Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Year End Report 2014 Coalition for Medical Marijuana—New Jersey



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 2014, CMMNJ held eleven monthly public meetings at the Lawrence Township Library in Mercer County.  (The November meeting was not held due to the Veterans Day holiday.)  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 and posted the agendas on Facebook, Twitter and on the CMMNJ blog.

CMMNJ’s open public meetings for 2015 will continue to be held on the second Tuesday of each month from 7 - 9 PM at the Lawrence Twp. (Mercer County) Library, 2751 Brunswick Pike Lawrenceville, NJ 08648.  All are welcome and there is no charge to attend.

Highlights of 2014:

CMMNJ’s Op Ed on 1/24/14 endorsed legalization of marijuana in New Jersey as the best way to meet patients’ needs.  “Opinion: N.J. should legalize, tax and regulate marijuana:”
http://www.nj.com/times-opinion/index.ssf/2014/01/opinion_nj_should_legalize_tax.html

CMMNJ argued:
“Patients need a consistent and reliable source of marijuana, in a wide variety of preparations, for illnesses that may well last a lifetime. Many patients and their families are fleeing New Jersey — they are becoming medical refugees — in order to obtain adequate treatment with types and preparations of marijuana that are only available out of state. Colorado’s orderly implementation of a system of taxed and appropriately regulated marijuana — free of unreasonable federal interference — shows that we can do the same in New Jersey and meet the needs of all the medical marijuana patients in this state.”

State Senator Nicholas Scutari promised to introduce marijuana legalization legislation the day CMMNJ’s Op Ed was published. Sen. Scutari introduced S1896 on March 24, 2014.  An Assembly companion bill to legalize marijuana, A3094, was introduced by Assemblywoman Linda Stender and Assemblyman Reed Gusciora.

There was growing support for marijuana legalization during 2014 as the New Jersey State Prosecutor’s Association (150 state prosecutors) endorsed legalization, and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU NJ) called for legalization, taxation and regulation of marijuana as a top priority.  A Gallup Poll from 10/13 showed 58% of Americans now support marijuana legalization.  Media support for legalization of marijuana in NJ was very encouraging.

The New York Times endorsed legalization of marijuana with a powerful and persuasive five-part editorial series.  The Times said:
"It has been more than 40 years since Congress passed the current ban on marijuana, inflicting great harm on society just to prohibit a substance far less dangerous than alcohol. The federal government should repeal the ban on marijuana."

Election 2014: Alaska, Oregon, & Washington D.C. legalized marijuana.

The Florida medical marijuana constitutional amendment fell just short of passing with 58% of the vote (60% was needed), but advocates insist the fight is far from over.  Indeed, marijuana law reform, and the conversations leading to it, is sweeping the nation.

In addition to the legal sales of marijuana in Colorado, legalized marijuana sales started in Washington State on 7/8/14.

“CMMNJ TV” began broadcasting from Princeton Community TV on 11/11/14.

Episodes run twice a week for two weeks—on Tues., at 10 pm & Fri., at 10:30 am on Comcast Ch. 30 & Verizon FIOS Ch. 45. The first taping of “CMMNJ TV” was at the Princeton TV Studio on 6/24, and tapings continue one day each month.  Episodes of “CMMNJ TV” also include footage shot outside the studio and are edited by Ed “Lefty” Grimes of “Sativa Cross”.

Petition for Rulemaking: CMMNJ filed a formal request to the Department of Health (DOH) for medical marijuana regulatory changes in October.
The Petition was noted in the National Law Review.

Opinion: CMMNJ had two additional Op Eds published in 2014: “The elderly and medical marijuana” in the Courier-Post on 9/17:
http://www.courierpostonline.com/story/opinion/columnists/2014/09/17/commentary-elderly-medical-marijuana/15758431/Ken
and,
“Legal marijuana use for adults - a smart idea” in The Times of Trenton on 11/2:
http://www.nj.com/opinion/index.ssf/2014/11/opinion_legal_marijuana_use_for_adults_would_be_a_smart_idea.html
 
Marches and Rallies: Several large and successful rallies for marijuana reform were held in Trenton this year.  These rallies were coordinated by local activists Ed “NJWeedman” Forchion and Kyle Moore.  On April 20, about 150 people marched through Trenton and rallied at the Statehouse in Trenton. On October 18, 2014, about 250 people again marched through Trenton and rallied at the Statehouse during the “NJ Cannabis Conference.” This was the largest marijuana demonstration in New Jersey history.

The rallies included the open use of marijuana by adults, both by card-carrying patients and also as acts of civil disobedience by non-qualifying patients and their supporters. Marijuana was also openly used at the rallies by those who support the non-medical use of marijuana for religious and social/recreational and creative purposes.  There were no arrests at the rallies.

Jennie Stormes, RN demonstrated the shortcomings of the state’s Medicinal Marijuana Program (MMP) each Thursday at the Trenton Statehouse from 11am–1pm.  These weekly demonstrations were held a total of 20 times, from July 10 through November 20. Jennie called these demonstrations, “PATIENTS SPEAK UP—The NJ Medical Marijuana Program is failing patients!” Jennie asked, “Why do parents have to beg for their children’s lives?”  CMMNJ supported Jennie and the other parents who demonstrated.

CMMNJ’s Jim Miller continued the weekly demonstrations after Jennie was forced to flee to Colorado in search of appropriate medical marijuana treatment for her son, Jax.

Jennie & CMMNJ met with officials from the DOH and the Christie administration on 8/7/14. While this and previous meetings were cordial, they have not led to any progress in the MMP.

The weekly protests also included the parents of Sabina Rose Joana, who died on Dec 2, 2013.  Sabina Rose was a 15 month old NJ resident with Dravet Syndrome, a seizure disorder, who died because her parents could not obtain high CBD medical marijuana for her in New Jersey.  Sabina died on the very day, and the very hour, that Governor Christie announced he was “done” expanding the medical marijuana program.  Many other parents with sick children attended the weekly demonstrations.

Demonstrations at Governor Christie’s “Town Hall” meetings let the governor and the public know of the general dissatisfaction with the MMP.

For more info on the growing movement for marijuana reform in the Garden State, see: http://kylemoore.blog.com/2014/12/07/an-activist%E2%80%99s-perspective-on-the-nj-marijuana-movement/

Congress and the Feds: The House of Representatives voted in May to defund the federal war on medical marijuana.  New Jersey’s representatives cast 8 “Yes” votes and 3 “No” votes: Democrats – Holt, Y; Pallone, Y; Pascrell, Y; Payne, Y; Sires, Y. Republicans – Frelinghuysen, N; Garrett, Y; Lance, N; LoBiondo, Y; Runyan, Y; Smith, N.

The U.S. Senate agreed to defund the federal war on medical marijuana programs as part of an appropriations bill and President Obama signed the bill into law in December.  More at:
http://cmmnj.blogspot.com/2014/06/house-votes-to-end-war-on-medical.html

New York: Governor Cuomo endorsed medical marijuana in New York. British TV (ITV, an affiliate of NBC) met CMMNJ to get the reaction of New Jersey advocates to Gov. Cuomo’s announcement. British ITV also wanted to film some of this state’s MMP participants as they partook in their medicine. Volunteers were happy to oblige.

The New York medical marijuana bill was approved by the Assembly and Senate; New York became the nation’s 23rd medical marijuana state when Governor Cuomo signed the bill into law on 7/7/14.  New York’s limited medical marijuana bill included a “no smoking” provision.

Pennsylvania: The Pennsylvania State Nurses Association (PSNA) endorsed medical marijuana in 2013 and it has consistently supported the issue throughout 2014.  A legislative hearing was held in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on that state’s medical marijuana bill, S1182, on 1/28/14.

The bill made significant progress in the legislature, though some of the amendments made during this process weakened the bill.  It is hoped that with a new governor coming on board who is more supportive of medical marijuana, further progress will be made in 2015.

Nurses, the largest group of healthcare professionals in the U.S., and the strongest supporters of medical marijuana in the healthcare industry, were ranked by the American public as the most honest and ethical profession for the thirteenth straight year according to a Gallup poll this December.  Fully 80 percent of Americans rated nurses’ honesty and ethical standards as “very high” or “high,” 15 percentage points above ANY other profession.  The American Nurses Association endorsed medical marijuana more than a decade ago.

New Jersey’s Medicinal Marijuana Program (MMP):
Dec. 6, 2014 was the second anniversary of legal sales of marijuana in New Jersey.  Jan. 18, 2015 will be the 5th anniversary of the Compassionate Use Act becoming law.

The DOH reported that over 3,000 ID cards for patients and caregivers have been issued in the state; over 300 doctors have signed onto the physician registry (about 1% of the doctors in the state) and three Alternative Treatment Centers (ATCs) are open--half the minimum allowed by the law--dispensing medical marijuana to qualified patients.

Overall, the MMP is the failure that CMMNJ predicted it would be.  New Jersey’s program has limited patient access to limited varieties and only one form of medical marijuana—dried flowers--while charging the highest price in the nation.  The Biennial Report from the DOH notes, “The price of one ounce of medicinal marijuana dispensed by New Jersey ATCs ranges from $400.00 to $520.00 with an average price of $469.00.”

No state charges more than New Jersey, and the illegal market prices are significantly lower.  On top of this, New Jersey charges patients 7% sales tax on medical marijuana—the only medicine in the state that is taxed.

The MMP fails the vast majority of patients in the state who could benefit from it.

Hundreds of thousands of residents of the state could benefit from the therapeutic effects of marijuana, yet they continue to be denied access.  Tens of thousands of qualified patients die every year without getting legal access to marijuana. Over 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.

Edible marijuana products are still not available in New Jersey, nor are residents permitted to obtain these products from jurisdictions where they are available.

The Compassionate Use Act allowed for the expansion of the MMP’s outlets and qualifying conditions, but the DOH has not even begun the process for expanding the program.  Gov. Christie said of New Jersey’s MMP and the programs elsewhere: "This program and all these other programs, in my mind, are a front for legalization.”

Jim Miller confronted Governor Christie before his 2014 State of the State speech, letting him know we were NOT done expanding the Medicinal Marijuana Program, as the governor insists.

The Appellate Court finally ruled in January on the lawsuit against the DOH that CMMNJ took part in.  New Jersey lawyers Anne Davis and William Buckman filed a lawsuit in April 2012 on behalf of patient-plaintiffs who qualified for medical marijuana in the state but who were unable to obtain it, and who suffered harm as a result.  The lawsuit asked 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, and to appoint CMMNJ a monitor for the MMP.

The three-judge panel ruled that the DOH must produce MMP reports within 45 days (from 1/13/14). The Court rejected the tort claims and complaints about the restrictive regulations.  The DOH produced two Medicinal Marijuana Program reports as a result of this Appellate Court decision.  See:
http://www.state.nj.us/health/medicalmarijuana/reports.shtml

Current bills in New Jersey’s Legislature: Several marijuana reform bills were introduced into the New Jersey Legislature in 2014, S1896/A3094 (to legalize, tax and regulate marijuana); A3525/S2312 (to fix the MMP); A3726 (to add PTSD to the list of conditions that qualify for marijuana therapy) and, A218 (to decriminalize marijuana).

None of these bills had committee hearings in 2014, which is the first step in the process of a bill becoming law in New Jersey.  Gov. Christie has vowed to veto any of the bills that get through the legislature to his desk.

S1896/A3094 Legalizes the possession, use, and purchase by adults in New Jersey of one ounce or less of marijuana; legalizes the home cultivation of up to six marijuana plants, and possession of the marijuana produced by the plants on the premises where the plants were grown, provided that the growing takes place in an enclosed, locked space, is not conducted openly or publicly, and is not made available for sale; allows the free transfer of one ounce or less of marijuana to a person who is 21 years of age or older; permits the use of marijuana, as long as it is not used openly and publicly or in a manner that endangers others; allows for the licensing of marijuana cultivation facilities and retail marijuana stores; provides for the taxation of marijuana that is commercially produced and sold in the state.

A3525/S2312 Provides a comprehensive fix to the state’s inadequate MMP.  A3525/S2312 eliminates the physician registry, expands qualifying conditions, restores limited home cultivation for patients, protects organ transplant patients, eliminates the tax on the sale of marijuana, includes explicit employee protection, eliminates the caregiver background check and all fees, allows patients to obtain medical marijuana from out-of-state, and honors out-of–state ID cards in New Jersey, allows any edible form of marijuana for patients of any age; eases rules for ATCs, provides for testing of marijuana on request, provides training for Law Enforcement Officers on the MMP, and forbids the DOH from issuing overly restrictive or unduly burdensome regulations for the law.

A218 Decriminalizes possession of 15 grams or less of marijuana for adults in New Jersey, and establishes civil  penalties instead: $150 for a first violation; $200  for a second violation; $500 for a third or subsequent violation.  The bill does not provide for a legal system of production and distribution of marijuana.  There is no Senate companion bill.

A3726 Authorizes medical marijuana for qualifying patients with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). There is no Senate companion bill.

Medical marijuana patients in court:
In November 2014, Ed (NJ Weedman) Forchion submitted court papers appealing a 270-day jail sentence he had already served from a 2010 motor vehicle stop.  Forchion said New Jersey’s marijuana laws are “racist” and contradictory.  In January 2013 a Superior Court Judge in Burlington County sentenced Forchion to fines and probation for possessing a pound of marijuana in 2010.
Unfortunately for Mr. Forchion, there was a technical violation of his probation for which he was sentenced to intermittent incarceration.  Forchion argued in his recent appeal that:
"The pretrial rulings prevented defendant from arguing that the law he was being prosecuted under was contradictory and thus constitutionally flawed…For the foregoing reasons and authorities cited, including the ACLU Report, (New Jersey’s) marijuana laws are unconstitutional as they are inherently and de facto discriminatory. The defendant’s conviction must be reversed and the indictment dismissed."

The ACLU NJ report on racial disparity in marijuana arrests can be found at:
https://www.aclu.org/criminal-law-reform/aclu-report-reveals-black-new-jerseyans-are-more-likely-be-arrested-marijuana

John Wilson neared the end of his prison sentence, and 2-years of probation (including forced attendance at Narcotics Anonymous Meetings), for treating his multiple sclerosis (MS) with home-grown marijuana.  Probation Officers also subjected Mr. Wilson to urine drug screenings to ensure that he was NOT taking the medical marijuana that he is legally entitled to take in New Jersey by virtue of his diagnosis.  Mr. Wilson was just one of many medical marijuana patients who have been dragged through the criminal justice system in New Jersey.

Colleen Begley is currently incarcerated in the state prison system for providing medical marijuana to patients.

Mike Whiter, a veteran with PTSD, pled guilty to marijuana possession in federal court and was fined. Mike was one of the leaders of “Smoke Down Prohibition,” the monthly demonstrations at the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia that have been high-profile events for marijuana reform.

Former CMMNJ Board member Chris Goldstein was cited for marijuana smoking along with Don DeZarn and others in acts of civil disobedience.  Goldstein and DeZarn faced six months in prison for possession of a small amount of marijuana when they went to trial in federal court. Chris and Don were sentenced to two years of supervised probation, $3000 fine each, and banned from Independence Hall National Historic Park, which included being banned from the Free Speech Zone.

CMMNJ members attended the following public events in 2014:

SMOKE DOWN PROHIBITION rallies and civil disobedience at Independence Park, Philadelphia, PA. Chris Goldstein & Don DeZarn’s federal marijuana possession court cases as a result of these rallies, 1/27/14 at 601 Market St., Philadelphia, PA. Sentencing of Chris Goldstein & Don DeZarn, 3/26/14.  SMOKE DOWN PROHIBITION rally continued on 4/20/14 at Independence Park, Philadelphia, PA.

“Ignorance is No Excuse” tour of NJ police departments (PDs) with Ed “Lefty” Grimes, Chuck Kwiatkowski and others document their attempt to find areas to safely medicate in NJ and they distribute the state Attorney General’s Medical Marijuana guidelines to local PDs.

Central NORML NJ meetings resumed monthly at Joe’s Mill Hill Saloon, Trenton 1/13, 3/10, 4/14, 5/12, 6/9, 7/14, 8/11, 9/8/14.  In November and December, the NORML NJ meetings moved to Ewing Twp.'s Firkin Tavern where they will continue on the 3rd Wednesday of each month at 7 pm in 2015.

CMMNJ testified at the Assembly Regulatory Oversight Committee Hearing on NJ’s MMP, 2/20/14.

Parents’ Medical Marijuana Press Conference, State House, 2/27/14.

“Going Away Party” for Medical Refugee Diane Fornbacher, Collingswood, NJ 2/22/14.

Sanjay Gupta’s documentary, “Weed 2” aired on CNN, 3/11, featuring NJ's Wilson family.

Radio interview with Peter Lamont: Marijuana in the Garden State with Ken Wolski, 3/31/14.

NORML NJ Women’s Alliance at Ramapo College, 3/13/14 at 1 pm.

Marijuana Panel Discussion, National Council on Alcoholism & Drug Dependence, 3/25/14 Bloustein School Theater, New Brunswick, NJ.

Joys of Hemp Expo, Embassy Suites Piscataway, NJ, 4/4 – 4/6. CMMNJ had a table & talk.

ASA’s National Medical Cannabis Unity Conference, April 5 – 7th, Mayflower Hotel in D.C.

4/20 Rally at the Trenton Statehouse at 4:20 pm (following a march from the Train Station).

Marijuana Legalization Debate featuring CMMNJ at Montclair State College, 4/17/14.

Ramapo College NORML Greenfest, 4/13/14, Mahwah, NJ.

New York Market Radio (NYMRAD) Interview, 4/30/14 in NYC.

Patients Out of Time Conference, May 8 – 10, Portland, Oregon, with certification course given by American Cannabis Nurses Association.

Peter Lamont’s blogtalkradio Episode 52 with Ken Wolski, 5/22/14.

Decarceration panel and demonstration, 5/2/14, New Brunswick, NJ.

CMMNJ meets Telemundo in “Marijuana: A question of life” Parts I & II.

Petition on Change.org to allow edible marijuana products for adults in NJ.

Lancaster Cannabis Reform Rally, 6/7/14, Penn's Square, Lancaster, PA.

PA Medical Marijuana Bill, SB 1182, Hearing & Press Conference, 6/10/14, Harrisburg, PA

CMMNJ volunteer Daniel Price established where patients can use medical marijuana near Atlantic City casinos. Daniel Price had his medical marijuana seized in Washington, D.C., prompting a thoughtful response from Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP).

CMMNJ volunteers appeared on Freedom Underground News: Cannabis Chronicles.  See: http://funatfun.com/category/cannabis-chronicles/

PA Legislative Forum 6/14/14, U. of PA School of Law, Philadelphia, PA

Hemp Heals, 8/2/14, Philadelphia, PA.

Slightly Stoopid, 8/3/14, The Stone Pony, Asbury Park, NJ.

Marijuana March in Philadelphia 9/6/14 at 12:30 pm, 5th and Market Sts.

Boston Freedom Festival, 9/13 & 14.

“Medical Marijuana: Myths & Medicine,” Pennsylvania State Nurses Assn., 9/18/14, DeSales University.

William Buckman, Esq. died in October 2014, a sad and shocking loss to the marijuana reform community.  Bill was only 61 years old.  Bill was the leading civil rights lawyer in the state.  Bill was always ready to contribute to drug policy reform, and often to do so pro-bono. More at:
http://www.ladybud.com/2014/10/16/rip-bill-buckman-ladybud-attorney-and-nj-norml-board-member/

Legalize Marijuana Rally (NJ Cannabis Conference), Trenton, NJ on Saturday, 10/18/14, included a march from the Riverline Light Rail Station to the Statehouse by 3:30 pm for speeches and optional civil disobedience at 4:20 pm. Jennie Stormes left for Colorado, becoming another medical marijuana refugee from NJ the next day, 10/19.

CMMNJ awaits action on “Petition for Rulemaking,” requesting MMP regulatory changes, that DOH received 10/16/14.

Kevin Sabet’s talk about marijuana at Glassboro, NJ on 10/30/14.

Medical marijuana “Patients Panel” at Ramapo College, 11/13/14.

Kane Dickerson started a Rowan University Coalition for Medical Marijuana group (RUCMM).

Sabina Rose Memorial, Statehouse, Trenton, 12/2/14 at 11 am.

Cannabis Christmas Party & Poe Roast, Underground Arts, Philadelphia, 12/13/14 at 8 pm.

12/04/14 - Ken Wolski’s interview with HomegrownRadioNJ.org , Ken discusses the current state of affairs regarding implementation of existing laws and restrictions on Medical Marijuana in NJ in 2014:
http://www.mixcloud.com/djezywind/homegrownradionjorg-interview-w-ken-wolski-rn-ed-cmmnj-12-04-14/

CMMNJ TV--tapings at Princeton TV Studio continued from June through December.

Vimeo Episode #1: https://vimeo.com/112526679?email_id=Y2xpcF90cmFuc2NvZGVkfGE4NWY1OThkZjg2NjBlMTIxY2FhYjk4ODk5OTc2NmEyNDc5fDIzOTE1ODF8MTQxNjYwMjYwM3w3NzAx&utm_campaign=7701&utm_medium=clip-transcode_complete-finished-20120100&utm_source=email

2014 CMMNJ Publications:
CMMNJ Monthly Agendas and Minutes also contain links to published reports by and about CMMNJ Board members and friends.  For the 2014 CMMNJ Agendas and Minutes, see:

Dec. 2014: http://cmmnj.blogspot.com/2014/12/cmmnj-december-9-2014-meeting-agenda.html

Nov. 2014: http://cmmnj.blogspot.com/2014_11_01_archive.html (Minutes only)

Oct. 2014: http://cmmnj.blogspot.com/2014_10_01_archive.html

Sept. 2014: http://cmmnj.blogspot.com/2014_09_01_archive.html

Aug. 2014: http://cmmnj.blogspot.com/2014_08_01_archive.html

July 2014: http://cmmnj.blogspot.com/2014_07_01_archive.html

June 2014: http://cmmnj.blogspot.com/2014/06/cmmnj-monthly-public-meeting-agenda-for.html

May 2014: http://cmmnj.blogspot.com/2014_05_01_archive.html

April 2014: http://cmmnj.blogspot.com/2014_04_01_archive.html

March 2014: http://cmmnj.blogspot.com/2014_03_01_archive.html

Feb. 2014: http://cmmnj.blogspot.com/2014/02/cmmnj-public-meeting-agenda-february.html

Jan. 2014: http://cmmnj.blogspot.com/2014_01_01_archive.html

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 and contributions throughout the year.  As we are an all-volunteer organization, we are nothing without you! Special thanks go to:

Jim Price, who continues to volunteer his time updating the cmmnj.org web site; Jim is also developing a Patient’s Handbook for CMMNJ, which will be available soon;

Ed “Lefty” Grimes, who has been almost single-handedly editing “CMMNJ TV” episodes, while producing high quality videos of medical marijuana patients and families; Lefty is also conducting his “Ignorance is No Excuse” tour which distributes the MMP Attorney General guidelines to local police departments; Lefty has been posting these videos on YouTube and social media sites;

Don DeZarn waged a very public and courageous fight for medical marijuana workplace protection at Princeton University;

Also, CMMNJ is grateful for the many discussions, ably moderated by volunteer administrators, on Facebook’s Friends of the Coalition for Medical Marijuana-NJ at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/62462971150/


CMMNJ Board Update:
In September, Carolyn Piro was voted onto the Board of CMMNJ to replace Diane Fornbacher, a “medical marijuana refugee” who fled to Colorado in order to obtain access to her medicine.  Diane is a tireless advocate for marijuana law reform and she has dedicated decades of her life to this issue.  We are grateful for her many contributions to CMMNJ and for her ongoing advocacy.

Carolyn Piro is a licensed clinical social worker who works with trauma patients and we are happy to have another healthcare professional on the CMMNJ Board.

In December 2014, James Bissell resigned from the Board pending his move to Florida.  CMMNJ is very grateful for the support that Jim and his wife, Lisa, gave to medical marijuana in New Jersey during his time on the Board.

CMMNJ Board of Directors meetings were held on 1/9/14, 1/31/14, 2/21/14, 9/29/14 and 12/18/4.

At the close of 2014, the CMMNJ Board consists of the following 9 members: Kenneth R. Wolski, RN, Executive Director, James Miller, Senior Director, Edward R. Hannaman, Esq., Secretary, and Board members, Nick Mellis, Peter Rosenfeld, Vanessa Waltz, Larry Vargo, Carolyn Piro and Jay Lassiter.

CMMNJ’s Honorary Board Member is Allan Marain, Esq.

Treasury Report:  A detailed treasury report was forwarded to CMMNJ Board members.  In summary, CMMNJ has a checking account and a PayPal account.  In 2014, CMMNJ had expenditures of $3,223 and income of $2,624.  CMMNJ finished the year with a checking account balance of $3,611, and a PayPal account balance of $3,526.

CMMNJ is now selling hand-rolled hemp bracelets/necklaces from Romania @ $3 each or 2/$5.
CMMNJ is very 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 2015 Recommendations:
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 2015 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. Branch of the Mercer County Library, Room #3.  (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: https://www.facebook.com/groups/62462971150/

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
ohamkrw@aol.com
kenwolski@gmail.com

December 31, 2014

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