Sunday, December 29, 2013
The Coalition for Medical Marijuana New Jersey, Inc. (CMMNJ) is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) educational organization, incorporated in the State of New Jersey.
The mission of CMMNJ is to educate the public and lawmakers about the medical benefits of marijuana. The goal of CMMNJ is to have safe and legal access to medical marijuana for qualified New Jersey patients.
In 2013, CMMNJ held nine monthly public meetings at the Lawrence Township Library in Mercer County. (The February and November meetings were canceled by the library due to schedule conflicts, and the December meeting was canceled due to snow.) At the meetings, Board members and volunteers planned a number of events and educational programs. CMMNJ sent the agenda and minutes of these meetings via e-mail to over 3000 supporters each month.
CMMNJ’s open public meetings for 2014 will continue to be held on the second Tuesday of each month from 7 - 9 PM at the Lawrence Twp. (Mercer County) Library on Darrah Lane at Business Rt 1. All are welcome and there is no charge to attend.
Highlights of 2013:
Coming in at #5 in nj.com's Top 10 NJ medical stories of the past ten years: “MEDICAL MARIJUANA BILL APPROVED”
“For the state of New Jersey to recognize the medical effectiveness of this medicine is significant,” says Ken Wolski, executive director of the Coalition for Medical Marijuana in New Jersey.
However, Wolski says the effect of the state’s medical marijuana law is limited because of the stringent regulations.
NJ’s Medicinal Marijuana Program (MMP): By the end of 2013 it is nearly four full years since the Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act was signed into law on January 18, 2010, and only about 400 patients have received medical marijuana in the state.
12/6/13 was the first anniversary of what the Associated Press called “Legalization Day,” the day Washington State’s marijuana legalization law went into effect. Coincidentally, 12/6/13 was also the anniversary of the start of New Jersey’s Medicinal Marijuana Program, one year after 20 patients legally purchased marijuana from a dispensary in Montclair, New Jersey.
Throughout most of 2013, only one dispensary, Greenleaf Alternative Treatment Center (ATC) in Montclair was selling marijuana, by appointment, to registered New Jersey patients. Greenleaf restricted its sales to North Jersey residents and sold marijuana for $480 - $560/ounce. The State of New Jersey required Greenleaf to add 7% sales tax to the price of the marijuana, the only medication in the state that is taxed. Greenleaf has had a limited supply of marijuana—patients cannot get the 2 ounces a month they are entitled to, and had to settle for lesser amounts. Lozenges and transdermal patches were supposed to be available to patients but never were. Greenleaf closed for several months during the year and then was open for only a few hours a week, serving about 130 patients. Patients reported 2 to 7 months wait for an appointment after receiving an ID card from the New Jersey Department of Health (DOH). The waiting list of patients who had ID cards was close to 1000 for most of the year. For an example of the impact this had on individual patients, see: http://www.ahherald.com/opinion-mainmenu-30/op-ed/15427-medical-marijuana-program-takes-does-not-give
The DOH issued a permit on 6/6/13 for Compassionate Care Foundation (CCF) of Egg Harbor Twp. to begin growing medical marijuana. CCF opened 10/28/13, but there have been concerns about the quality of the marijuana available from CCF. CCF dedicated its dispensary to Diane Riportella, a tireless Egg Harbor Township woman who fought for medical marijuana for five years, testifying before lawmakers from a wheelchair despite the ravages of Lou Gherig’s Disease (ALS). Diane died in 2012, a few months before the first dispensary opened.
The ATC in Woodbridge, NJ, Garden State Dispensary (GSD) was issued a grow permit in October and had its official opening on 12/4/13. High quality marijuana has reportedly been available to patients from GSD.
Overall, CMMNJ sees the MMP as a failure—failing the vast majority of patients in the state who could benefit from it. Tens of thousands of qualified patients die every year without getting legal access to marijuana. 25,000 hospice patients die every six months in NJ. They are all entitled to safe and legal access to medical marijuana and none of them get it.
Marijuana can help dying patients in many ways: it eases pain without over-sedation, it improves appetite, and it raises spirits. It's unconscionable to let these people die without it because of bureaucratic foot-dragging or overly-cautious government restrictions.
As reported in the 2012 CMMNJ Annual Report:
“We’re happy some people are getting the medicine they’re entitled to,” said Ken Wolski, executive director of the Coalition for Medical Marijuana-New Jersey, in a published report on phillyburbs.com. “But I don’t think getting medical marijuana out to 300 patients after three years is a success story. I think it’s evidence that there are major problems with the program.”
CMMNJ Board members made strong statements about the current state of the program throughout the year. In March, Vanessa Waltz was quoted in NJ Spotlight:
“Governor Christie, this is a crisis,” said Princeton resident Vanessa Waltz, who has used marijuana to ease pain related to cancer. “You can call me and the other patients across our state seeking relief criminals, but denying patients safe, legal and timely access to
medical marijuana as allowed by New Jersey state law, now that’s the real crime.”
CMMNJ Executive Director said in an April story for PhillyBurbs.com:
“It’s pitiful,” Wolski said. “People who need medical marijuana come to me in tears. They’re crying about themselves or a loved one suffering because the dispensaries the law says should be open by now aren’t.”
Medical marijuana has won the hearts of New Jerseyans. An Eagleton Poll in October 2011 showed 86 percent of residents support medical marijuana.
“With numbers that high, you wonder why any elected official would hesitate to wholeheartedly embrace this program,” Wolski said. “Many people believe Christie is personally obstructing the law with these delays in the program,” Wolski said. “He runs the Department of Health, no question about that. He’s the most powerful governor in the country in terms of his autocratic ability to run things, yet we still don’t have a full implementation of a program that is mandated by law?”
Press Conferences: CMMNJ held a Press Conference on 3/21/13 at noon in the State House Annex regarding the problems associated with NJ’s Medicinal Marijuana Program. The Press Conference was very successful and resulted in media coverage throughout the state.
"NJ's medical marijuana program is not where it should be three years into its implementation," said Patient/Activist Jay Lassiter who uses medical cannabis to treat symptoms associated with HIV treatment. "It's over-regulated, over-taxed and inaccessible, especially for terminally ill patients who live in the Southern 2/3 of the state. It's hard to imagine the State Government running any program so incompetently. New Jersey's
Medical Marijuana represents Big Government at its worst."
The DOH replied to advocates’ concerns by saying the Fiscal Year 2014 Budget proposal for the MMP nearly doubles funding for the program with an increase of $823,000 for a total of $1.6 million. CMMNJ was not convinced that a budget increase would help the MMP. The regulations need to be changed to fix the problems of low quality, high price and limited access to medical marijuana.
The CMMNJ/Cheryl Miller Medical Marijuana Memorial was observed on 6/7/13, in the Trenton Statehouse. There was a well-attended Press Conference at noon, but the planned march to the Department of Health through the streets of Trenton was cancelled due to inclement weather.
The Children’s Campaign: A group of NJ parents whose children have a severe form of epilepsy that responds to no medication—or even brain surgery—started a campaign in 2013 for easier access to a type of marijuana that shows great promise in controlling seizures.
The marijuana these parents seek is high in CBD, one of over 60 cannabinoids in marijuana, and low in THC, the cannabinoid responsible for euphoria. The parents faced an uphill battle. While the NJ Compassionate Use Act allows minors to use medical marijuana, the regulations imposed by the Christie administration required a psychiatrist and a pediatrician to sign off on the minor’s use of marijuana, in addition to the specialist, e.g., neurologist, who would actually recommend the marijuana. The regulations also limited the type of marijuana that could be grown in NJ to only three strains, of the hundreds of strains available. High CBD/low THC marijuana was not one of those strains. Moreover, the marijuana available in NJ was only in the form of dried flowers with lozenges or transdermal patches also allowed, but not available.
These parents contacted their elected officials and the media and social media and coordinated their activities with medical marijuana advocates. Activities included petitions, demonstrations and letters-to-the-editors.
The campaign quickly went viral.
National news media, including television and radio picked up the compelling story, with photos of adorable children and passionate and articulate parents, one a registered nurse, fighting desperately for appropriate medicine for their children. Some of the parents attended the CMMNJ press conference in the Statehouse on June 7: http://vimeo.com/69631430
State Senator Nicholas Scutari introduced S2842 on 5/30/13 in response to the situation.
S2842, and A4241, the identical Assembly bill introduced by Assemblywoman Linda Stender, would simplify access to medical marijuana for NJ minors who have qualifying conditions, eliminate the three strain limit, and allow for edible products to be sold at ATCs. S2842 passed the Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing by a vote of 8-3 on 6/6/13. The Assembly Budget Committee approved the bill, 9-1 on 6/20/13 along with a vote in the entire senate 25 - 13. The entire Assembly approved the bill on 6/24/13 by a vote of 55-13-9. The bill then went to the desk of the governor.
On 8/1/13, the parents staged their own Statehouse Press Conference, delivering over 2000 letters to Gov. Christie in an effort to publicly urge him to sign the legislation. The campaign was given a boost by Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN chief medical correspondent, who very publicly endorsed medical marijuana and even referenced how crucial it can be for childhood epilepsy in his nationally televised documentary, “Weed,” which aired 8/11/13.
One of the parents, Brian Wilson, publicly confronted the governor on 8/14/13 and pleaded with him not to let his daughter die. S2842 was conditionally vetoed on 8/16/13 by Gov. Christie, who insisted a pediatrician and psychiatrist were necessary to approve medical marijuana for minors. However the governor agreed to eliminate the 3-strain limit, and allowed edibles, but for minors only. The legislature approved the changes and the bill was signed into law by Gov. Christie on 9/10/13.
Thus we see that it took a compelling children's campaign that went national, followed by several acts of the state legislature for Gov. Christie to agree to any changes to his overly restrictive MMP rules. CMMNJ feels that there is little hope for the meaningful implementation of this program during the Christie administration.
As 2013 drew to a close, it became clear that despite the legislative success of the children’s campaign, the type of medicine the parents needed in a form that the children could tolerate would not be available anytime soon from the ATCs in NJ. Assemblywoman Linda Stender sponsored A4537, a bill that would allow qualifying NJ patients to possess and use medical marijuana legally obtained from another jurisdiction and extend State medical marijuana laws to qualifying out-of-State patients. Gov. Christie said he will not sign such legislation. Governor Christie said, "See this is what happens. Every time you sign one expansion, then the advocates will come back and ask for another one. Here's what the advocates want: They want legalization of marijuana in New Jersey. It will not happen on my watch, ever. I am done expanding the medical marijuana program under any circumstances. So we're done."
CMMNJ was quick to respond to the governor: "It's very unfortunate the governor is continuing to obstruct this program. The medical marijuana program in New Jersey is a failure and a disgrace right now. It's been four years since this bill passed into law," Wolski said. "The department of health has only managed to get marijuana out to a couple of hundred patients in the entire state." While 50 percent of voters do favor legalization, said Wolski, the goal of Stender's bill is simply a medical marijuana program that works.
Sabina Rose Joana died on Dec 2, 2013. She was a 15 month old NJ resident with a form of epilepsy known as Dravet Syndrome. Her parents were desperately trying to obtain high CBD medical marijuana for her that is available in Colorado and other medical marijuana states, but not in NJ. This tragic death could have been prevented by what's in Asw. Stender's bill. http://www.ladybud.com/2013/12/03/sabina-rose-2012-2013/
One of the parents in the children’s campaign, Brian Wilson, made plans at the end of 2013 to move his family from their Scotch Plains home to Colorado, in order to have safe and legal access to the medicine that his child needs, in a form that his child can tolerate.
Lawsuit against DOH for causing harm to patients: On April 4, 2012 two prominent New Jersey lawyers, Anne Davis and William Buckman, filed a lawsuit on behalf of patient-plaintiffs who qualified for medical marijuana in the state but who have been unable to obtain it, and who suffered harm as a result. One plaintiff had no alternative but to treat his symptoms with pharmaceutical drugs prescribed by his physician. These prescription drugs caused severe physical injury to his body. The other plaintiff was a hospice patient who died before she was able to obtain the many benefits of medical marijuana, to which she was entitled by law.
The lawsuit asks the court to award damages to these plaintiffs and to remove many of the restrictions in the MMP, in order to provide patients greater ease of access.
The first hearing on this lawsuit was on 1/24/13. The judge ordered the lawsuit to be referred from Superior Court Law Division to the Superior Court Appellate Division, since the defendant was a state agency, the Department of Health (DOH). Oral arguments in the lawsuit against DOH were heard in Appellate Court in Mt. Holly on 9/18/13. The lawyers asked the court: to continue the tort claims against the DOH; to force the DOH to do what the law requires; to declare certain regulations ultra vires (beyond the law); and, to appoint CMMNJ a monitor for the MMP. The 3-judge panel has yet to render its decision on this lawsuit by the end of 2013.
Medical marijuana patients in NJ courts: Ed (NJ Weedman) Forchion: In January 2013 a Superior Court Judge in Burlington County sentenced Forchion to fines and probation for possessing a pound of marijuana. This is a ground-breaking case. It is the first time a defendant has argued a medical defense of marijuana before a NJ jury. It was a successful outcome--acquittal on the distribution charge, for which Forchion faced 10 years in a NJ prison, and conviction, but only probation, on the possession charge.
A previous attempt to use a medical defense before a NJ jury for a marijuana offense was in MS patient John Wilson’s case in Somerset County. The medical defense was disallowed by the judge who sentenced Wilson to five years in prison on 3/19/10.
Unfortunately for Mr. Forchion, there was a technical violation of his probation for which he was sentenced to intermittent incarceration. Gov. Christie has ignored his petition for a pardon.
Other high profile medical marijuana patients who have been dragged through the criminal justice system in New Jersey in 2013 for using medical marijuana include Joe D’Souza in Bayonne Municipal Court, Amy Doherty in Medford Court, and Mike Miceli of Jackson, NJ. Cancer survivor and NJ MMP ID card holder Joseph D’Souza’s arrest and trial is documented at the CMMNJ bog at: http://cmmnj.blogspot.com/2013/04/joseph-dsouzas-trial.html?showComment=1366326205007
Marijuana Decriminalization: A bill to decriminalize 15 grams of marijuana, A1465, passed the entire NJ Assembly 6/25/12. In the Senate, Senator Nicholas Scutari introduced S1977, a bill to decriminalize 50 grams of marijuana. S1977 was never scheduled for a committee hearing in all of 2013. Governor Christie vowed to veto marijuana decriminalization legislation when it gets to his desk. Christie has said, "The war on drugs, while well-intentioned, has been a failure.” Christie recommended a year of mandatory treatment for first-time, nonviolent drug offenders instead of jail time. The mandatory treatment would presumably include medical marijuana users who have not been able to gain access to the state’s MMP.
The CMMNJ Board supports marijuana decriminalization in New Jersey for the following reasons:
• Almost four years have passed since the New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act was signed into law, yet only a handful of qualifying patients have received legal medical marijuana;
• Patients continue to be arrested and imprisoned in this state for using medical marijuana illegally to treat their medical conditions; and,
• 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.
CMMNJ Board member and medical marijuana patient Jay Lassiter said while publicly exhaling
marijuana smoke on MyFoxPhilly.com, "The end of prohibition is coming," Lassiter said. "The beginning of the end is near. It has arrived. It is – it's coming out of my lungs."
Progress: The Pennsylvania State Nurses Association (PSNA) endorsed medical marijuana in 2013. “PSNA supports protection from prosecution for patients who currently use medicinal marijuana or for providers suggesting medicinal marijuana for relief of intractable conditions or symptoms.”
Illinois became the 20th medical marijuana state in 2013.
CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta endorsed medical marijuana.
Assemblyman Peter Barnes (D-Middlesex) has proposed a bill in February (A765) that forbids rejecting a patient for any medical procedure because they use medical marijuana — specifically organ transplants.
Smoke Down Prohibition, the monthly demonstrations at the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia have been high-profile events for marijuana reform. Former CMMNJ Board member Chris Goldstein was cited for marijuana smoking along with others in acts of civil disobedience. Goldstein faces six months in prison and a $1000 fine for possession of a single joint when he goes to trial in federal court (601 Market St., Philadelphia) on 1/23/14 at 10:30 am.
CMMNJ Calls for Congressional Hearings on Medical Marijuana: There should be Congressional Hearings on Medical Marijuana, specifically on why the Department of Justice (DOJ) thinks it can interfere with a state’s legitimate medical marijuana program.
Marijuana is considered to be medicine in 20 states and the District of Columbia. It is an abridgement of the constitutional separation of powers for the DOJ to interfere with these programs.
The U.S. Supreme Court has already acknowledged (in the Garden Grove decision) that states have the right to determine the proper practice of medicine within each state. In the Garden Grove case the U.S. Supreme Court let stand a lower court’s decision that said: "Congress enacted the Controlled Substances Act to combat recreational drug abuse and curb drug trafficking. Its goal was not to regulate the practice of medicine, a task that falls within the traditional powers of the states.”
The DOJ can no more consider state-licensed marijuana dispensaries to be “illegal drug dealers” than it can consider state-licensed pharmacies to be illegal drug dealers. These actions by the DOJ are an unconstitutional infringement on the traditional rights and powers of a state to define health care practices within that state, and these actions by the DOJ must stop.
Thanks to CMMNJ volunteers! On behalf of the Board of Directors of CMMNJ, I would like to thank all of our supporters for their tireless efforts throughout the year. As we are an all-volunteer organization, we are nothing without you! Special thanks go to:
Jim Price has been volunteering his time updating the http://cmmnj.org web site.
Courageous patients like Rowyn Capers (AKA Susan Sturner) have been granting media interviews to put a human face on the issue of medical marijuana, and to explain how marijuana helps them better than anything else. See: http://cj.sunne.ws/files/2013/01/Lawrence_0116.pdf
“Lefty” Grimes has been producing high quality videos of medical marijuana patients and families in New Jersey and posting these videos on YouTube and social media sites.
Terry Stern has been writing persuasive letters-to-the-editors of state newspapers and encouraging others to do the same.
Also, CMMNJ is grateful for the many discussions, ably moderated by seven administrators, on Facebook’s Friends of the Coalition for Medical Marijuana-NJ at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/62462971150/
CMMNJ members attended the following public events in 2013:
-CMMNJ’s 10th anniversary party/pot luck dinner was held at Peter Rosenfeld’s house on 3/9/13.
-A National Medical Cannabis Unity Conference, “Harnessing Our Power for Victory,” sponsored by Americans for Safe Access (ASA), 2/22 -25/13, Washington, D.C.
-NORML Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference, 3/16/13, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.
-"Medical Marijuana Update: New Jersey's program, the law and the science," NJ Chapter of the Nat’l. Case Management Society, Woodbridge Hilton, 4/17/13, (2 CEU’s for nurses awarded).
-SSDP demonstration on 4/20/13 at Rowan U.
-“The Science of Marijuana,” 4/4/13 with Dr. Jahan Marcu, Ramapo College Greenfest 4/20/13.
-Global Cannabis Marches 1st Sat. in May, New York and Philadelphia.
-NORML NJ meetings on the second Monday of each month at the Ale House, New Brunswick.
-Radio interview on WFAN with Bob Salter 4/7/13.
-Gay Pride Parade, Asbury Park, 6/2/13.
-CMMNJ fundraiser on 6/12/13 8am to 9pm at the Pop Shop, Collingswood, NJ.
-MS Beef ‘n Beer, Philadelphia, 3/23/13; CMMNJ was denied access to this event at the gate! For more, see: http://cmmnj.blogspot.com/2013/03/ms-society-refuses-medical-marijuana.html
-CMMNJ/Cheryl Miller Medical Marijuana Memorial, 6/7/13, in the Statehouse, Trenton, NJ.
-Grandma Lobbies for Medical Marijuana: Silver Tour Lobby Day: First Ever Senior Citizen Marijuana Rally In Nation's Capitol, 6/17/13, Washington, D.C.
-"Kickin' Up Dust Summer 2013" Slightly Stoopid Tour, Stone Pony, Asbury Park, NJ, 8/9/13.
-Lenny Frieling, LEAP speaker, in Millburn, NJ on 7/23/13.
-NORML NJ/Don DeZarn Legalize Marijuana Tour, Statehouse, Trenton, NJ, 9/8/13.
-Ewing Community Fest: Sat., 10/5/13, 10 am to 5 pm at TCNJ.
-Boston Freedom Rally, 9/14 & 9/15/13, Boston Commons, Boston, Massachusetts.
-Martin Lee book signing of “Smoke Signals” at Hamilton Barnes & Noble 9/30/13.
-Benefit dinner with Martin Lee, Bonnie Waltz’s Princeton home, 9/29/13.
-Lawrence Community Day, 10/6/13, Lawrence Twp., NJ.
-"Medical Marijuana: Legislation + Education = Blueprint for Change" New Jersey State Nurses Association Convention, 10/9/13, Bally’s, Atlantic City. CEUs for nurses.
-Frank Fulbrook Memorial, 9/6/13, Sacred Heart Church, Ferry Ave., Camden.
-Ed (NJ Weedman) Forchion, Evesham Court, 9/12/13 (Brownie Day).
-Amy Doherty, Medford Court, medical marijuana possession case.
-Homegrown Radio (WRNJ) 20-minute Interview with Ken Wolski, 8/22/13.
-Radio interview: DoseNation 26: Ken Wolski, http://www.dosenation.com/listing.php?smlid=8771
-Monthly Smoke Down Prohibition Demonstrations & Civil Disobedience, Liberty Bell, Philadelphia
2013 CMMNJ Publications:
CMMNJ Monthly Agendas and Minutes also contain links to published reports by and about CMMNJ Board members and friends. For the 2013 CMMNJ Agendas and Minutes, see:
Dec. 2013: http://cmmnj.blogspot.com/2013/12/cmmnj-december-2013-meeting-agenda.html
Oct. 2013: http://cmmnj.blogspot.com/2013/10/cmmnj-october-8-2013-meeting-agenda.html
Sept. 2013: http://cmmnj.blogspot.com/2013/09/cmmnj-meeting-agenda-for-september-10.html
Aug. 2013: http://cmmnj.blogspot.com/2013/08/cmmnjs-august-2013-public-meeting-agenda.html
July 2013: http://cmmnj.blogspot.com/2013/06/cmmnj-july-9-2013-public-meeting-agenda.html
June 2013: http://cmmnj.blogspot.com/2013/06/cmmnj-june-2013-public-meeting-agenda.html
May 2013: http://cmmnj.blogspot.com/2013/05/cmmnj-public-meeting-agenda-for-may-14.html
April 2013: http://cmmnj.blogspot.com/2013/04/cmmnj-april-9-2013-meeting-agenda-march.html
March 2013: http://cmmnj.blogspot.com/2013/03/cmmnj-public-meeting-agenda-for-march.html
Feb. 2013: http://cmmnj.blogspot.com/2013/02/cmmnj-january-8-2013-meeting-minutes.html
Jan. 2013: http://cmmnj.blogspot.com/2013/01/cmmnj-january-8-2013-meeting-agenda.html
The April 2013 issue of "New Jersey Nurse" contains the following article: "New Jersey’s Medicinal Marijuana Program Update"
(New Jersey Nurse & Institute for Nursing Newsletter Page 13):
CMMNJ’s Voter Registration Drive produced the following video: “Chris Christie Plays Politics with the Law. Sick patients suffer. Sometimes worse.”
CMMNJ Board Update: CMMNJ Board of Directors meetings were held on 2/12/13 and 5/2/13. At the close of 2013, the CMMNJ Board consists of the following 10 members: Kenneth R. Wolski, Executive Director, James Miller, Senior Director, Edward R. Hannaman, Esq., Secretary, and
Board members James Bissell, Diane Fornbacher, Nick Mellis, Peter Rosenfeld, Vanessa Waltz, Larry Vargo, and Jay Lassiter.
The Honorary CMMNJ Board Member is Allan Marain. (Sadly, Honorary Board Member Frank Fulbrook died in 2013.)
The CMMNJ Board presented Ken Wolski with a beautiful plaque for his decade of medical marijuana work at CMMNJ’s 10th anniversary party/pot luck dinner at Peter Rosenfeld’s house on 3/9/13.
Treasury Report: A detailed treasury report was forwarded to CMMNJ Board members. In summary, CMMNJ has a checking account and a PayPal account. In 2013, CMMNJ had expenditures of $4,342 and income of $4971. CMMNJ finished the year with a checking account balance of $4,029, and a PayPal account balance of $3,707. CMMNJ received $562 as part of a Facebook Billboard campaign, generously started by Justin Alpert, Esq. This campaign will continue into 2014.
We are grateful for the generous financial support of all who contributed to our mission to educate the public about the benefits of medical marijuana.
CMMNJ’s 2014 recommendations are to support the efforts to:
-Stop all federal harassment of medical marijuana patients and treatment centers.
-Begin national clinical studies of marijuana for MS and PTSD.
-Reschedule marijuana to a more appropriate schedule.
-Implement the New Jersey Compassionate Use Act in a way that brings timely access of high quality and affordable marijuana to qualified patients in a safe and secure manner.
Schedule of CMMNJ 2014 meetings:
CMMNJ’s free, public meetings will continue to be held on the second Tuesday of each month from 7 - 9 PM at the Lawrence Twp. (Mercer County) Library, Room #3, except for November. The Lawrence Library is not available in November 2014. All are welcome at these meetings and snacks are served. Meeting at the library does not imply the county’s endorsement of our issue.
Also, follow CMMNJ on Facebook, Friends of the Coalition for Medical Marijuana-NJ at:
Ken Wolski, RN, MPA
Coalition for Medical Marijuana—New Jersey, Inc. http://www.cmmnj.org
219 Woodside Ave., Trenton, NJ 08618
December 29, 2013
CMMNJ, a 501(c)(3) public charity, is a non-profit educational organization.
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Monthly Public Meeting Agenda,
Lawrence Township Library, Room #2
Tuesday, December 10, 2013, 7:00 PM -- 9:00 PM
Approve October 2013 minutes. Discuss:
NJ’s Medicinal Marijuana Program: Compassionate Care Foundation, the ATC in Egg Harbor Twp. opened Oct. 28, 2013, but there have been concerns about the quality of the marijuana available. The ATC in Woodbridge, Garden State Dispensary, is scheduled to have its official opening on Dec. 4, 2013, but high quality marijuana has reportedly been available to patients there already. There is still no Appellate Court decision on the lawsuit against DOH’s MMP. During a hearing on 9/18/13, plaintiff’s lawyers asked the court: to continue the tort claims against the DOH; to force the DOH to do what the law requires; to declare certain regulations ultra vires (beyond the law); and, to appoint CMMNJ a monitor for the MMP.
ASW Linda Stender introduced A4537 which will permit qualifying patients to possess and use medical marijuana legally obtained from another jurisdiction and extend State medical marijuana laws to qualifying out-of-State patients. Gov, Christie said he will not sign such legislation. Sabina Rose Joana died on Dec 2, 2013. She was a 15 month old NJ resident with Dravet Syndrome. Her parents were desperately trying to obtain high CBD medical marijuana for her.
Upcoming Events: Amy Doherty, Medford Court, 12/4/13, medical marijuana possession case.
Chris Goldstein & Don DeZarn’s federal marijuana possession cases are scheduled for 12/19/13 at 10:30 am at 601 Market St., Philadelphia, PA.
Smoke Down Prohibition XII, Liberty Bell, Philadelphia, 12/21/13, 3:30 pm.
"Medical Marijuana” at the New Jersey State Nurses Assn. Convention, 10/9/13, Atlantic City.
“The Future of Marijuana” A panel discussion 11/7/13, Rutgers, Livingston.
Treasury report: Checking: $3993; PayPal: $3707. Billboard campaign continues.
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.)
Ken Wolski, RN, (609) 394-2137 firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.cmmnj.org
Facebook: Friends of CMMNJ: https://www.facebook.com/groups/62462971150/?fref=ts
CMMNJ, a 501(c)(3) public charity, is a non-profit educational organization.
Monthly Public Meeting Minutes
October 8, 2013; 7:00 PM -- 9:00 PM
There will be no November 2013 meeting due to a scheduling conflict with the library.
The next CMMNJ meeting is December 10, 2013, 7 - 9 PM at the Lawrence Twp. Library. The Oct 8 meeting covered all the agenda items listed. I advocated for CMMNJ to have an ambitious 5 year plan to gather evidence and support so we are ready to move forward to establish an actual Medical Marijuana Program in the next gubernatorial administration.
We had a discussion on improving CMMNJ's web site.
Short discussion of the Oct 24th U.S. Court hearing stemming from Smoke Down Prohibition IX, the Philadelphia event at which former CMMNJ Board member Chris Goldstein was cited. Goldstein faces six months in prison and a $1000 fine for possession of a single joint.
Greenleaf ATC reopened with limited access. Egg Harbor ATC was scheduled to open in September, but never did. (It opened Oct. 28, 2013.) Woodbridge ATC (CCCofA) given grow permit by DOH. It was reported that Breakwater ATC has no location at the present time.
The group discussed changing current law to allow edibles for adults, eliminate the Dr. registry, and film hospice patients to dramatize their cause and get another Dr. (whom a board member knows) to support med MJ.
Voter Registration Drive: “Chris Christie Plays Politics with the Law. Sick patients suffer. Sometimes worse.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wZSPusqlxDs New matter: There were concerns raised over the costs to produce this video. An idea was vetted to produce a video of patients with several people volunteering to help on the project.
Oral arguments in the lawsuit against DOH were heard in Appellate Court, Mt. Holly, 9/18/13. NORML NJ lawyers asked the court: to continue the tort claims against the DOH; to force the DOH to do what the law requires; to declare certain regulations ultra vires (beyond the law); and, to appoint CMMNJ a monitor for the MMP. The 3-judge panel may decide as early as Nov.
NJ.COM/Inside Jersey: Medical marijuana—one of the greatest medical stories of the past 5 yrs.
Recent Events: Ewing Community Fest: Sat., $85 collected.
Lawrence Community Day, 10/6/13, $91 collected.
"Medical Marijuana: Legislation + Education = Blueprint for Change" New Jersey State Nurses Association Convention, Atlantic City, 10/9. (Well received by the nurses.)
Boston Freedom Rally, 9/14 & 15, Boston Commons, $149 collected.
Martin Lee, discussion and book signing of “Smoke Signals” at Hamilton Barnes & Noble 9/30/13; Dinner and discussion of “Project CBD” at Bonnie Waltz’s home 9/29/13.
Discussion about another Med MJ patient on trial hoping to use the med necessity defense: Amy Doherty, Medford Court, 11/6/13, 4pm, medical marijuana possession case.
Treasury report: Checking: $4297; PayPal: $3537. Billboard campaign continues.
More info: Ed Hannaman, Esq. http://www.cmmnj.org
Facebook: Friends of CMMNJ: https://www.facebook.com/groups/62462971150/?fref=ts
CMMNJ, a 501(c)(3) public charity, is a non-profit educational organization.
Recent Media Coverage and Blogs:
Medical marijuana facility to open Oct. 28 in Egg Harbor Township
NJ’s 3rd Marijuana Dispensary Begins Patient Registration
Medical marijuana dispensary in Woodbridge opening Dec. 4th, owner says
N.J. lawmaker introduces bill allowing medical marijuana patients to buy from other state programs
Chris Christie says no to bill expanding medical marijuana program
Sabina Rose, 2012-2013
NJ Gov. Chris Christie Prefers Dead Kids Over Stoned Adults
A Possible New Use for Medical Marijuana
Wendy Conte: State should legalize medical marijuana
NJ Gives $350K to Pot Dispensary
Medical Pot: One Patient’s Plea
NJ: Dedication Ceremony for 2nd Medical Marijuana Dispensary Friday in Egg Harbor
PROFILE: 'DR. MARIJUANA' SAYS TOO MANY PATIENTS SUFFER NEEDLESSLY
N.J.'s youngest medical marijuana patient gets her turn
Poll: Should N.J. allow medical marijuana patients to buy from other state programs?
Visualization of the Endocannabinoid signaling system.
Medical Marijuana Patient Gets STABBED Then Gets Arrested
Garden State Dispensary Day One
Governor of Pennsylvania: Legalize medical marijuana for adults and children
Seen At 11: Medical Marijuana For Your Dog?
Preventing marijuana-induced memory problems with OTC painkillers
Central Pennsylvania conservative joins medical marijuana push
VETERAN’S DAY: Medical Marijuana and PTSD
Pennsylvanians for the Legalization of Medical Marijuana
Chris Christie Plays Politics with New Jersey Medical Marijuana Law, Patients Suffer
Delaware May Permit Just One Medical Marijuana Dispensary
Time to Legalize Pot? A Majority Of Americans Are In Favor Of Legalizing Marijuana [POLL]
With Suit, Parents of Boy With Seizures Press Arizona Officials on Marijuana Act
Pot patients’ poor treatment
New PA medical marijuana bill: All spark and no fire?
Tapping Medical Marijuana’s Potential
NJ Weedman asks Gov. Christie to waive staggered prison term so he can receive cancer treatment
Pet owners increasingly using medical marijuana to help their pets feel better