For more info, contact: Ken @ (609) 394-2137
Somerville Rally for NJ Multiple Sclerosis Patient Facing Trial
WHO: CMMNJ members will demonstrate support for NJ MS Patient John Wilson
WHAT: At a free, public rally
WHEN: Friday, August 21, 2009 from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM
WHERE: Somerset County Court House, 20 North Bridge St., Somerville, New Jersey
WHY: Wilson faces 20 years in prison for using marijuana to treat his MS
Members of the Coalition for Medical Marijuana--New Jersey, Inc. will hold a rally on the sidewalk in front of the Somerset County Court House, 20 North Bridge St., Somerville, NJ on Friday, August 21, 2009 from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM in support of multiple sclerosis (MS) patient John Ray Wilson. Wilson faces 20 years in prison for growing 17 marijuana plants that he used to treat his MS. Wilson was charged with “manufacturing” marijuana and he was told by Superior Court Judge Robert Reed during a pre-trial hearing last month that he may not let the jury know that he has MS, or that his use of marijuana was an attempt to treat his disease. This ruling effectively removes Wilson’s only defense for his actions. Wilson plans to appeal the judge’s decision. Wilson is self-employed, has no health insurance and faces mounting legal bills.
The National MS Society recently confirmed in an Expert Opinion Paper that standard therapies often provide inadequate relief for the symptoms of MS such as pain and spasticity, and that marijuana helps with these symptoms and could limit disease progression. “To know that a safe and inexpensive herb like marijuana is able to relieve the pain and spasticity of MS and to actually arrest the progression of this incurable disease is a compelling reason to use it therapeutically,” said Ken Wolski, RN, Executive Director of the Coalition for Medical Marijuana--New Jersey. “We want to demonstrate our outrage that Wilson faces many years in prison for this, and that he cannot even explain to the jury why he was using marijuana,” Wolski said. The MS Society estimates that 15% of people with this disease use marijuana for symptom relief.
The "New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act,” which was approved by the New Jersey Senate, awaits a vote in the Assembly. This bill would allow patients to use a small amount of marijuana when a licensed physician recommends it for the symptoms of a number of medical conditions including multiple sclerosis. Governor Jon Corzine has said that he would sign the bill into law when it gets to his desk.
CMM-NJ, a 501(c)(3) public charity, is a non-profit organization whose mission is to educate the public about the benefits of safe and legal access to medical marijuana. For more info, contact:
Ken Wolski, RN, MPA,
Executive Director, Coalition for Medical Marijuana--New Jersey, Inc.
844 Spruce St., Trenton, NJ 08648