Thursday, June 7, 2012

CMMNJ Agenda for June 2012

Monthly Public Meeting Agenda
Lawrence Township Library, Room #3
Tuesday, June 12, 2012; 7:00 PM -- 9:00 PM

7:00 PM:  Call meeting to order.   Approve May 2012 minutes.  Discuss:

ATC update: Montclair ATC growing marijuana?  No other ATC has permit to grow.  Update on lawsuit filed on 4/4/12 by NORML NJ attorneys Wm. Buckman and Anne Davis on behalf of a New Jersey medical patient who would qualify for cannabis access.

New Jersey Moves to Decriminalize Marijuana Possession; A1465 passes Assembly Judiciary Committee unanimously on 5/21/12.  CMMNJ supporters testify at hearing.

Connecticut Becomes 17th Medical Marijuana State, June 1, 2012.

Vanessa Waltz met with Congressman Holt on 6/5/12 re: medical marijuana trial for veterans with PTSD and ongoing federal obstruction of marijuana research.  Larry Vargo represented CMMNJ at the Million Marijuana March, May 19 in Philadelphia.

NJ Medical Marijuana current court cases:

Ed (NJWeedman) Forchion convicted of possession; hung jury on distribution charge.  Freed awaiting retrial.   

John Wilson released to Intensive Supervision Program (ISP) after about 4 months in prison.

On-going cases: Eric Hafner, Middletown, NJ; Colleen Begley, Burlington County.

Upcoming events: NORML NJ meeting, 7 pm, June 11 at the Ale House, New Brunswick, NJ.

Treasury report: Checking: $2647; PayPal: $3339. 

CMMNJ 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.  Snacks are served.  (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

Monthly Public Meeting Minutes
Lawrence Library
May 8, 2012  

7:00 PM:  Call meeting to order. April 2012 minutes approved. Discussion:

ATC update: Montclair ATC to start growing marijuana.  Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) released a list of registered physicians on 4/16.  Egg Harbor ATC, nor any other ATC, still has not received permit to grow.  Camden update: lawsuit pending against Zoning Board for refusal to approve ATC. 

On April 4, NORML NJ attorneys William Buckman and Anne Davis filed a lawsuit on behalf of a New Jersey medical patient who would qualify for cannabis access.  CMMNJ is not part of the lawsuit, but supports it.  Update awaited; delays expected.

Update re: medical marijuana trial for veterans with PTSD.  Get NIDA out of the loop.

CMMNJ attended Ramapo College “Greenfest” on 4/20/12, thanks to Larry Vargo.

Vanessa Waltz wrote a letter to her Breast Cancer Survivor’s Group re: medical marijuana.

NJ Medical Marijuana current court cases:

Eric Hafner, on-going Middletown, NJ case. 

Rally for Ed (NJWeedman) Forchion, Burlington Co. Court, Mt Holly, May 1, 2012 @ 8 am.  Colleen Begley’s case also in Burlco.

Write to inmate John Wilson #716024B, Jones Farm, P.O. Box 7100, West Trenton, NJ 08628 

Events: Million Marijuana March, May 19 in Philadelphia.
NORML NJ meeting at 7 pm on May 14 at the Ale House, New Brunswick, NJ.
Seventh National Clinical Conference on Cannabis Therapeutics, 4/26-28/12, Tucson, AZ.

Treasury report: Checking: $2647; PayPal: $3339. 

Ken Wolski, RN, MPA, Executive Director, Coalition for Medical Marijuana—New Jersey, Inc. 219 Woodside Ave., Trenton, NJ 08618   (609) 394-2137

Recent Media Coverage and Blogs:

Alternative Treatment Centers:

The New Herb in Town

Medical Marijuana Court Cases:

Man with multiple sclerosis who grew pot is out of prison after 5 months

New Jersey medical marijuana grower freed from jail

Prosecutor: NJWeedman is a "charlatan ... a wolf in hemp clothing"


'NJWeedman' Convicted of Pot Possession

NJWeedman asks court to set aside guilty verdict


Changing pot law in Jersey:

Editorial: Reduce N.J. marijuana possession penalities to fit the crime:

New Jersey Moves to Decriminalize Marijuana Possession:

Pot decriminalization advances:

Decriminalizing pot is a logical move for state:

The Record: Time to exhale

Cutting marijuana penalties cuts incarceration costs:

NY pot plan: Right step or bad message?

Should Smoking Marijuana be Decriminalized? [POLL]

Connecticut Becomes 17th Medical Marijuana State

Newark Mayor Cory Booker declares support for medical marijuana

A Judge’s Plea for Pot:

Bipartisan Amendment to Defund Obama Medical Marijuana Raids

Medical Marijuana Raids To Continue After House Defeats Defunding Bill:

Decriminalize possession of small amount of marijuana
The Coalition for Medical Marijuana-New Jersey Inc. (CMMNJ) supports Assembly Bill A1465, which decriminalizes possession of 15 grams of marijuana or less. This bill will provide a level of protection for thousands of sick, disabled and dying patients that New Jersey’s medical marijuana law does not provide.
The mission of CMMNJ is to educate the public about the medical benefits of marijuana. Since CMMNJ was founded in 2003, board members have taken a strictly neutral stance on the issue of broader legalization of marijuana. But at this time, the board of CMMNJ has endorsed A1465 for these reasons:
• More than two years have passed since the New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act was signed into law, yet not a single patient has received legal medical marijuana.
• Patients continue to be arrested and imprisoned in this state for using medical marijuana illegally to treat their medical conditions. 
• Countless patients who could benefit from medical marijuana are currently disqualified from participating in New Jersey’s medicinal marijuana program and will continue to be disqualified for the foreseeable future.
A1465 will receive its first public, legislative hearing in the Assembly Judiciary Committee today at 10 a.m. in the Statehouse Annex. CMMNJ urges the committee members to approve the bill.
-- Ken Wolski, RN, MPA,
The writer is executive director of the Coalition for Medical Marijuana-New Jersey Inc. (

See also: (CMMNJ) Testimony in Support of A1465:

Friday, June 1, 2012

MS Patient John Wilson Released to ISP

New Jersey multiple sclerosis (MS) patient John Ray Wilson was released from a New Jersey Department of Corrections minimum security facility yesterday to the Intensive Supervision Program (ISP).  Wilson served over four months of his 5-year prison sentence at the DOC.   Wilson will spend approximately 16 months in the ISP, if he is successful in the program.  According to the manager of the program, ISP officers devote approximately 80% or their time to direct field supervision, involving themselves in almost every aspect of the participants’ lives.  Wilson was careful to explain that a provision of his release is that he not speak publicly about medical marijuana during his time under the ISP.  He is not available for media interviews at this time.

Wilson was arrested on August 18, 2008 and was charged with “manufacturing” 17 marijuana plants that he used to treat his MS.  Wilson faced 20 years in state prison for this crime.  At trial, Superior Court Judge Robert Reed would not let the jury hear the reason that Wilson grew the marijuana plants, essentially removing Wilson’s only defense.  Many members of the community felt this was an injustice and protested outside the court house in Somerville.  In December 2009 Wilson was acquitted of the most serious charge, but he was convicted of a second degree charge of manufacturing marijuana.  He was sentenced to five years in prison on March 19, 2010, but granted bail pending appeal.    
On July 26, 2011, an Appellate Court affirmed the conviction and sentencing. The state Supreme Court refused to hear his appeal on January 20, 2012 and Wilson was taken into custody seven days later.   State legislators and many supporters called for a pardon for Wilson.  However, Governor Christie refused to pardon Wilson, and even called into question the legitimacy of his MS diagnosis.  Prison medical staff meanwhile treated Wilson promptly and appropriately for his MS.

MS is a qualifying condition for marijuana therapy in New Jersey according to the two-year-old Compassionate Use Act, but the state’s Medicinal Marijuana Program is not operational yet.

Ken Wolski, RN, MPA, Executive Director 
Coalition for Medical Marijuana--New Jersey, Inc.
219 Woodside Ave., Trenton, NJ  08618