Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Open Letter to Governor Christie: Another hospice patient dies in needless pain

January 20, 2012

Dear Governor Christie,

I am writing to you in regard to the Medical Marijuana (MM) issue. Recently, I lost my mom. She was receiving hospice services at home after her return from the hospital. She was being administered morphine, methadone and God knows what else. After her hospital stay she became worse and at home all hospice could do was to medicate her and assist her in what they deem a comfortable death experience.

I contacted a doctor at Hackensack Medical Center that was enrolled in the MM program that had the permission to write a MM prescription. However, I was told that the program was on hold and that he could not follow through and that dispensaries were not yet in place. My moms’ pain management physician was all for it but had no idea how to do it. I had a contact that manufactures MM for California dispensaries but due to Federal law I could not attain it and I was not going to attempt anything illegal. I called the Governor’s office but that was as frustrating as anything could ever be. I’m not saying that the MM treatment could have saved my mom but maybe it could have managed the pain better and induced some appetite rather than having her literally starve to death and more or less dry up inside from the medication that was given her. Maybe it could have given her a few weeks of peace and happiness. Is that so bad?

All life is precious and sacred and particularly to me in this case. This was my one and only mom and I wanted to leave no stone unturned. Some research says that MM can destroy cancerous brain cells. The hold that pharmaceuticals seem to have on our system is not only ludicrous but also criminal. The intent of lawmakers seems just as bad. I’m not saying that MM should be available for recreational use but I’m not so sure it shouldn’t be either since alcohol and tobacco are much worse. At least make it available to hospice patients.

Why is New Jersey always the last with everything? Can’t we for once step up and be a leader. I voted for you and believed in you but now I’m not so sure about either party with the mess our nation is in. It seems that politicians / lawmakers are always putting themselves first and forgetting about the well being of the people, the individual and our nation.

I am a singer songwriter musician. I’ve just produced a music video called “Home America”. I’m telling you this because I put my effort and time into this because I love this country and I want you to know this. I may not be a scholar but I am no simpleton either. Please visit my video at: www.charleslallo.com. Also I’ve had the good fortune to have star of stage and screen, actor/singer Danny Aiello also record my song on his latest album called “Bridges”. I intend to do my part to make our nation better beginning right here in New Jersey; this state that I truly love being a part of, raised and bred.

As people we have to stop appearing to be doing the right things and begin to truly do the right things. This MM issue can be dispensed, marketed and presented in a way that can enlighten people to doing things in a certain way, in a way that is beneficial for everyone. We need to be educated in the essence of human nature and the sacredness of life. Let’s make the MM issue work for us and not for the underground community.

Needless to say I have anger in my heart because I have been personally affected by my mom’s death. I believe the scenario could have been different if we had a more clear perspective and open hearts and minds on this subject of MM. This is a God-given plant. My mom was in great shape at the age of 90. People’s first reaction is that she had a full life and at 90 maybe her time was due. This may be so but then again there is not a rule book that says one must die at 90 or 80 or even 60. People are living longer these days and if we were a more enlightened society this could be. But instead we choose to poison our foods, our air, our water and even our thoughts. Our capitalist society is suffering because we have sacrificed our integrity. Capitalism is great when integrity and caring are implemented factors.

She didn’t have to die and MM would not have turned her into a drug addict at age 90. God gave us this plant that has been used throughout the ages as a medicinal. It is natural and some may make the arguments that so are heroin and cocaine natural. Well, cocaine is not natural. In its natural form it is the cocoa leaf, which is still used in South America to help with menstrual cramps, fever and many other ailments. It is the warped sense of humankind that turns it into the dangerous substance of cocaine. As for heroin, I believe that with pure and proper intent it can be used to help those with deep psychological problems and trauma under strict restricted use. But as people we are so greedy, corrupt and downright evil all too often. It is time for America to wake up and become somewhat enlightened to the fact that no nation can stand divided and that now more than ever we need to care for each other and recognize truth and righteousness and not put up a fa├žade. I wish I could have your ear and the opportunity to make this argument. I believe I am correct in my thinking and perspective and not carry the frustration of not being able to make my case.

I thank you for reading this and I hope your aides do allow this to get through to you. I am one that was in favor of you being our president but then again you are only human and that means that you are not perfect either. Therefore, I ask that you keep an open mind and heart and do this MM in a way that helps. There is no known lethal dose for MM. I’m sure every drug addict began with marijuana and every alcoholic with a beer. But not everyone that smoked a joint or drank a beer becomes an addict. Please consider what I am saying. Thank you again.

Very truly and respectfully yours,

Charles A. Lallo Jr.
charl@charleslallo.com

Monday, January 23, 2012

NJ Supreme Court Agrees: MS Patient Must Spend 5 Years in State Prison














WHO: New Jersey Supreme Court
WHAT: Refused to hear the appeal of MS patient John Ray Wilson who was denied a medical defense for his use of marijuana
WHEN: January 20, 2012
WHERE: Trenton, NJ
WHY: The Supreme Court agrees there is no “personal use” exemption for the charge of "manufacturing" marijuana

New Jersey multiple sclerosis (MS) patient John Ray Wilson is preparing to resume his 5-year prison sentence after the state Supreme Court denied certification, refusing to hear his appeal, on January 20, 2012, according to his lawyer, William Buckman. Buckman called the Appellate Court decision that the Supreme Court let stand, “wrongheaded and a vicious travesty.”

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.

On July 26, 2011, an Appellate Court affirmed the conviction and sentencing. The Appellate Court agreed with the trial judge that there was no “personal use” exemption to the charge of manufacturing over ten marijuana plants. It did not matter that Wilson was using the marijuana to treat his MS, the Appellate Court ruled. They agreed that five years in prison for this crime was an appropriate sentence.

Governor Chris Christie has so far ignored appeals from State Senators Scutari and Lesniak for a pardon for Wilson. Ken Wolski, RN, executive director of the Coalition for Medical Marijuana--New Jersey (CMMNJ) said, “This is further proof that there is no justice for medical marijuana patients in New Jersey.”

The National MS Society confirmed in an Expert Opinion Paper that standard therapies often provide inadequate relief for the symptoms of MS and that marijuana helps with MS symptoms such as pain and spasticity and could limit disease progression. An estimated 15% of people with the disease use marijuana for symptom relief, according to the MS Society. 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.

CMMNJ, a 501(c)(3) public charity, is a non-profit educational organization.

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





Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Medical marijuana law: patients demand amendments and implementation














WHO: Medical marijuana patients, families and advocates
WHAT: Hold a Press Conference to demand that the Governor and the Legislature amend and implement the Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act, after two full years
WHEN: Wednesday, January 18, 2012 at 12:00 noon
WHERE: The State House steps, Trenton, NJ
WHY: The governor has delayed this law since he took office; patients have no legal protection

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 at a Press Conference 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. Still, not a single patient in this state has enjoyed the legal protection that this law was designed 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 also abandoning the seriously ill residents that this law was passed to protect. Qualifying New Jersey 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 guarantees safe and legal access to qualified, registered patients.

CMMNJ is calling on the Governor and the Legislature to support amendments to the Compassionate Use Act:
restore home cultivation (six plants per patient/caregiver);
restore ATCs as collective gardens, in addition to quasi-pharmacies;
restore chronic pain from any cause as a qualifying condition and respect out-of-state ID cards;
add explicit workplace and housing protection for registered patients;
stop the physician registry and start the patient registry; and,
reschedule marijuana to a more appropriate schedule that acknowledges marijuana’s accepted medical uses in the U.S., its safety profile and its low addiction potential.

CMMNJ, a 501(c)(3) public charity, provides education about the benefits medical marijuana.

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

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

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Patients to protest 2-year delay of medical marijuana law in Trenton, 1/18/12










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


Patients to protest Gov. Christie’s failure to implement medical marijuana law

WHO: Medical marijuana patients, families and advocates
WHAT: Press Conference to protest this administration’s failure to implement the New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act for 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 is unable or unwilling to protect seriously ill New Jersey patients who use marijuana with the recommendation of a licensed physician

Medical marijuana patients and advocates will protest Governor Chris Christie’s failure to implement New Jersey’s medical marijuana law at a Press Conference at the State House steps in Trenton, NJ on Wednesday, January 18, 2012 at 12:00 noon.

Governor Jon Corzine signed the “New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act" into law on January 18, 2010. The bill was originally introduced in January, 2005 by Senator Nick Scutari. Still, not a single patient in this state has enjoyed the legal protection that this law was designed to provide.

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 one of the qualifying medical conditions. Qualifying medical conditions include cancer, AIDS, Crohn’s disease, glaucoma, seizures, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, intractable muscle spasticity and any terminal illness. Patients are issued ID cards and obtain marijuana from Alternative Treatment Centers (ATCs) in a program that is monitored, controlled and overseen by the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS).

As of January 18, 2012, two full years after the bill became a law, not a single patient ID card has yet been issued. Not a single ATC is open. Not a single legal marijuana plant is yet growing in the state. Worse, legitimate patients in New Jersey continue to be arrested, prosecuted and face long prison terms for using marijuana for their serious medical conditions. Ken Wolski, RN, executive director of the Coalition for Medical Marijuana--New Jersey, Inc. (CMMNJ) said, “Not only is the Christie administration unable or unwilling to implement this law, but there is no effort by this administration to mitigate the legal consequences of those patients who are being terribly penalized by this inaction.”

CMMNJ, a 501(c)(3) public charity, provides education about the benefits medical marijuana.

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

CMMNJ Supports Marijuana Farming



The Coalition for Medical Marijuana--New Jersey, Inc. (CMMNJ) supports Assemblyman O'Scanlon's legislation that would prevent local officials from stopping the cultivation of medical marijuana.

The Upper Freehold Township Committee adopted an ordinance in December that was designed to ban medical marijuana facilities in its township. The committee said that they would not permit any facility there that was engaged in an activity that is against federal law.

The type of ordinance that was passed by Upper Freehold Township, and several other communities, was ill-advised for several reasons.

These ordinances are designed to thwart the New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act in favor of the deeply flawed federal law, the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). The federal law is flawed, in part, because it refuses to recognize that there are accepted medical uses for marijuana in the U.S. The CSA does so despite abundant evidence to the contrary which includes a large and growing body of scientific evidence and the laws of 16 states and the District of Columbia, as well as pending legislation in at least ten other states;
These ordinances are designed to undo an important state’s right. As a traditional right of a state, New Jersey has the power to define the practice of medicine within its borders. That is exactly what it has done for the health and welfare of its citizens—indeed, its most desperately ill citizens—when it passed the Compassionate Use Act;
These ordinances are clear attempts to subvert state law, and may well be illegal. These communities are first and foremost part of the State of New Jersey, not federal territories, and they should not be subverting state laws; and,
These ordinances were motivated by fear and Reefer Madness, and not by a reasonable evaluation of the risks and benefits of having an Alternative Treatment Center or its production facility located in the community.











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

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

CMMNJ January 2012 Agenda & Dec. Minutes














Monthly Public Meeting Agenda
Lawrence Township Library, Room #3
Tuesday, January 10, 2012; 7:00 PM -- 9:00 PM

7:00 PM: Call meeting to order. Approve November 2011 minutes. Discuss:

January 18, 2012 will be the second anniversary of the New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act being signed into law. Press release and State House press conference planned for noon. Still, in NJ, there are no ID cards, no ATCs open and patients are still facing long prison terms.

Four states (CO, RI, WA & VT) petition the feds to reschedule marijuana.

CMMNJ supports FDA-approved study on marijuana for veterans with PTSD; stalled by NIDA. Jim Miller’s efforts to educate congressmen in D.C.

Presentation from marijuanadoctors.com; Marijuana Action Committee proposal to Board.

Upcoming events: ATC hearing Camden City Hall, 1/9/12 at 5:30 pm. Major CMMNJ fund raiser planned for Feb. 24 & 25, 2012. Save the dates! Rally to support Ed (NJWeedman) Forchion at Burlington Co. Court, Mt Holly, April 10, 2012. NORML NJ meeting at 7 pm on the 2nd Monday of each month, Joe’s, Trenton—Feb. meeting on 2/6; fundraiser 2/11. Seventh National Clinical Conference on Cannabis Therapeutics, 4/26-28/12, Tucson, AZ.

Recent events: Colleen Begley pre-trial motions 12/15/11 in Burlco Superior Court. Upper Freehold Township attempts to ban ATCs with ordinance, 12/15/11.

Treasury report: Checking: $3424; PayPal: $3072. 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 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 ohamkrw@aol.com www.cmmnj.org















Monthly Public Meeting Minutes
Tuesday, December 13, 2011; 7:00 PM -- 9:00 PM

7:00 PM: Call meeting to order. October 2011 minutes approved. Discussion:

NJDHSS adopts rules for Medicinal Marijuana Program essentially without changes, despite voluminous comments and suggestions for a more workable program (low THC content, unpopular MD registry, no new conditions for years to come, etc.) (Only changes come from BME’s proposed rules.) Legislators have lost their resolve to invalidate at least some of the more onerous rules from the Heath Dept. (NJDHSS). CMMNJ supports NJ’s decrim bill.

Chris Goldstein gave a brief presentation on Occupy Wall Street/Occupy Philly. Chris proposes a Marijuana Action Committee with a budget and monthly actions. Board awaits proposal.

Groups in N.J. given OK to sell medical marijuana are having trouble gaining local approval

Frank Fulbrook gave a presentation on his upcoming meeting with the Camden Co. Zoning Board for ATC approval in that community. The meeting will be on Mon., 1/9/12 at 5:30 pm at Camden City Hall Council Chambers, 2nd floor. Supporters are encouraged to attend.

RUTGERS-EAGLETON POLL: MAJORITY OF NEW JERSEY VOTERS SUPPORT MARIJUANA DECRIMINALIZATION; Overwhelming support for medical use. Chris spoke with pollsters: At 86% approval, nothing has ever polled as high as medical marijuana in NJ!

Re: Marijuana may help PTSD. Why won’t the government find out for sure? Jim Miller educated congressmen in D.C. and will go again 12/20; CMMNJ to defray travel expenses.

Upcoming events: Major CMMNJ fund raiser planned for Feb. 24 & 25, 2012. Save the dates. Rally to support medical marijuana patient Ed Forchion Burlington Co. Superior Court, Mt. Holly, April 10, 2012. The trial of Colleen Begley and John Wilson’s Supreme Court appeal.

Treasury report: Checking: $3496; PayPal: $3072.

Ken Wolski, RN, Coalition for Medical Marijuana—New Jersey
(609) 394-2137 ohamkrw@aol.com www.cmmnj.org