Tuesday, April 5, 2011
CMMNJ Agenda for April 12, 2011; March Minutes
Monthly Public Meeting Agenda
Lawrence Twp. Library (Mercer County) Room #3 (note room change)
Tuesday, April 12, 2011; 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
7:00 PM: Call meeting to order. Approve March 2011 minutes. Discuss:
DHSS awards permits to six NJ ATCs on 3/21/11; DHSS Commissioner Alaigh and Deputy Commissioner Walsh both resign. ATC’s “well connected.” Dr. Alaigh: “Marijuana is not medicine.”
New public comment period on DHSS Medicinal Marijuana Program rules ends 4/23/11. Submit written comments (see below) on the proposed rules, by regular mail, postmarked by April 23, 2011 to: Devon L. Graf, Director, Office of Legal and Regulatory Compliance, Office of the Commissioner, New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services, PO Box 360 Trenton, NJ 08625-0360.
Recent CMMNJ events: Dr. Oz Show airs with CMMNJ supporters 3/29/11. WRNJ debate on their Newsline segment from 3/17/11. CMMNJ’s “Update on Use of Medical Marijuana in NJ” at NJ State Nurses Assn. Convention, Atlantic City, 3/31/11--CEUs awarded to over 70 RNs. TCNJ Journalism Student Documentary Project, 3/18/11. Upcoming events: Medical Marijuana Expo in Atlantic City planned for 6/25/11 by Brendan--609.994.7184. Web site revamp in progress. Jahan Marcu at Morristown H.S. 4/12/11. NORML’s 40th Annual Conference, 4/21-23, Denver, CO.
Medical marijuana patient David Barnes: Case Dismissed!
Treasury report: Checking: $5,110; PayPal: $3,361. Make a tax-deductible donation to CMMNJ, a 501(c)(3) public charity. Use Paypal on our web site, or send a check to “CMMNJ” to the address below. Get a free t-shirt for a donation above $15—specify size.
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 their endorsement of our issue.) For more info, contact:
Ken Wolski, RN, MPA, Executive Director, Coalition for Medical Marijuana—New Jersey, Inc. 219 Woodside Ave., Trenton, NJ 08618 (609) 394-2137 email@example.com www.cmmnj.org
Monthly Public Meeting Minutes
Tuesday, March 8, 2011; 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
7:00 PM: Call meeting to order. January 2011 minutes approved. Discussion:
The DHSS held a Public Hearing on Medicinal Marijuana Program (MMP) rules on Mon., 3/7/11 at the Trenton War Memorial. DHSS officials did not respond to comments. CMMNJ held a Press Conference in the War Memorial foyer immediately following the hearing.
Legal papers filed by ASAP seeking an injunction to stop the DHSS MMP ATC RFA were denied by Appellate Court; DHSS accepted 20 applications; decision expected 3/21 on ATC permits. DHSS web site updated.
New public comment period on DHSS rules ends 4/23/11. Submit written comments on the proposed rules, by regular mail, postmarked by April 23, 2011 to: Devon L. Graf, Director, Office of Legal and Regulatory Compliance, Office of the Commissioner, New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services, PO Box 360 Trenton, NJ 08625-0360.
Civil disobedience discussed re: unresponsiveness of DHSS to public comments, “Mockery of Democracy.” CMMNJ is neutral on this issue. CMMNJ does not condone civil disobedience but we recognize its important role in bringing about social change.
Recent CMMNJ events: Stone Pony, Asbury Park, Bouncing Souls Feb. 9–12. Thanks to vols! CMMNJ met in Newark 2/15 with Mr. Calcagni, Dir. of Consumer Affairs, Office of the A. G. re: rescheduling marijuana in NJ. CMMNJ lecture at Ramapo College on 3/1/11. Testimony submitted in support of Maryland’s medical marijuana bill. WZBN interview, 3/3/11. Web site revamp in progress; $500 down payment made. Upcoming events: “Update on Use of Medical Marijuana in NJ” at NJ State Nurses Assn. Convention, Atlantic City, 3/31; CEUs available. Medical Marijuana Expo in Atlantic City being planned for 6/25/11 by Brendan 609.994.7184.
Treasury report: Checking: $5,177; PayPal: $3,280. $500 tax-deductible donation to CMMNJ, a 501(c)(3) public charity, received from a NJ patient.
The next CMMNJ meeting will be Tues., 4/12/11, at the Lawrence Library Room #1 from 7PM to 9PM. For info, contact: Ken Wolski, RN (609) 394-2137 firstname.lastname@example.org www.cmmnj.org email@example.com
February 25, 2011
Re: Medicinal Marijuana Program Changes Urged
Dear New Jersey Legislator:
The Coalition for Medical Marijuana—New Jersey (CMMNJ) and the Association of Safe Access Providers-New Jersey (ASAP-NJ) have reviewed the Medicinal Marijuana Program regulations published on Feb. 22, 2011 by the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services. Both groups have offered comments and suggestions to put these regulations in conformance with the statutory language and intent.
We believe that the changes we have made to the regulations represent the minimum necessary to have an effective program in accordance with the law. For a copy of the regulations with suggested deletions in brackets and additions underlined, see: http://www.scribd.com/doc/49541387/DHSS-Revised-regs-2-16-CMMNJ-ASAPNJ
I have drafted the Executive Summary, below, of the changes that we made. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Ken Wolski, RN, MPA
Coalition for Medical Marijuana--New Jersey, Inc. www.cmmnj.org
219 Woodside Ave., Trenton, NJ 08618 (609) 394-2137 firstname.lastname@example.org
Executive Summary of proposed changes to NJ DHSS Medicinal Marijuana Program regulations by CMMNJ & ASAP-NJ
1. Eliminate the entire physician registry;
2. Eliminate the arbitrary cannabinoid (THC, etc.) level and strain limits;
3. Significantly change the process to add debilitating medical conditions;
a. reduce the 2-year waiting period;
b. change the make-up of the review panel to include medical marijuana experts and patients;
c. require the panel to review scientific and medical research and evidence;
d. allow the review panel to make the final decision;
4. Eliminate arbitrary and capricious physician requirements;
a. the physician need not and cannot determine that providing the patient with multiple instructions creates an undue risk of diversion or abuse;
b. the physician’s certification need not include a statement on the “lack of scientific consensus for the use of medicinal marijuana”;
c. eliminate the requirement that the licensed physician also possess an active controlled dangerous substances registration;
d. eliminate the requirement that the physician seeking to authorize the medicinal use of marijuana by a minor obtain confirmation from a pediatrician and from a psychiatrist;
5. Stop micromanagement of ATCs;
a. allow ATCs to determine the makeup of their own Medical Advisory Boards;
b. remove the arbitrary ban on volume purchase discounting;
c. increase the allowable ATC inventory of processed on hand medical marijuana to 3 months supply per patient
d. allow more variety in products (at least cannabis butter, oil and tincture);
e. allow home delivery as the law does (but do not make it mandatory);
6. Protect patient privacy;
a. do not require ATCs to collect information on the medical conditions of patients;
b. do not require ATCs to collect patient surveys regarding pain control, etc.;
c. eliminate the requirement that the physician identify the patient’s diagnosis to the DHSS in a manner that compromises the patient’s confidentiality;
7. Make the patient/caregiver ID card process more patient-friendly;
a. reduce the fee for a patient ID card to $100 and for a caregiver ID card to $25;
b. do not make registry with an ATC a precondition of patient registration;
c. make application and renewal fees refundable if application is incomplete;
d. caregiver criminal history record background check need not be done every two years;
e. proof of state residency may include a notarized certification of residency containing the applicant’s address;
f. custodial parent, or guardian of a minor need not also be qualified as a primary caregiver;
g. eliminate the requirement that a person who voluntarily surrenders an ID must include a written notice to that effect;
h. clarify that the DHSS shall revoke a registry identification card for failing to qualify for medical marijuana, not that the individual “Ceases to have his or her debilitating condition.”
The “New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act" became law in January 2010. It went into effect on October 1, 2010. For a copy of the law, see: http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/2008/Bills/PL09/307_.PDF
The law removes the state-wide penalties for the possession and use of up to two ounces of marijuana a month when a New Jersey licensed physician recommends it for a patient with one of the qualifying medical conditions. Qualifying medical conditions include cancer, AIDS, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, etc. The physician must have an on-going responsibility for the patient’s condition. Patients will be issued ID cards in a program run by the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS). Patients may designate a caregiver to assist them with obtaining and using the marijuana. The caregiver must also register with DHSS and must undergo a criminal background check. The marijuana will be obtained from Alternative Treatment Centers which will be set up in the north, central and southern parts of the state. The Centers will be tightly regulated by the DHSS and the Department of Law and Public Safety. New Jersey is unique among the 15 medical marijuana states in that only the Garden State prohibits home cultivation of medical marijuana.
Specific information about how to apply to the DHSS for ID cards as a qualified patient or caregiver, or how to apply for a permit as an Alternative Treatment Center is available in the form of proposed regulations. (It is not possible to apply as a patient or caregiver yet. The DHSS has only started the physician pre-registry at this point.) The DHSS regulations were revised in mid-January, 2011, and are the subject of legislative debate at the moment. There is a Resolution in the legislature that will force the DHSS to invalidate all or parts of the regulations. Nevertheless, the DHSS has awarded permits on March 21, 2011 to six non-profit organizations to run ATCs in NJ. The DHSS thinks the soonest medical marijuana will be available to patients will be mid-summer, 2011. The information available to the public from the DHSS can be found at: http://www.state.nj.us/health/med_marijuana.shtml
For more info, join the CMMNJ e-mail list for monthly updates. Visit: http://www.cmmnj.org/ Click on the link on the front page that says: Click here.
The next CMMNJ meeting will be April 12, 2011 (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. (It's at the corner of Business Rt. 1 and Darrah Lane in Mercer County.) We also have Patient Advisory Groups (to add qualifying conditions to the law) and an ATC Advisory Group that meet at various locations.
CMMNJ, a 501(c)(3) public charity, provides education about the benefits of safe and legal access to medical marijuana. Donations to CMMNJ are income tax deductible. Help us to continue our mission with your generous financial support. Donations may be made via PayPal (click the link on our website) or send a check made out to “CMMNJ” to the address below. Donations of $15 or more qualify for a CMMNJ t-shirt—specify size. Thank you.