal Medical Marijuana Bill Adds A Fifth Sponsor
http://www.theweedblog.com/federal-medical-marijuana-bill-adds-a-fifth-sponsor/

Bipartisan Medical Marijuana Bill Gains Momentum in Senate and House
http://www.bergendispatch.com/articles/35908140/Bipartisan-Medical-Marijuana-Bill-Gains-Momentum-in-Senate-and-House-.aspx

Colorado shows why legalized pot is wrong for NJ
http://www.thedailyjournal.com/story/opinion/2015/03/11/colorado-shows-legalized-pot-wrong-nj/70185520/

LETTER: Angelini oped spewed anti-marijuana propaganda
http://www.app.com/story/opinion/readers/2015/03/13/letter-angelini-oped-spewed-anti-marijuana-propaganda/70283920/

LETTER: Stop criminalizing, stigmatizing pot users
http://www.app.com/story/opinion/readers/2015/03/16/letter-stop-criminalizing-stigmatizing-pot-users/24842813/

How New Jersey could legalize pot: Letter
http://www.nj.com/opinion/index.ssf/2015/03/how_new_jersey_could_legalize_pot_letter.html

AP: NJ issues standards for edible medical marijuana
http://www.app.com/story/news/local/new-jersey/2015/03/13/ap-nj-issues-standards-edible-medical-marijuana/70290610/

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

This Opinion was published on March 16, the very day that the failings of the state's Medicinal Marijuana Program were discussed at the State House in Trenton during an Assembly Regulatory Oversight Committee hearing.  All the members of the committee got a copy of this Opinion.

The committee today released two bills and one resolution designed to expand the state's program:
• A-3726 (Mazzeo/Stender) - Authorizes medical marijuana for qualifying patients with post-traumatic stress disorder:
http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/2014/Bills/A4000/3726_I1.PDF
• A-4286 (Eustace/Gusciora/Tucker) - Authorizes transfer of excess medical marijuana inventory between alternative treatment centers.
• ACR-224 (Gusciora/Eustace/Tucker) - Determines that certain medical marijuana program regulations are inconsistent with legislative intent:
http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/2014/Bills/ACR/224_I1.PDF

Marijuana activists ramp up legalization efforts in N.J.
http://www.courierpostonline.com/story/news/local/south-jersey/2015/03/16/marijuana-activists-ramping-legalization-efforts-nj/24833551/

N.J. Health Department takes step toward allowing
edible medical marijuana for kids
http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2015/03/nj_health_department_takes_step_toward_allowing_me.html

NJ Lawmakers Consider Expansion of Medical Marijuana Program
http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/WHYY-NJ-Lawmakers-Consider-Medical-Marijuana-Program-296696031.html

UPDATE: NJ Medical Marijuana Changes
http://www.newjerseynewsroom.com/healthquest/update-nj-medical-marijuana-changes

Medical marijuana – NJ moving ahead with edible pot for kids
http://nj1015.com/nj-moves-ahead-with-medical-pot-for-kids/

Brownies and Lozenges: NJ Issues Guidelines for Edible Medical Marijuana Products
http://patch.com/new-jersey/montclair/brownies-and-lozenges-nj-issues-guidelines-edible-medical-marijuana-products-0

Editorial: N.J. availability of edible medical marijuana moves at frustrating pace
http://www.nj.com/opinion/index.ssf/2015/03/editorial_nj_availability_of_edible_medical_mariju.html

WATCH: N.J. marijuana activist confronts Christie
http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2015/03/confronted_by_nj_weedman_christie_tells_him_to_tal.html

DEMS THREATEN ‘LEGISLATIVE VETO’ TO EASE RESTRICTIONS ON MEDICAL MARIJUANA
http://www.njspotlight.com/stories/15/03/26/dems-threaten-legislative-veto-to-ease-restrictions-on-medical-marijuana/

Lawmakers Approve Bills to Revamp NJ Medical Marijuana Program
http://patch.com/new-jersey/bloomfield/lawmakers-approve-bill-revamp-nj-medical-marijuana-program-bills-head-senate-0

Medical marijuana report release could lead to expanding N.J. program
http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2015/03/njs_medical_marijuana_program_so_far_800-plus_poun.html

Philly420: Limiting medical marijuana conditions in Pa. a bad path
http://www.philly.com/philly/columnists/philly420/Philly420_Limiting_medical_marijuana_conditions_in_Pa_a_bad_path.html#TgB1hyi5MTdpAcuF.99

Poll: Should more illnesses be added to the list that qualifies N.J. patients for medical marijuana?
http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2015/04/poll_should_more_illnesses_be_added_to_the_list_th.html

What is N.J.'s tax on medical marijuana if not 'blood money?'
http://www.nj.com/opinion/index.ssf/2015/04/story_of_nj_teen_backs_up_christies_abortion_polic.html

Medical Marijuana Advocates Hope Proposed Changes Will Improve New Jersey Program
http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2015/04/04/advocates-push-for-new-jersey-to-add-medical-marijuana-conditions/

Notice of Action on Petition for Rulemaking
http://www.nj.gov/health/legal/documents/njac864mmp.pdf

Medical Marijuana Could Treat More Ailments in New Jersey
http://www.njtvonline.org/news/video/medical-marijuana-could-treat-more-ailments-in-new-jersey/

Panel to study more ailments for medical pot
http://www.philly.com/philly/news/new_jersey/20150402_Panel_to_study_more_ailments_for_medical_pot.html#59rZp2bZwQvPmgip.99

STATE MAY EXPAND MEDICAL MARIJUANA TO COVER PTSD, OTHER CONDITIONS
http://www.njspotlight.com/stories/15/03/31/state-may-expand-medical-marijuana-to-cover-ptsd-other-conditions/

New Jersey to look at adding medical marijuana conditions
http://www.newsday.com/news/region-state/new-jersey-report-finds-3-600-have-used-medical-marijuana-1.10171904

Marijuana protesters light up across the street from New Jersey Statehouse in Trenton
http://www.trentonian.com/general-news/20150321/marijuana-protesters-light-up-across-the-street-from-new-jersey-statehouse-in-trenton

Advocates Push to Legalize Marijuana in New Jersey
http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/Advocates-Push-to-Legalize-Marijuana-in-New-Jersey-297139101.html#ixzz3Wfjawin6

Dozens smoke pot outside N.J. Statehouse during 'Spring Smoke Out' rally for marijuana legalization
http://www.nj.com/mercer/index.ssf/2015/03/legalized_marijuana_nj_statehouse_in_spring_smoke.html

Chris Christie's muddled message on marijuana and the War on Drugs | Mulshine
http://www.nj.com/opinion/index.ssf/2015/03/chris_christies_muddled_message_on_marijuana_and_t.html

NJ Weedman’s Passing the Joint: After a successful Smoke-Out rally, time to keep fighting
http://www.trentonian.com/opinion/20150325/nj-weedmans-passing-the-joint-after-a-successful-smoke-out-rally-time-to-keep-fighting

Pot generates blood money, but he'll take the booze tax anytime | Editorial
http://www.nj.com/opinion/index.ssf/2015/03/pot_generates_blood_money_but_hell_take_the_booze.html#incart_river

NJ Lawmakers Consider Expansion of Medical Marijuana Program
http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/WHYY-NJ-Lawmakers-Consider-Medical-Marijuana-Program-296696031.html#ixzz3WfloPb1K

N.J. PTSD sufferers would qualify for medical marijuana under bill approved by Assembly
http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2015/03/nj_ptsd_sufferers_would_qualify_for_medical_mariju.html

Links to the videos from the first Health and Judiciary committee hearing! 2 parts:
http://www.pahousegop.com/55.aspx

Friday, March 6, 2015

Maryanne Boniello's Legislative Testimony, 3/2/15

Assembly Regulatory Oversight Committee
Committee Room 14, 4th Floor
State House Annex
Trenton, NJ 08625

Re:  NJ Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act

I would like to thank the Committee for this opportunity to express my views on the NJ Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act.

I have been a NJ Medical Marijuana patient since May of 2014. I have Stage 4 advanced metastatic thyroid cancer. I have also had breast cancer. In May of 2013, with my 3rd cancer operation in 7 month’s time to remove my remaining sternum pending, I made the decision to apply and got approval for Social Security Disability benefits. I had been a self-employed freelance Certified Court Reporter for 31 years. I was out of work since October 2012, when I had an operation to remove the upper part of my sternum for thyroid cancer. I will not elaborate on my medical treatment here other than to say it has been extensive and debilitating at times. The decision to apply for SSD benefits reduced my income by more than half.

When I decided to apply for my Medical Marijuana card, I was glad to see the State offer reduced fees for low-income and disabled patients. This does not apply to the dispensaries or the physicians on the registry who can charge whatever they like. This puts an undue burden on those that are struggling on fixed incomes and disability benefits, on top of having severe medical conditions. Unfortunately, the Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act is anything but compassionate. It is hurting the very patients who need it the most. I do not believe this was the intent of the original legislation.

NJ patients are held hostage to the ATCs because we are not allowed to grow our own plants, although that was allowed in the original legislation. The ATCs have no competition or reason to have fair pricing. I would like to see a fee schedule imposed on the ATCs and physicians for patients who are on SSD and low-income patients similar to what the State offers for the MM program. This would take a huge financial burden off patients who are already dealing with a great amount of pain, stress, suffering and anxiety due to their illnesses and do not need the extra worries of whether they can afford their medicine. Patients should also be allowed to grow a certain number of plants for their own use, as was originally intended.

I also feel medical marijuana patients should not be taxed on their medicine. I do not pay taxes on my pharmaceutical medicines. This compounds the financial burden of the high-priced product and the extra tax. Are our legislators really okay with taxing the sick and suffering medical marijuana patients?  Not compassionate at all.

Physician Registry:

I do not understand why there is a physician registry. All licensed physicians in the State of New Jersey should have the opportunity to prescribe medical marijuana as they do prescription drugs. I should not be prevented from using my primary care physician who I have been going to for more than 15 years because she is not on the registry. I also should not be precluded from using my cancer doctors, all of whom are in New York City, just because there is no provision for out-of-state doctors to certify patients.

I had a lengthy discussion with my PCP about this program. She is very interested in it. When I asked her if she would consider joining the registry, she said she didn’t have a problem doing that, but she would want to know more about dosing and interaction of other drugs before she felt comfortable as a physician to prescribe medical marijuana. The required course for the registry is Addiction Medicine & Pain Management. I am not a doctor, but even I can figure out that courses on medical marijuana, strains, dosing, interactions with other drugs would be more effective for the physicians to gain the knowledge they need for their patients. I am on my own to figure out dosing and interactions. This is not right.

Recently, I looked into changing physicians for the program to one that accepted my insurance. I first called the DOH to ask the procedure for that and it was a simple one - the new doctor had to sign-on to the online website and a few clicks and information changes and it was done. I called 3 local doctors on the registry:

Dr. #1 wanted to charge me $150 administrative fee not refundable through my insurance and then would take my insurance for visits.

Dr. #2 wanted to charge a $300 consultation fee not billable to my insurance.

Dr. #3 wanted to charge $275 and the manager I spoke with said I had to be completely re-certified again with all the paperwork I submitted in May. This was totally inaccurate as I had gotten specific instructions from the DOH on how to transfer a patient.

There needs to be oversight and fee schedules for the physicians also.

EDIBLES, OILS & CONCENTRATES:

These need to be allowed and made available for all patients, not just children. I find it very offensive and discriminatory that the way I choose to medicate is being directed by politicians. Whether  one believes that cannabis cures cancer, helps with seizures and other diseases or not, patients should have full access to the various forms of medical marijuana which have different uses. I should not have to make my own cannabis oil. There is no valid reason why whole plant-based cannabis oil is not available in NJ. I fight every day for my life and am committed to doing everything within my means to fight cancer. Why am I being denied a possible treatment option? How many of you can say that given the same situation I am in, you would not want ALL available options of treatment for yourself or a loved one?

I truly hope that these changes will be implemented very soon. As with anything new, there’s tweaking to be done with the program. There are a lot of people out here that have severe, life-threatening conditions who are depending on this program. We don’t have the time to wait.  

Sincerely,
Maryanne Boniello
Nutley, NJ 07110
maredboni@msn.com