Tuesday, January 17, 2012

PRESS RELEASE: Patients demand Gov. Christie, Legislature amend and implement medical marijuana law

The Coalition for Medical Marijuana New Jersey - CMMNJ
PRESS RELEASE - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 17, 2012
CONTACT: Ken Wolski 609 394 2137

Patients demand Gov. Christie, Legislature amend and implement medical marijuana law

(Trenton) - Medical marijuana patients and advocates will demand that Governor Chris Christie and the New Jersey Legislature amend and implement New Jersey’s medical marijuana law. A CMMNJ Press Conference will be held at the State House steps in Trenton, NJ on Wednesday, January 18, 2012 at 12:00 noon.

The “New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act" was signed into law on January 18, 2010. The bill was originally introduced in January, 2005. Today, not a single patient in this state has enjoyed the legal protection that this law was created to provide.

Ken Wolski, RN, executive director of the Coalition for Medical Marijuana--New Jersey, Inc. (CMMNJ) said, “Gov. Christie has delayed and obstructed this law since he took office. The Legislature is abandoning the seriously ill residents that this law was passed to protect. Qualifying NJ residents deserve to have this law working.”

New Jersey passed the first compassionate use law in the country that did not include provisions for patients or their caregivers to grow cannabis. Language to allow micro-plots of up to six plants was stripped away from the legislation at the Assembly Health Committee hearing chaired by Herb Conaway on June 4, 2009.

The Alternative Treatment Centers (ATCs) in the original bill were registered collective gardens but were re-designed as quasi-pharmacies after that hearing. Now seriously ill residents must rely on six regional ATCs for all of their marijuana. But ATCs have struggled to open, leaving NJ patients with no marijuana at all. Home cultivation is permitted in 14 states and this method guarantees safe and legal access to qualified, registered patients.

CMMNJ is calling on the Governor and Legislature to amend the Compassionate Use Act to restore the features that will move the program forward:
- Stop the physician registry and start the patient registry
- Restore home cultivation (six plants per patient/caregiver)
- Restore ATCs as collective gardens in addition to quasi-pharmacies
- Respect out-of-state ID cards
- Include explicit workplace and housing protection for registered patients

In addition CMMNJ reinforces our call on Governor Christie, the State Attorney General and the NJ Division of Consumer Affairs to immediately re-schedule marijuana under NJ controlled substances coding.

WHO: Medical marijuana patients, families and advocates
WHAT: Press Conference to demand that Governor Christie and the amend and the Legislature implement the New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act, two full years after it was signed into law
WHEN: Wednesday, January 18, 2012 at 12:00 noon
WHERE: The State House steps, Trenton, NJ
WHY: The governor has consistently delayed this law since he took office - patients have no legal protections
CONTACT: Ken Wolski 609 394 2137

CMMNJ, a 501(c)(3) public charity, provides education about the benefits medical marijuana.
Coalition for Medical Marijuana--New Jersey, Inc.
219 Woodside Ave., Trenton, NJ 08618
609.394.2137 www.cmmnj.org ohamkrw@aol.com

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