Tuesday, July 27, 2010

NJ medical marijuana law should move forward as written

The Coalition for Medical Marijuana New Jersey CMMNJ

CONTACT: Ken Wolski or Chris Goldstein 609 394 2137 media@cmmnj.org

NJ medical marijuana law should move forward as written

Recent expert analyses of Governor Christie’s medical marijuana proposals have now matched concerns expressed by local medical marijuana advocates.

Last week Rutgers University declined to risk their federal funding to be granted monopoly production rights over the state’s medical cannabis. Such hurdles were first pointed out by CMMNJ when the concept was floated in June.

On Sunday, Kate Greenwood, a Seton Hall University School of Law research Fellow wrote an OPED to the Bergen Record that closed the door on prospects for New Jersey’s Teaching Hospitals to be the only dispensers of medical marijuana. The group had lobbied for the plan to help fund their training programs through the sale of medical cannabis.

Now, the compassionate use law should be back on track to be implemented as written. This would require the Department of Health and Senior Services to issues rules and regulations in the fall. A registry for patients must be created along with guidelines for the six Alternative Treatment Centers.

Ken Wolski, Executive Director of the Coalition for Medical Marijuana New Jersey said, "Private citizens stand ready to offer their expertise and take on the necessary risks in order to serve patients. The medical marijuana law should be implemented as it is written without further delay. "

The Legislature recently granted a 90-day extension to the Christie Administration to put the Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act into practice. A 6-12 month delay was originally requested. Without further amendments the law is now scheduled to go into effect October 1, 2010 with full implementation currently mandated by January 2011.

Patients have been speaking with their health care professionals with positive results. Potential ATC operators have been gathering their resources and waiting for DHSS regulations. Advocacy groups will be intensifying efforts to educate the public and physicians about cannabis therapy.

The Coalition for Medical Marijuana holds monthly public meetings on the second Tuesday of each month that have seen greatly increased attendance.

CMMNJ's next meeting will be August 10, 2010 at the Lawrence Township Public Library at 7:00PM.

CMMNJ can offer local medical marijuana experts and potential patients for comment.

Ken Wolski or Chris Goldstein 609 394 2137 media@cmmnj.org

More about medical marijuana in New Jersey at www.cmmnj.org

NJ residents are contacting legislators: http://cmmnj.blogspot.com/2010/06/supporters-contact-your-legislators.html

Read the full text of NJ's medical marijuana law http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/2008/Bills/PL09/307_.HTM

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