Thursday, July 8, 2010

CMMNJ July 13th Meeting Agenda






Monthly Public Meeting Agenda
Lawrence Twp. Library (Mercer County) Room #3
Tuesday, July 13, 2010; 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM

7:00 PM: Call meeting to order. Approve June 2010 minutes. Discuss:

NJ Senate and Assembly approved a 90-day delay in implementing the New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act, which was scheduled to take effect July 1, 2010. CMMNJ held a rally & press conference to oppose the delay on 6/17 in Jersey City. More amendments to come? See NBC coverage of the issue. Send a pre-written letter to your NJ legislator today opposing any more changes to the law. CMMNJ received a reply from DHSS.

Report from Jahan Marcu, a cannabinoid researcher from Temple U. School of Medicine.

Cures Not Wars press conference at Manhattan City Hall steps, Thurs., 7/8, from 10-11 AM.

Upcoming CMMNJ events: MS Patients Support Group in Livingston, NJ, 7/12/10 @ 7 pm; Dingbatz in Clifton, NJ, 7/31/10, 8pm–12 MN; Rittenhouse Square Concert Series 8/6, 8/13 & 8/20; Stakeholders Meeting with ASA’s Steph Sherer 8/21 10-4PM; NJ League of Municipalities, 11/15-18/10. Volunteers needed for upcoming events.

Treasury report: Checking: $4,387.71; PayPal: $2,017.43. Tax-deductible donations to CMMNJ, a 501(c)(3) public charity may be made through Paypal on our web site, or send a check made out to “CMMNJ” to the address below. Get a free t-shirt for a donation above $15—specify size. (100 new t-shirts received--$700; 500 magnets ordered--$170.)

CMMNJ’s scheduled meetings are the second Tuesday of each month at the Lawrence Twp. Library from 7:00 PM until 9:00 PM. All are welcome. Snacks are served. The library is at 2751 Brunswick Pike, Lawrence Twp., Tel. #609.882.9246. (Meeting at the library does not imply their endorsement of our issue.) For more info, contact:

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



Monthly Public Meeting Minutes
Tuesday, June 8 2010; 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Lawrence Twp. Library, Mercer County, NJ

7:00 PM: Call meeting to order. May 2010 minutes approved. Discussion:

The New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act is scheduled to take effect in July 2010. Gov. Christie asks for 6 – 12 month delay. CMMNJ held a press conference June 4, 2010 on the State House steps in Trenton to say “no” to the delay. Chris Goldstein gave a review of the media coverage. CMMNJ’s supporters are asked to tell NJ state officials to implement the law as written. Contact Governor Christie: http://www.nj.gov/governor/contact/ Contact DHSS Commissioner Alaigh: http://www.state.nj.us/cgi-bin/dhss/contact/contact.pl?page=marijuana CMMNJ is sending another letter to DHSS.

NORML will be asked to provide a Capwiz letter to send to legislators. (Request to have a Roll Call of legislative supporters on web site.) Steve C. detailed how he suffers from Crohn’s Disease without access to marijuana while paying exorbitant prices for less effective pharmaceuticals. Several LTE’s already published. Diane Forrnbacher is coordinating Patients Advisory Group. Svet Milic, Peter Rosenfeld & Frank Fulbrook are coordinating the ATC Advisory Board.

Events: New Jersey State Nurses Assn. “Medical Marijuana Breakfast” was postponed.
Excellent front page article in the May/June 2010 edition of The American Nurse, “Exploring the science of medical marijuana.” Report of successful Gay Pride Parade on 6/6/10 in Asbury Park.

Upcoming CMMNJ events:; Jersey City Press Conference, 6/17/10 at City Hall, 1:00 PM; Southern Shore Music Festival, 6/19/10, Bridgeton, NJ, noon to 8 PM; Project Freedom Wellness Fair, Lawrence Twp., 6/22/10 3 pm to 7 pm; MS Patients Support Group in Livingston, NJ, 7/12/10 @ 7 pm; Dingbatz in Clifton, NJ, 7/31/10, 8pm–12 MN; NJ League of Municipalities, Atlantic City, 11/15-18/10. Board to discuss Rittenhouse Sq. Concert series.

Treasury report: Checking: $2,789.79; PayPal: $2640.34. More magnets & t-shirts ordered.

CMMNJ’s scheduled meetings are the second Tuesday of each month at the Lawrence Twp. Library from 7:00 PM until 9:00 PM. All are welcome. Snacks are served. The library is at 2751 Brunswick Pike, Lawrence Twp., Tel. #609.882.9246. (Meeting at the library does not imply their endorsement of our issue.) For more info, contact: Ken Wolski, RN, MPA, 219 Woodside Ave., Trenton, NJ 08618 (609) 394-2137 ohamkrw@aol.com www.cmmnj.org



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more info, contact: Ken @ (609) 394-2137

Medical Marijuana Press Conference in Jersey City on 6/17
WHO: New Jersey medical marijuana advocacy groups
WHAT: Will hold a press conference
WHEN: Thursday, June 17, 2010 at 1 PM
WHERE: Jersey City, NJ – In front of City Hall – 280 Grove Street, Jersey City, NJ 07302
WHY: Timely implementation of New Jersey’s medical marijuana law; local ATC guidelines
City officials work on guidelines; patients, professionals and advocates seek timely regulations

On Thursday, June 17, 2010 at 1 PM, New Jersey medical marijuana advocacy groups will hold a press conference in front of City Hall in Jersey City.

Local cannabis policy experts are working closely with Jersey City officials to create municipal guidelines for the placement of an Alternative Treatment Center. The second largest city in New Jersey is seeking to welcome local, non-profit medical marijuana providers once they can be licensed for operation.

"Guidelines in Jersey City and other towns will assure a local infrastructure is ready for regulated cannabis facilities to serve patients as quickly as possible," said CMMNJ/NORMLNJ advocate Chris Goldstein.

Last month a request was made by Governor Christie for a six to twelve month extension on the issuance of the medical marijuana program regulations. The extension would require additional legislation. The New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act was signed into law January, 11 2010. As passed, the Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) was to issue draft regulations in July. Patients are anticipating access to a running program by the fall. CMMNJ and NORML-NJ do not see any need for a delay. Ken Wolski, a registered nurse (RN) and executive director of CMMNJ said, “If the Health Department can’t write these regulations in 6 months, there’s no guarantee they will be able to write them in 18 months. Patients are suffering as they continue to wait for this program.” Anne M. Davis, executive director of NORML-NJ said, “This is a law and there are no exceptions. There are patients with chronic or even terminal illnesses that cannot get an extension on life.”

The 6/17/10 press conference will feature brief statements along with a Q&A. Speakers will include potential medical marijuana patients, medical professionals and supporters of the law.

Media may contact:
Ken Wolski: ohamkrw@aol.com (609) 394-2137
Anne Davis: law@annemdavis.com (732) 77-700
Chris Goldstein: media@cmmnj.org
Christie administration seeks to delay the New Jersey medical marijuana law




FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more info, contact: Ken @ (609) 394-2137

WHO: Governor Chris Christie’s administration
WHAT: Wants to delay the New Jersey Medical Marijuana law for up to one year
WHEN: May 27, 2010
WHERE: Trenton, NJ
WHY: The logistics involved are too complex for the NJ Department of Health

A proposal by Governor Christie’s administration seeks to delay the implementation of the “New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act" by up to one year. The request for a 6-12 month delay was first reported this week in the NJ Spotlight. New Jersey became the 14th US state to legalize medical marijuana on January 18, 2010. The law is scheduled to take effect in July. The bill, originally introduced in 2005 by Senator Nicholas Scutari (D-Linden), saw broad bi-partisan support when it eventually passed. It was reported that senior staff in Governor Christie's office asked for the delay because they feared the complexities of developing a business model for medical cannabis distribution. Ken Wolski, RN, Executive Director of the Coalition for Medical Marijuana--New Jersey, Inc. (CMMNJ) said, “There must be no delay in implementing this law. Patients are suffering now, and to tell them they must continue to suffer for another year because of the bureaucrats in Trenton is unacceptable.”

Advocates noted that with any delay to the program many terminally ill patients would not live to find relief with legal medical marijuana. Hospice and Palliative Care networks are some of the strongest supporters of the medical cannabis law. Wolski continued, “Marijuana is recognized as medicine in New Jersey and patients deserve timely access to it. The recent trial and conviction of MS patient John Wilson in Somerville amply proves that patients desperately need regulated access to marijuana that is legal in the eyes of police, prosecutors, judges and juries around the state.”

The new law removes penalties for the possession, and use of marijuana when a New Jersey licensed physician recommends it for one of the qualifying medical conditions. These conditions include cancer, AIDS, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, etc. Patients will be issued ID cards in a program run by the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS). The marijuana will be obtained from Alternative Treatment Centers that will be licensed and regulated by the state. Of the 14 medical marijuana states, only the Garden State currently prohibits patients from cultivating their own medical marijuana in the safety of their homes.

Wolski noted that in a February 2010 letter to DHSS Director Joe Eldridge, CMMNJ offered free, expert advice in the development of regulations to implement the New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana law. Thus far, DHSS has not requested any information from CMMNJ. CMMNJ was formed in 2003, incorporated in New Jersey and is recognized as a 501(c)(3) by the federal government. CMMNJ is the only statewide organization solely dedicated to providing education and information about safe and legal access to medical marijuana, and it has closely followed the law’s evolution and patients’ concerns. CMMNJ’s Board of Directors includes health care professionals, attorneys and potential patients with over 50 years of combined experience directly related to medical marijuana. CMMNJ is uniquely qualified to assist in developing effective regulations for New Jersey. Patients and advocates
at CMMNJ welcome a dialogue with DHSS and the Christie Administration to discuss the best plan to implement the law.

Ken Wolski, RN, MPA, Executive Director, Coalition for Medical Marijuana--New Jersey, Inc.
219 Woodside Ave., Trenton, NJ 08618
609.394.2137 www.cmmnj.org ohamkrw@aol.com


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
6/29/2010
The Coalition for Medical Marijuana New Jersey (CMMNJ)
www.cmmnj.org

CONTACT: Ken Wolski RN 609 394 2137 ohamkrw@aol.com or media@cmmnj.org *
*New Jersey residents who may qualify for medical marijuana are available for comment

New Jersey delays medical marijuana law

Trenton - The New Jersey Senate and Assembly passed bills to move back the effective date of state’s medical marijuana law by 90 days. The long-suffering residents who will qualify for the program were relieved that legislators rejected a request from Governor Christie for a 6-12 month delay in the law.

There was also a tepid response among patients and elected officials to proposals from the Governor for a fundamental redesign of the medical cannabis program.

The amendments passed yesterday make the Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act effective on October 1, 2010. This will give state government officials until January 1, 2011 to finalize rules and regulations. Ken Wolski RN, the Executive Director of CMMNJ said today, “A three-month delay is better than a six or 12 month delay. We're also grateful that the legislature did not attempt to amend the content of the law.”

The Department of Health and Senior Services has oversight of the medical cannabis program. DHSS Commissioner Dr. Poonam Alaigh fully endorsed the medical and scientific value of cannabis in a recent New Jersey Network (NJN) appearance.

Peter Rosenfeld, a potential patient on the Board of Directors at the Coalition for Medical Marijuana New Jersey said “We hope that during this delay NJ-DHSS is more transparent than it has been in the last six months, allowing our group and other interested groups to give feedback about the program.” So far, DHSS and other state officials have not met with any local advocacy groups or residents that the law was written to serve. This has left many preparing for a bigger effort to get the medical marijuana law put into practice.

Wolski said CMMNJ meetings have seen their strongest attendance in the last few months. “This is an agonizing delay. Marijuana is medicine in New Jersey and patients deserve, want, and need timely access to it.”

CONTACT: Ken Wolski RN 609 394 2137 ohamkrw@aol.com or media@cmmnj.org *
*New Jersey residents who may qualify for medical marijuana are available for comment

The next CMMNJ public meeting takes place Tuesday July 13th at the Lawrence Township Library at 7:00PM
www.cmmnj.org

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