Wednesday, April 18, 2018

420 Trenton, NJ March & Rally 2018


For more info, contact: Ken (609) 394-2137, or see:
https://www.facebook.com/events/376738006135903/

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

WHO: New Jersey Cannabis Community  
WHAT: March from Trenton City Hall to a Rally at the NJ State House Annex
WHEN: April 20, 2018 (1:00pm March from Trenton City Hall; 2:00pm Speakers at NJ State House Annex; 3:30pm Music by Herb Funk)
WHY: Celebrate progress in marijuana reform, free drug war prisoners, ensure home cultivation & end marijuana stigma.

The Coalition for Medical Marijuana--New Jersey will be hosting a Cannabis Community march and rally from Trenton City Hall to the NJ State House Annex on April 20th, 2018. Anonymous—HempSector @HempSector will lead the march.

We will gather together to support cannabis rights for all people at the capital city. April 20th is International Peter Tosh Day. Peter Tosh was a human rights activist who wrote and performed the iconic song, “Legalize It.” We will celebrate the progress we have made. We will discuss further actions needed by our community and our legislators to make medicinal marijuana affordable for patients and to stop arrests of all cannabis users. Speakers will share information about the medicinal marijuana program, prospects of legalization, and ways to get involved.

At the State House Annex, marchers will join the Sativa Cross podcast to hear educational and inspirational testimony by invited speakers, followed by musical performances. We want to end the stigma on cannabis. Please join us in standing up for justice for people and cannabis!

#LetPatientsGrow #TheyShallGrow #LegalizeIt #PeterTosh420 #JusticeForJawara

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 info@cmmnj.org

CMMNJ, a 501(c)(3) public charity, provides education about safe and legal access to medical marijuana.



Tuesday, April 3, 2018

CMMNJ's April 2018 Public Meeting Agenda


Monthly Public Meeting Agenda 
Lawrence Twp. Library, Rm. #3 
Tuesday, April 10, 2018, 7-9 PM

Approve March 2018 minutes. Discuss:

Descheduling hearings: 4/19/18, Newark, 124 Halsey Street, 9:30-12:30 p.m. and 1:30-4:30 p.m., and on 4/24/18 in Trenton, 25 Market Street, 9:30-12:30 p.m. and 1:30-4:30 p.m. Send requests to speak & written comments by 4/12/18 to: www.njconsumeraffairs.gov/Proposals/Pages/default.aspx

CMMNJ testified at the Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee on 3/22/18 in support of Substitute bill A3437: https://cmmnj.blogspot.com/2018/04/march-25-2018-revised-testimony.html

CMMNJ was invited to Gov. Murphy’s Press Conference on 3/27/18 for the Executive Order #6 Report. CMMNJ was very happy with the recommendations to expand conditions, end registry, cut fees, etc. See:  http://www.state.nj.us/health/medicalmarijuana/documents/EO6Report_Final.pdf

NJ Assembly Oversight, Reform and Federal Relations Committee: CMMNJ testified in support of legalizing, taxing and regulating marijuana for adults in NJ on 3/5/18. Follow up committee meetings are planned for 4/21 @ 10 am at Rowan U., Glassboro, and 5/12 @10 am at Bergen C.C., Paramus.

NJ’s legalization bills in 2018 legislative session (S830 / A1348).
Marijuana Justice Act of 2017 (S1689): Urge support in Congress: Capwiz from DPA and NORML.

Political Prisoner Ed (NJWeedman) Forchion in jail over one year; found guilty of nothing! Free him!

Upcoming Events: Marijuana rally planned in Trenton on April 20th (420) from 9 am to 3 pm.

Patients Out of Time conference, “Cannabis: Alleviates Pain, Treats Addiction” Jersey City, 5/10–12/18.
Press release: https://cmmnj.blogspot.com/2018/02/national-pot-conference-coming-to-new.html

Trenton mayoral and council candidates’ event, 4/6 & 4/17, Trinity Cathedral, 6-9pm.

NJ Cannabis Commission Response to NJ Black Caucus prohibitionists: Atlantic City, 4/24, 8-4pm.

ASA Unity Conference, “End Pain, Not Lives. Make Cannabis an Option,” Washington, D.C., 5/22-25/18

Treasury report: Checking: $2952; PayPal: $3727.

CMMNJ's meetings are the 2nd Tuesday of each month from 7 - 9 PM at the Lawrence Twp. Library, 2751 Brunswick Pike, Lawrence Twp., 08648. All are welcome. (Meeting at the library does not imply Mercer County’s endorsement of our issue.)

More info: Ken Wolski, RN, MPA (609) 394-2137 ohamkrw@aol.com http://www.cmmnj.org

Facebook: Friends of CMMNJ: https://www.facebook.com/groups/62462971150/

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


Monthly Public Meeting Minutes 
March 13, 2018

February 2018 minutes approved. Discussion:

Many thanks to the representatives of numerous organizations who attended the March meeting!

CMMNJ met with DOH Deputy Commissioner Jackie Cornell on 2/28/18 re Gov. Murphy’s Executive Order #6 to expand and improve access to the Medicinal Marijuana Program. See: Regulatory and Legislative Recommendations for the New Jersey Medicinal Marijuana Program (MMP):
https://cmmnj.blogspot.com/2018/04/cmmnjs-regulatory-and-legislative.html

Patients still report ATCs running out of strains like AC/DC, which won’t be available for months. 

NJ Assembly Oversight, Reform and Federal Relations Committee: CMMNJ testified in support of legalizing, taxing and regulating marijuana for adults in NJ on March 5, 2018. See: https://cmmnj.blogspot.com/2018/03/legislative-testimony-supporting.html
Follow up committee meetings planned for 4/21 @ 10 am at Rowan U., Glassboro, and 5/12 @10 am at Bergen C.C., Paramus.

Advocates speak up at local council meetings throughout the state in support of marijuana reform. Jim Miller went to the Toms River council and Lefty Grimes is going to many communities.

March 10, 2018 was the 15th anniversary of CMMNJ’s first public event at the White Dog Café.

NJ’s legalization bills in 2018 legislative session (S830 / A1348).

Marijuana Justice Act of 2017 (S1689): Urge support in Congress: Capwiz from DPA and NORML.

Political Prisoner Ed (NJWeedman) Forchion in jail over one year; found guilty of nothing! Free him! 

Medical marijuana became available for purchase in Pennsylvania on Feb. 15, and a total of six dispensaries are opening across the state this week. 

Leo Bridgewater attended the Black Caucus meeting in Jersey City—mostly opponents of legalization were invited to speak; follow up meetings 3/27 in Elizabeth and 4/24 at the Borgata in Atlantic City.

Upcoming Events: 
Marijuana rally planned in Trenton on April 20th (420) from 9 am to 3 pm.
 “Cannabis: Alleviates Pain, Treats Addiction” Patients Out of Time conference, Jersey City, 5/10–12/18.
Ken speaking on a panel 5/10; also NJ women veterans speaking. Press release sent 2/6/18.

Treasury report: Checking: $2951; PayPal: $3235; (1000 new ECS brochures purchased). 

More info: Ken Wolski, RN, MPA (609) 394-2137 ohamkrw@aol.com http://www.cmmnj.org

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

Order 100% hemp bands from CMMNJ: 
$1 each/wholesale prices available




Recent Media Coverage and Blogs:

Executive Order 6 Report
http://www.state.nj.us/health/medicalmarijuana/documents/EO6Report_Final.pdf

How dangerous is marijuana? N.J.'s top cop wants to hear from you
http://www.nj.com/marijuana/2018/04/how_dangerous_is_marijuana_njs_top_cop_want_to_hea.html?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

The business of weed, from the medical marijuana industry to the black market
http://www.silive.com/news/2018/03/medicinal_black_market.html

Fix medical marijuana program, Phil Murphy's new health commissioner told
http://www.nj.com/marijuana/2018/03/fix_medical_marijuana_program_senate_panel_tells_n.html

Do NJ cops know medical marijuana guidelines? Not really, says an advocate on a mission
https://www.northjersey.com/story/news/new-jersey/2018/03/09/medical-marijuana-advocate-mission-protect-patients-one-cop-time/1062381001/

Want to make big money in legal weed? These jobs may soon be coming to N.J.
http://www.nj.com/marijuana/2018/03/legal_weed_provides_several_ways_to_make_money_wit.html

Legalized pot in New Jersey - not so fast
http://www.philly.com/philly/news/new_jersey/marijuana-legalize-pot-new-jersey-legislature-20180309.html#loaded

Pot Advocate Quizzes Police on Medical Marijuana Laws
https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/new-jersey/articles/2018-03-10/pot-advocate-quizzes-police-on-medical-marijuana-laws

NJ marijuana legalization: Home grow, 400 legal weed dispensaries OK in new bill
https://www.app.com/story/news/local/public-safety/2018/03/13/new-jersey-marijuana-legalization-weed-dispensaries-home-grow-2018/420023002/

NJ marijuana legalization: Will Murphy’s Jan. 2019 deadline for legal weed become reality?
https://www.northjersey.com/story/news/new-jersey/2018/03/15/legal-weed-nj-marijuana-budget-but-not-sure-thing/426324002/

NJ marijuana legalization: Is home grow too much, too soon with legal weed?
https://www.app.com/story/news/local/public-safety/2018/03/16/new-jersey-marijuana-legalization-home-grow-legal-weed-phil-murphy-2018/428630002/

Chris Conrad & Mikki Norris: Their Story | Pt.1: The Golden Years
http://www.cannabisnewsnetwork.com/chris-conrad-mikki-norris-their-story-pt-1-the-golden-years/

Doctors -- not politicians -- should decide who gets medical marijuana, N.J. panel says
http://www.nj.com/marijuana/2018/03/let_doctors_not_politicians_decide_who_gets_medici.html

LAWMAKERS GO FOR HYBRID PROPOSAL TO EXPAND MEDICAL MARIJUANA PROGRAM IN NJ
http://www.njspotlight.com/stories/18/03/22/lawmakers-go-for-hybrid-proposal-to-expand-medical-marijuana-program/

Get ready for massive expansion of N.J.'s medical marijuana program. Here's the scoop.
http://www.nj.com/marijuana/2018/03/report_nj_medical_marijuana_program_should_get_hug.html

Murphy makes medical marijuana legit. Here's what needs to happen next | Editorial
http://www.nj.com/opinion/index.ssf/2018/03/new_jersey_has_a_medical_marijuana_program_for_rea.html

New Jersey Adds Five New Medical Marijuana Conditions, Reduces Patient Fee
http://theafricom.com/2018/03/29/new-jersey-adds-five-new-medical-marijuana-conditions.html

Marijuana legalization could help offset opioid epidemic, studies find
https://amp.cnn.com/cnn/2018/04/02/health/medical-cannabis-law-opioid-prescription-study/index.html

Why These 3 Marijuana Stocks Are Poised For a Big Week
https://www.potnetwork.com/news/why-these-3-marijuana-stocks-are-poised-big-week


Below is Paul Armantano’s guest column submission to the Asbury Park Press in response to the March 8, 2018 editorial (“NJ marijuana legalization: Take a sober look at legal weed”):
https://www.app.com/story/opinion/editorials/2018/03/08/nj-marijuana-legalization-legal-weed/407986002/

For those interested in the source materials/citations for these studies and related papers, these fact-sheets address these and related issues in further details:

http://norml.org/marijuana/fact-sheets

http://norml.org/marijuana/fact-sheets/item/marijuana-regulation-impact-on-health-safety-economy

http://norml.org/marijuana/fact-sheets/item/relationship-between-marijuana-and-opioids

http://norml.org/marijuana/fact-sheets/item/marijuana-regulation-and-teen-use-rates

http://norml.org/marijuana/fact-sheets/item/marijuana-regulation-and-crime-rates

http://norml.org/marijuana/fact-sheets/item/societal-impacts-of-cannabis-dispensaries-retailers

http://norml.org/marijuana/fact-sheets/item/marijuana-legalization-and-impact-on-the-workplace


When It Comes To Legalizing Cannabis — You Have Questions, We Have Answers

by Paul Armentano

Editors pose several valid questions with regard to adult use marijuana regulation and its effects on public safety (“NJ marijuana legalization: Take a sober look at legal weed,” March 8). Specifically, they inquire about the impact of these regulations on teen use, traffic safety, and economic revenue. Fortunately, we have ample data from other jurisdictions that provide answers to these questions.

ADOLESCENT USE

Writing in the American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, Boston University scientists conclude, "We can state with some confidence that, even in states that have enacted marijuana liberalization policies, marijuana use among adolescents is not currently increasing. In fact, there is rather compelling evidence that adolescent marijuana use has steadily declined.” Specifically, in Colorado, "For adults and adolescents, past-month marijuana use has not changed since legalization either in terms of the number of people using or the frequency of use among users. Based on the most comprehensive data available, past month marijuana use among Colorado adolescents is nearly identical to the national average.” So concluded the Colorado Department of Public Health in 2017. According to the Oregon Health Authority, "Recent trends in youth use have been stable.” In Washington, according to data released last year by the Washington State Institute for Public Policy, rates of current marijuana use and lifetime marijuana use have fallen among young people post-legalization. These declines were most pronounced among 8th and 10th graders. Researchers concluded: "We found no evidence that I-502 enactment, on the whole, affected cannabis abuse treatment admissions. ... [and] we found no evidence that the amount of legal cannabis sales affected youth substance use or attitudes about cannabis or drug-related criminal convictions.”

TRAFFIC SAFETY

Data from states that have liberalized marijuana’s legal status show no uptick in motor vehicle crashes. Writing in the August 2017 edition of The American Journal of Public Health, University of Texas researchers compared traffic crash data in the three years  prior to the enactment of adult use legalization in Colorado and Washington versus data trends in the three years immediately following legalization. “We found no significant association between recreational marijuana legalization in Washington and Colorado and subsequent changes in motor vehicle crash fatality rates in the first three years after recreational marijuana legalization,” they concluded. They further reported, “[W]e also found no association between recreational marijuana legalization and total crash rates when analyzing available state-reported non-fatal crash statistics.”

Investigators also compared traffic safety trends in Colorado and Washington versus eight control states that had not altered their marijuana laws. They concluded, “[C]hanges in motor vehicle crash fatality rates for Washington and Colorado were not statistically different from those in similar states without creational marijuana legalization.”

TAX REVENUE

Adults use regulatory schemes are associated with increased tax revenue and job creation. A 2017 state by state analysis by content provider Leafly.com identified 149,304 full-time jobs in the legal cannabis sector. According to data compiled by ZipRecruiter.com, the total number of industry job posts increased by 445% in 2017. Year over year growth of job posts in the cannabis industry is outpacing both tech (254% growth) and healthcare (70% growth). In Colorado, cannabis-specific taxes and fees have yielded $506,143,635 in state revenue since January 1, 2014 — a total that well exceeds initial projections. Cannabis sales in Washington state continue to grow at a steady rate, with total 2017 sales topping $1.1 billion at the end of September. In October, Nevada's recreational marijuana industry hit a new high, selling more than $37.9 million that month alone. The state has earned nearly $20 million in marijuana tax revenue since the adult-use market launched in July, according to Forbes Magazine.


Real world experience from other states indicate that cannabis use and sales can be regulated in a manner that increase revenue while also promoting social justice and public safety. State lawmakers should welcome the opportunity to bring necessary and long overdue controls to the marijuana market. A pragmatic framework regulating adult use, but that continues to restrict marijuana use and access by young people, best reduces the risks associated with the plant's misuse. By contrast, advocating for the marijuana’s continued criminalization only compounds them.

Regards,

Paul Armentano
NORML Deputy Director
paul@norml.org



Assembly Health Committee Testimony Re: Substitute A3437


March 25, 2018 (Revised testimony)

Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee
State House Annex, Trenton, New Jersey
March 22, 2018

Re:  Substitute A3437:  Revisions to the “Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act,” P.L.2009, c.307 44 (C.24:6I-1 et al.)

My name is Ken Wolski. I have practiced as an RN in NJ and PA for over 40 years. I am executive director of the Coalition for Medical Marijuana –New Jersey (CMMNJ), a nonprofit organization I co-founded 15 years ago.

The testimony I originally submitted to this committee was in opposition to A3437. However, after reviewing Substitute A3437, available on the day of the committee meeting, I want to change my testimony to support this bill, though with some concerns and recommendations.

The overarching concerns of our educational organization are:
access to the program;
availability of strains;
cost of the product; and,
artificially low limits/month.

Substitute A3437 substitute has a number of good recommendations. It would:
allow physicians to determine the need for medical marijuana;
make the physician registry voluntary, not mandatory for physicians to recommend medical marijuana;
eliminate the psychiatrist requirement for minors to access the Medicinal Marijuana Program (MMP), but keep the pediatrician requirement;
authorize edibles in various forms and instruct the New Jersey Department of Health  (DOH) commissioner to set limits on edibles;
do away with the previous administration’s requirement that edibles are only for minors;
mandate that 15% of new dispensaries would go to businesses that are run by minorities, women, veterans and/or disabled veterans;
increase the allowable amount of marijuana dispensed from two to four ounces; and,
reduce fees for ID cards from $200, with a $20 discount rate, to $50 with a $10 discount rate for patients on government assistance.

A main thrust of Substitute A3437 is to change the nature of future Alternative Treatment Centers (ATCs) into cultivation/processor centers and dispensary centers.

Substitute A3437 would allow six (6) additional cultivation/processors added to the five existing ATCs (soon to be six) in each region of the state (Northern, Central and Southern regions), for a total of 12. These 12 cultivation/processors would furnish marijuana products to 40 dispensaries in the three regions of the state.

This represents a reasonable and conservative approach to expand the MMP. Doubling the number of cultivation/processors should help MMP patients who regularly complain that the existing ATCs run out of particular strains of marijuana that are most effective in controlling the symptoms of their serious medical conditions.

The primary purpose of the MMP is to meet the needs of patients. Currently, patients in New Jersey pay the highest prices in the nation for their medicinal marijuana. Simply expanding the outlets where they can pay these prices is not doing any service to the patients. Vigorous competition that allows for market forces to influence pricing should bring the out-of-pocket expenses of the MMP patients down to more reasonable levels. Hopefully, Substitute A3437 will stimulate price reductions for MMP patients.

A home cultivation provision for MMP patients is the ideal solution to both availability and affordability of therapeutic strains of marijuana, but this provision is lacking from Substitute A3437.

Substitute A3437 creates a new “total amount of usable marijuana that a patient may be dispensed, in weight, in a 30-day period, which amount shall not exceed four ounces.” The addition of two ounces per month to the current amount allowed is appreciated, but it will also be inadequate for some patients. Marijuana therapy is highly individualized. The actual amount allowed each month should be what the recommending physician deems necessary to control the symptoms of the patient.

Substitute A3437 still requires patients to be seen every 30/60/90 days by a physician simply for renewal of their marijuana recommendation.  Some patients’ underlying condition(s) will never go away. They should not have to be seen so frequently. Yearly visits should be adequate, unless the patient is a minor.

Some of these recommendations in Substitute A3437 are not necessary to be included in legislation. The DOH plans to release its report improving access to the MMP very soon and it will presumably make significant changes by regulation.  A new administration that looks favorably upon the MMP is more likely to expand the program as needed without revisiting legislation. The DOH may well:
add to the MMP the 43 petitions that were recommended be approved by the DOH Review Panel, and may allow individual physicians to determine future conditions that qualify for marijuana therapy;
allow any New Jersey licensed physician with prescription privileges to recommend medical marijuana, and make the Physician Registry voluntary;
reduce the fees for MMP ID cards; and,
evaluate whether there are sufficient numbers of alternative treatment centers to meet the needs of registered qualifying patients throughout the State and make its own recommendations for expanding the MMP since, according to the New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act, the Commissioner of the DOH is empowered to do this:
“The (DOH) shall seek to ensure the availability of a sufficient number of alternative treatment centers throughout the State, pursuant to need…and centers subsequently issued permits may be nonprofit or for-profit entities.”

While we have some concerns about the proposed bill, and would like to see a number of other provisions added to the bill (see below), the Coalition for Medical Marijuana—New Jersey, Inc. supports Substitute A3437.

CMMNJ’s recommended additions to the Substitute A3437:

Allow any licensed healthcare professional with prescription privileges, including Advanced Practice Nurses, Dentists, and Veterinarians, to recommend medical marijuana;
Mandate education on the Endocannabinoid System for all healthcare professionals in NJ who have prescription privileges;
Recognize out-of-state ID cards now that 30 states have medical marijuana programs including NY, PA, DE, etc.;
Adopt “Patient Focused Certification” in order to bring national standards to every aspect of the MMP (testing, etc.) through Quality Assurance audits using the industry’s best technical experts, (currently used in DE & MD): https://safeaccess2.org/patientfocusedcertification//
Require ongoing, documented training for all state, county and local Law Enforcement Officers on the MMP (OAG Guidelines posted on the DOH website is not adequate training);
Have the DOH develop complete dosing and administration guidelines for standardized medical marijuana products (including information on expected effects, side effects, adverse effects, etc.); See: “Medicinal cannabis: Rational guidelines for dosing:”  https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/582a/efb5bfa326fdba0affc23e343151e02aa903.pdf
Allow edible medical marijuana products for qualified patients in all state institutions to improve care and reduce healthcare costs (including lawsuit avoidance)—allow institutional physicians to recommend, and nurses to administer, medical marijuana after appropriate training, and then conduct case studies on patients receiving this treatment;
Deschedule marijuana in New Jersey;
Include explicit employee workplace protections for MMP patients:
Evaluate the effectiveness of state mandated policies and procedures for the administration of medical marijuana at schools and facilities for the developmentally disabled throughout NJ, amend these policies as needed, and extend these policies to include colleges and universities in NJ; and,
Restore home cultivation of 6 (six) plants for qualified patients with an MMP ID card (this provision was originally approved by the NJ Senate on 2/23/09).

Respectfully submitted,


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

CMMNJ's Regulatory and Legislative Recommendations


Regulatory and Legislative Recommendations for the
New Jersey Medicinal Marijuana Program (MMP)

Regulatory Recommendations:

1. Allow any New Jersey licensed physician with prescription privileges to recommend medical marijuana;
2. Make the Physician Registry voluntary, to serve as a patient resource, not as a requirement for physician participation in the MMP;
3. Add to the MMP the 43 petitions that were recommended be approved by the Department of Health (DOH) Review Panel;
4. Allow additional qualifying conditions to be decided in the privacy of the prescriber-patient relationship;
5. Mandate education on the Endocannabinoid System for all healthcare professionals in NJ who have prescription privileges, based on anticipated expansion of qualifying conditions for marijuana therapy, and on anticipated legalization of adult use;
6. Have the DOH develop complete dosing and administration guidelines for standardized medical marijuana products (including information on expected effects, side effects, adverse effects, etc.); See: “Medicinal cannabis: Rational guidelines for dosing” https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/582a/efb5bfa326fdba0affc23e343151e02aa903.pdf
7. Allow edible medical marijuana products for qualified patients in all state institutions to improve care and reduce healthcare costs--allow institutional physicians to recommend, and nurses to administer, medical marijuana after appropriate training and then conduct case studies on patients receiving treatment;
8. Reschedule/deschedule marijuana in NJ (Director of Division of Consumer Affairs, Office of Attorney General);
9. Eliminate fee for caregiver ID card;
10. Evaluate effectiveness of mandated policies and procedures for the administration of medical marijuana at schools and facilities for the developmentally disabled throughout NJ, modify the policies as necessary, and extend these policies to include colleges and universities in NJ;
11. Eliminate the requirement for psychiatric clearance for minors and require only one MD to recommend medical marijuana for minors;
12. Cancel the 7% tax on medical marijuana which is in violation of the New Jersey Division of Taxation’s Technical Bulletin issued 2/16/10 that notes, “Effective October 1, 2005, all drugs for human use, including prescribed drugs and over-the-counter drugs are exempt from sales and use tax.”  http://www.state.nj.us/treasury/taxation/pdf/pubs/tb/tb63.pdf
13. Establish medical marijuana discounts for veterans.

Legislative Recommendations:

1. Increase the 2 ounce limit per patient per month (medical cannabis use is individualized for patient and medical condition, so there should be no upper limit to what a patient can have—dosage should be based on patient need and method(s) of administration);
2. Restore home cultivation of 6 (six) plants for qualified patients with a NJ MMP ID card (which was approved by the NJ Senate on 2/23/09);
3. Allow any licensed healthcare professional with prescription privileges to recommend medical marijuana, including Advanced Practice Nurses, Dentists, and Veterinarians;
4. Recognize out-of-state ID cards now that 30 states have medical marijuana programs including NY, PA, DE, etc.;
5. Allow patients to obtain medical marijuana from out-of-state, if necessary, while NJ increases supply to meet increased demand;
6. Decriminalize marijuana as soon as possible to protect potential medical patients from arrest and criminal charges for the possession and use of small amounts of marijuana;
7. Do not allow adult use (legalization) legislation to infringe on any current rights of medical marijuana patients;
8. Allow for the use of cannabis as a first line treatment rather than a treatment of last resort--amend CUMMA C.24:6I-3 Definition of “Debilitating medical condition” (1) delete “if resistant to conventional medical treatment”;
9. Pass into law S997 which requires registered qualifying patient's authorized use of medical marijuana to be considered equivalent to use of any other prescribed medication--this prohibits restrictions on patients receiving organ transplants based on marijuana use;
10. Include explicit employee workplace protections--pass into law A1838 which establishes protection from adverse employment action for authorized medical marijuana patients;
11. Pass A1856 "Children's Caregivers Act" which revises requirements for primary caregivers for medical marijuana patients who are minors;
12. Permit any edible form of marijuana for any age and establish dosage units for all forms (repeal prohibition on edibles for adults—only minors are currently allowed edibles);
13. Require initial and ongoing training for all state, county and local Law Enforcement Officers on the medical marijuana program (OAG Guidelines posted on the DOH website is not adequate training);
14. Adopt “Patient Focused Certification” in order to bring national standards to every aspect of the MMP (testing, etc.) through Quality Assurance audits using the industry’s best technical experts, (currently used in DE & MD): https://safeaccess2.org/patientfocusedcertification//

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

February 23, 2018

Friday, March 9, 2018

Legislative testimony supporting marijuana reform



Testimony in support of Legalizing, Taxing and Regulating Marijuana for Adults in New Jersey

by: Ken Wolski, RN, MPA

March 5, 2018

Assembly Oversight, Reform and Federal Relations Committee:
Danielsen, Joe - Chair   
Houghtaling, Eric - Vice-Chair 
Dancer, Ronald S.   
Lopez, Yvonne   
Quijano, Annette   
Rumpf, Brian E.

Chairman Danielsen and committee members, thank you for the opportunity to testify before this committee in support of legalizing, taxing and regulating marijuana for adults in New Jersey.

I am Ken Wolski, RN, MPA, the Executive Director of the Coalition for Medical Marijuana--New Jersey, Inc. (CMMNJ). I have included my resume in the packet of information that I am presenting to each member of this committee. Briefly, I have practiced as a registered nurse (RN) for over 40 years in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, including over 25 years with the State of New Jersey, and seven years as an ICU/CCU nurse in Central Jersey and Center City Philadelphia. I also worked as a Public Health Nurse in the City of Trenton.

I co-founded CMMNJ in 2003. CMMNJ is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational organization and public charity that provides education about the benefits of safe and legal access to medical marijuana. CMMNJ was instrumental in getting the Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act introduced into the state legislature in 2005, and passed into law in 2010.

For the past eight years, CMMNJ has been struggling to meaningfully implement this law in the face of the many delays and roadblocks that were put in place by the previous administration.

We were very pleased the Governor Murphy signed Executive Order #6 on January 23, 2018 that directed the Department of Health (DOH) and the Board of Medical Examiners to review the Medicinal Marijuana Program (MMP) and make recommendations to expand it and ease access to it.

I was especially pleased that the DOH reached out to me for a meeting to discuss the future of the NJ MMP. I had a meeting with DOH Principal Deputy Commissioner Jackie Cornell on 2/28/18, along with Dr. David L. Nathan, the founder of Doctors for Cannabis Regulation. I discussed with Deputy Commissioner Cornell my list of “Regulatory and Legislative Recommendations for the New Jersey Medicinal Marijuana Program (MMP),” a copy of which I have presented to this committee. The regulatory issues can be dealt with through the DOH, but the legislative issues of course, must be dealt with by the legislature. Therefore I invite you to review these recommendations and I am available to answer questions about them, either now or at any time in the future.

Also in the packet of information I submitted is:

  • A press release on the importance of home cultivation for MMP patients;
  • An Op Ed I wrote urging the use of marijuana edibles in state institutions to improve healthcare and save 10’s of millions of dollars each year; and,
  • Summaries of three bills currently in the legislature to improve the MMP: S 997, a bill to make marijuana the equal of any other drug, A 1838, a bill to protect MMP patients from adverse employment actions, and A 1856, a bill to expand the role of caregivers in the state.

I know the focus of this committee’s hearing is adult use of marijuana, but our organization has always believed that before we can discuss broader legalization of marijuana, we must first protect the sick and injured who need marijuana medically. We must remove from the battlefield of the War on Drugs, the sick and injured—it’s the humane thing to do.

In fact, for the first 11 years of CMMNJ’s existence, our Board took no position on the broader legalization of marijuana—we neither supported it nor opposed it.

In 2011, the board of CMMNJ endorsed bills in the New Jersey Legislature that decriminalized possession of small amounts of marijuana. CMMNJ took this action because the MMP was dysfunctional — not a single patient in New Jersey had received legal medical marijuana in the two years since the bill passed into law, and patients continued to be arrested and imprisoned in the state for using marijuana to treat their medical conditions, even some patients who had MMP ID cards. Moreover, countless patients who could benefit from medical marijuana, would continue to be disqualified from participating in the MMP for the foreseeable future.

In 2014, the CMMNJ board realized that decriminalization, which only protects patients from arrest, is not an adequate solution. Decriminalization still penalizes desperately ill patients for using their medicine. Moreover, decriminalization depends on and supports illegal sources of marijuana, and this marijuana is of questionable quality and limited variety. This simply does not meet the needs of the numerous patients who could benefit from marijuana therapy in New Jersey.

These 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.

CMMNJ endorsed legalization of marijuana in New Jersey in January 2014.* CMMNJ believes that ending cannabis prohibition is the best way to get the right medicine to the most people.

The Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act (CUMMA) passed into law in January 2010, yet only about 15,000 patients have received ID cards from the Medicinal Marijuana Program (MMP), in a state with almost nine million people. Hundreds of thousands of people in New Jersey could benefit from marijuana therapy—perhaps a million or more. Garden State residents have a one in three chance of a cancer diagnosis and a one in three chance of chronic pain at some time in their lives. Moreover, we all die, and marijuana can help with some of the typical symptoms associated with terminal illness better than any other drug. Legalizing marijuana for adults would make it more like an over-the-counter drug, and less like a prescription drug, that is now prohibitively expensive for so many patients in the state. Legalizing marijuana will make medical marijuana like aspirin--a drug any adult can buy in a local store, without going to a doctor every couple of months for a recommendation, or having to go to one of only five Alternative Treatment Centers in the state to pick it up.

But CMMNJ also recognizes the failure of the current policy of marijuana prohibition, the harm to society that marijuana prohibition causes, and the disproportionate racial impact of this policy. Colorado has demonstrated that there are many financial and social benefits that can be anticipated from legalization, taxation and regulation of marijuana for adults.

Included in your packets of information is a 2-page report from Peter Rosenfeld, a CMMNJ Board member who provides a response to concerns about increased teen use with legalization, driving and other automobile issues, increased crime, and home cultivation.

My senator, Shirley Turner from the 15th District, said in a letter to me that she was “reluctant to support the legalization of marijuana due to my strong concerns about the message that the legalization of a mind-altering drug sends to our children” among other concerns. I have addressed a number of her concerns (increased potency of marijuana, the Gateway theory, drugged driving in Colorado, etc.) in my reply letter to Senator Turner, which I have included a copy of in the packet of information to this committee.

In my letter, I discuss the unique perspective I had on our country’s experiment in mass incarceration. When I started working for the NJDOC in 1984, there were 9,000 inmates in the state system. When I retired from the NJDOC in 2006, there were 27,000 inmates in the state system (86% of them were Black or Hispanic, which I attributed to Institutional Classism, not Institutional Racism). In the 22 years that I worked at the DOC, the inmate population tripled. I saw firsthand the negative impact this policy has had on our society. In short, it is not possible to incarcerate your way out of a drug problem. Drug abuse is a health issue. It should be dealt with by the Health Department, and through honest education, not government indoctrination. The Criminal Justice System only makes the problem worse.

The culture of prohibition is unable to establish reasonable regulations regarding cannabis use. For example, it makes no sense to say minors should not use marijuana if you are saying at the same time that adults are also forbidden from using marijuana. It makes no sense to forbid marijuana use while driving a car, if marijuana use is also forbidden while not driving a car. With legalization of marijuana in New Jersey, we have the opportunity to create reasonable regulations regarding marijuana age restrictions, and use restrictions, that residents will be more likely to adhere to.

Also in your packets I have also included a CMMNJ press release about the upcoming national “Patients Out of Time” (POT) conference that is coming to Jersey City May 10 – 12, 2018. The theme of this year’s conference is “Cannabis: Alleviates Pain, Treats Addiction.”

POT conferences bring together some of the top marijuana researchers from across the country and from around the world. This is an excellent opportunity to learn about the science of marijuana/cannabis, and how marijuana actually works in the human body. The emerging science of the Endocannabinoid System is only about 25 years old. Only 13% of the medical schools in the country even mention this important system that interacts with all the other systems in the body. But the science surrounding this system is indisputable and exciting new discoveries are made every year. Dr. Jahan Marcu, one of the top researchers in this field, said, “The future of therapeutics depends heavily on understanding this system.”

CMMNJ’s brochure on the Endocannabinoid System, “How your body is built for cannabis” is included in CMMNJ’s packet of information to this committee.

CMMNJ endorses a system of affirmative action in the newly emerging legal marijuana industry for the communities that have been most devastated by the decades-long war on marijuana—the inner cities. The legal marijuana industry will provide ample new employment opportunities. Minority residents in the inner cities must not be excluded from this emerging industry, but instead should be given preference in this industry, at a minimum in terms of opportunities in the inner cities. Assemblywoman Quijano, I look forward to seeing a copy of your bills that include provisions for automatic expungement for marijuana offenses, and tax breaks for marijuana businesses in Urban Enterprise Zones.

In closing, I’d like to say that we do not need to “slow down” our march towards social justice in New Jersey. We do not need to slow down our efforts to end the destructive, ineffective and counterproductive War on Marijuana. We need to speed these efforts up.

CMMNJ is grateful for the leadership shown by Governor Murphy and other elected officials on this issue. CMMNJ welcomes the coming legalization, taxation and regulation of marijuana for adults in New Jersey.

Sincerely yours,

Ken Wolski, RN, MPA
Executive Director, Coalition for Medical Marijuana--New Jersey, Inc.
219 Woodside Ave., Trenton, NJ  08618
www.cmmnj.org   ohamkrw@aol.com
609.394.2137

* “Opinion: N.J. should legalize, tax and regulate marijuana,” Wolski, K., The Times of Trenton, 1/24/14. 

http://www.nj.com/times-opinion/index.ssf/2014/01/opinion_nj_should_legalize_tax.html#incart_river_default

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

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

CMMNJ Public Meeting Agenda for March 13, 2018


Monthly Public Meeting Agenda 
Lawrence Twp. Library, Rm. #3 
Tuesday, March 13, 2018, 7-9 PM

Approve February 2018 minutes. Discuss:

CMMNJ met with DOH Deputy Commissioner Jackie Cornell on 2/28/18 as part of Gov. Murphy’s Executive Order #6 to expand and improve access to the Medicinal Marijuana Program. CMMNJ urges extensive revisions to the MMP. "It was a program designed to keep people out of it," said Ken Wolski, in NJ.com. "It’s a program that’s not meeting the needs of the patients.” The Medicinal Marijuana Program (MMP) Review Panel said 43 petitions should be added to the MMP; the DOH must act by 4/25/18.

NJ Assembly Oversight, Reform and Federal Relations Committee: CMMNJ was invited to give oral and written testimony in support of legalizing, taxing and regulating marijuana for adults in NJ at the Trenton Statehouse on March 5, 2018. Follow up committee meetings planned for 4/21 @ 10 am at Rowan U., Glassboro, and 5/12 @10 am at Bergen C.C., Paramus.

Advocates speak up at local council meetings throughout the state in support of marijuana reform.

March 10, 2018--15th anniversary of CMMNJ’s first public event at the White Dog Café.

NJ’s legalization bills in 2018 legislative session (S830 / A1348).
Marijuana Justice Act of 2017 (S1689): Urge support in Congress: Capwiz from DPA and NORML.

Political Prisoner Ed (NJWeedman) Forchion in jail over one year; found guilty of nothing! Free him!

Pennsylvania medical marijuana available for purchase on Feb. 15, and a total of six dispensaries open across the state that week.

Upcoming Events:
Marijuana rally in Trenton on April 20th (420) from 9 am to 3 pm.
Trenton Cannabis Community meeting 3/14/18 at Artworks, Trenton.
“Cannabis: Alleviates Pain, Treats Addiction” Patients Out of Time conference, Jersey City, 5/10–12/18. (Ken speaking on a panel 5/10; also NJ women veterans speaking. Press release sent 2/6/18.)
Nonprofit collaboration 3/15 in Woodbridge, 8-1pm.

Treasury report: Checking: $2951; PayPal: $3235; (1000 new ECS brochures purchased).

CMMNJ's meetings are the 2nd Tuesday of each month from 7 - 9 PM at the Lawrence Twp. Library, 2751 Brunswick Pike, Lawrence Twp., 08648. All are welcome. (Meeting at the library does not imply Mercer County’s endorsement of our issue.)

More info: Ken Wolski, RN, MPA (609) 394-2137 ohamkrw@aol.com http://www.cmmnj.org
Facebook: Friends of CMMNJ: https://www.facebook.com/groups/62462971150/

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


Monthly Public Meeting Minutes 
February 13, 2018

January 2018 minutes approved. Discussion:

Governor Phil Murphy signed Executive Order #6 to expand and improve access to the Medicinal Marijuana Program at a Press Conference in Trenton on 1/23/18. DOH & BME given 60 days to come up with new rules. "I'm very pleased the governor has taken such a strong stand to expand the program," Wolski said in NJ.com.

Trenton Cannabis Community meeting on 2/7/18 at Artworks in Trenton; discussion involved marijuana reform & breaking the stigma, voter registration & other local activity, getting patients into the medical program, preparing for the new industry. Follow up meeting planned for March 14th. 

NJ’s legalization bill re-introduced in new legislative session (S830 / A1348): Facebook’s “Friends of CMMNJ” letter template in support of home cultivation, addressing concerns.

The Medicinal Marijuana Program (MMP) Review Panel said 43 petitions should be added to the MMP; the DOH commissioner must act by 4/25/18. CMMNJ urges extensive amendments to CUMMA.

Marijuana Justice Act of 2017 (S1689): Urge support in Congress: Capwiz from DPA and NORML.

CMMNJ joined MIDJersey Chamber of Commerce; Ken attended a meeting at the Am. Heart Assn. 2/7.

Political Prisoner Ed (NJWeedman) Forchion in jail nearly one year; found guilty of nothing! Free him!

Upcoming Events: “CMMNJ TV” taping at Princeton TV studio, February 15, 2018.
“Cannabis: Alleviates Pain, Treats Addiction” Patients Out of Time conference, Jersey City, 5/10–12/18—Ken speaking on a panel 5/10; also NJ women veterans speaking. Press release sent 2/6/18.
Nonprofit collaboration 3/15/18 in Woodbridge, 8 am – 1pm.

Treasury report: Checking: $3101; PayPal: $3162 (1000 new ECS brochures purchased).

More info: Ken Wolski, RN, MPA (609) 394-2137 ohamkrw@aol.com http://www.cmmnj.org

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

Recent Media Coverage and Blogs:




How New Jersey's push to legalize marijuana could impact Staten Island
http://www.silive.com/news/2018/02/new_jersey_legalized_marijuana_impact_staten_island.html

New Jersey’s Path to Marijuana Legalization
https://www.freedomleaf.com/new-jersey-marijuana-legalization/

NJ marijuana legalization: How to get a marijuana license in cutthroat weed market
https://www.app.com/story/news/local/public-safety/2018/02/08/new-jersey-marijuana-legalization-license-weed-phil-murphy-medical/1084268001/

Nevada marijuana model studied by New Jersey group
https://www.reviewjournal.com/news/pot-news/nevada-marijuana-model-studied-by-new-jersey-group/

Verona Council Ponders Gov. Phil Murphy's Plan to Legalize Pot
https://www.tapinto.net/towns/bloomfield/articles/verona-council-ponders-gov-phil-murphys-plan-to-5

Ocean County freeholder calls weed more addictive than cocaine; experts disagree
https://www.app.com/story/news/politics/ocean-county/2018/02/08/ocean-county-freeholder-calls-weed-more-addictive-than-cocaine/318624002/

Murphy cautiously expanding NJ’s growing medical marijuana program
http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com/opinion/editorials/murphy-cautiously-expanding-nj-s-growing-medical-marijuana-program/article_fa9f1d90-7d0a-5612-91d3-61ea4e6f6491.html

"Reefer Madness" Comes to Chatham Borough Council; Cannabis Advocates Make Pitch for Chatham Marijuana Shop
https://www.tapinto.net/sections/government/articles/reefer-madness-comes-to-chatham-borough-council

N.J. medical marijuana: These big changes could be coming to state's program
http://www.nj.com/marijuana/2018/02/review_of_medical_marijuana_could_bring_these_chan.html

Toms River Council Tables Marijuana Ordinance
https://patch.com/new-jersey/tomsriver/toms-river-council-tables-marijuana-ordinance

Rice, Singer to introduce bipartisan marijuana decriminalization bill
https://www.politico.com/states/new-jersey/story/2018/02/14/rice-singer-to-introduce-bipartisan-marijuana-decriminalization-bill-253118

Memory of child with cancer inspires push to expand N.J. medical marijuana program
http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2018/02/memory_of_child_with_cancer_spurs_bill_expanding_m.html

Legal Medical Marijuana Sales Begin At Pennsylvania Facility
https://www.pharmpro.com/news/2018/02/legal-medical-marijuana-sales-begin-pennsylvania-facility

Keystone Kush, wax and shatter: Here's what medical marijuana products you can find in Pa.
http://www.pennlive.com/news/2018/02/medical_marijuana_names_prices_pa.html

New N.J. medical marijuana bill calls for more dispensaries, edibles
http://www.nj.com/marijuana/2018/02/new_bill_calls_for_medical_marijuana_overhaul_in_n.html

N.J. medical marijuana growers are ready to expand. Will Phil Murphy let them?
http://www.nj.com/marijuana/2018/02/medical_marijuana_growers_were_ready_to_expand_for.html

N.J. marijuana legalization: Some urge New Jersey to slow the rush toward legal weed
https://www.northjersey.com/story/news/new-jersey/2018/02/20/some-urge-new-jersey-slow-rush-toward-legal-marijuana/355249002/

First hearing on recreational marijuana held in Jersey City
http://hudsonreporter.com/view/full_story/27547311/article-To-legalize-or-not------First-hearing-on-recreational-marijuana-held-in-Jersey-City-?instance=latest_story

N.J. to decide if weed should be taken off list of most dangerous drugs
http://www.nj.com/marijuana/2018/02/nj_to_review_how_marijuana_is_classified_under_sta.html

61 Incredible Benefits of Marijuana (Backed by Science)
https://www.herbonaut.com/benefits-of-marijuana/

New Jersey Assembly weighs marijuana legalization during day-long hearing
https://www.thecannabist.co/2018/03/05/new-jersey-marijuana-legalization-hearing-update/100563/

NJ Assembly Hearing On Cannabis, High Praises Of Plant
https://headynj.com/nj-assembly-hearing-on-cannabis-sings-high-praises-of-plant/

How Did Cannabis Legalization Stall in New Jersey?
https://www.leafly.com/news/politics/how-did-cannabis-legalization-stall-in-new-jersey

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

National POT Conference Coming to New Jersey in May 2018

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

National POT Conference Coming to New Jersey in May 2018

WHO:      “Patients Out of Time” http://www.medicalcannabis.com/
WHAT:    12th national conference, “Cannabis: Alleviates Pain, Treats Addiction”
WHEN:     May 10 – 12, 2018
WHERE:   Loew’s Movie Palace, 54 Journal Square Plaza, Jersey City, NJ
WHY:       Accredited educational program for healthcare professionals, patients and advocates

Mary Lynn Mathre, RN, MSN, the President of “Patients Out of Time” (POT), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational organization, is bringing her highly regarded cannabis/marijuana conference to New Jersey this year. POT’s 12th national conference, “Cannabis: Alleviates Pain, Treats Addiction” will be held May 10 – 12, 2018 at Loew’s Movie Palace, 54 Journal Square Plaza, Jersey City, NJ. Registration information is available at: http://patientsoutoftime.org/the-twelfth-national-clinical-conference-on-cannabis-therapeutics/

The POT conference is an excellent way for physicians to earn CMEs, and nurses and other healthcare professionals to earn contact hours (CEUs) for their continuing education requirements, while learning about the science that supports the use of marijuana/cannabis. POT conferences bring together some of the top marijuana researchers from across the country and from around the world.  Medical marijuana patients and activists are also represented at these conferences.

The theme of the conference is particularly relevant to New Jersey this year. Governor Phil Murphy signed Executive Order #6 on January 23, 2018 directing the Department of Health and the Board of Medical Examiners to review the Medicinal Marijuana Program (MMP) and make recommendations to expand it and ease access to it. The governor said that expanding the MMP will “ensure that (patients) are receiving (medical marijuana) tailored to their medical needs, and make them less likely to turn to potentially more harmful and less medically appropriate drugs such as opioids, the use of which was declared a public health crisis.” See: http://nj.gov/infobank/eo/056murphy/pdf/EO-6.pdf

Ken Wolski, RN of the Coalition for Medical Marijuana--New Jersey and on the Board of Advisors of Patients Out of Time, has attended eight (8) POT conferences since 2004. “It has been fascinating to watch the developments in the science of the Endocannabinoid System—how marijuana actually works in the human body—as more discoveries about this amazing system are made every year,” he said.

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
info@cmmnj.org

CMMNJ Feb. 13, 2018 Public Meeting Agenda



Monthly Public Meeting Agenda
Lawrence Township Library, Room #3
Tuesday, February 13, 2018 7:00 PM -- 9:00 PM


Approve January 2018 minutes. Discuss:

Governor Phil Murphy signed Executive Order #6 to expand and improve access to the Medicinal Marijuana Program at a Press Conference in Trenton on 1/23/18. DOH & BME given 60 days to come up with new rules. "I'm very pleased the governor has taken such a strong stand to expand the program," Wolski said in NJ.com.

NJ’s legalization bill re-introduced in new legislative session (S830/A1348): Support home cultivation, address concerns.

The Medicinal Marijuana Program (MMP) Review Panel said 43 petitions should be added to the MMP; the DOH commissioner must act by 4/25/18. CMMNJ urges extensive amendments to CUMMA.

Marijuana Justice Act of 2017 (S1689): Urge support in Congress: Capwiz from DPA and NORML.

Political Prisoner Ed (NJWeedman) Forchion in jail nearly one year; found guilty of nothing!
Free him!

CMMNJ joined MIDJersey Chamber of Commerce.

Upcoming Events: “CMMNJ TV” taping at Princeton TV studio, February 15, 2018 with ACLU NJ.
Cannabis: Alleviates Pain, Treats Addiction” Patients Out of Time conference, Jersey City, NJ    May 10–12, 2018.

Treasury report: Checking: $3101; PayPal: $3162 (1000 new ECS brochures purchased).

CMMNJ's meetings are the 2nd Tuesday of each month from 7 - 9 PM at the Lawrence Twp. Library, 2751 Brunswick Pike, Lawrence Twp., 08648. All are welcome. (Meeting at the library does not imply Mercer County’s endorsement of our issue.)

More info: Ken Wolski, RN, MPA (609) 394-2137 ohamkrw@aol.com http://www.cmmnj.org
Facebook: Friends of CMMNJ: https://www.facebook.com/groups/62462971150/

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


Monthly Public Meeting Minutes
January 9, 2018


December 2017 minutes approved. Discussion:

Governor-elect Phil Murphy plans to legalize marijuana in the first 100 days of 2018. Advocates urged to work with the new Administration and NJUMR.org to sign petitions, write lawmakers, and pass resolutions about patient access, decriminalization, expungement, etc. to help make this happen.
Gov. Christie finishes his second term at noon on Jan. 16, followed by Murphy inauguration.
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinds Cole memo on 1/4/18—implications for marijuana reform?

California rolls out legal marijuana 1/1/18.

CMMNJ Press Conference at Statehouse, Trenton, 1/9/18 at 11:00 am in support of home cultivation.

NJ’s legalization bill (S3195)
: Facebook’s “Friends of CMMNJ” letter template, addressing concerns.

The Medicinal Marijuana Program (MMP) Review Panel recommended on 10/25/17 that 43 petitions be approved to add conditions to the MMP (chronic pain, anxiety, migraines, Tourette’s syndrome, and Opioid Use Disorder). The DOH commissioner has 180 days to act. CUMMA amendments urged by CMMNJ. Contact the DOH transition team? Stigma still affects how health care professionals learn about marijuana.

Marijuana Justice Act of 2017 (S1689): Urge support in Congress: Capwiz from DPA and NORML.

CMMNJ Year End Report 2017 completed; detailed financial report sent to CMMNJ Board members.

Political Prisoner Ed (NJWeedman) Forchion remains in jail awaiting retrial on hung jury charge.

Upcoming Events: “CMMNJ TV” taping at Princeton TV studio, January 23, 2018.
Patients Out of Time conference, Jersey City, NJ, May 10 – 12, 2018.

Treasury report: Checking: $3264; PayPal: $3292.

More info: Ken Wolski, RN, MPA (609) 394-2137 ohamkrw@aol.com http://www.cmmnj.org
Facebook: Friends of CMMNJ: https://www.facebook.com/groups/62462971150/

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


Recent Media Coverage and Blogs:


NJ Marijuana Legalization: Some Shore Towns Say 'No Sales Here'
https://patch.com/new-jersey/brick/nj-marijuana-legalization-some-shore-towns-saying-no-sales-here

Bipartisan fury greets Trump administration decision to rescind marijuana protections
http://www.philly.com/philly/business/cannabis/trump-administration-to-end-policies-that-let-legal-marijuana-flourish-20180104.html

Jeff Sessions’s Endless War on Marijuana
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/07/opinion/jeff-sessionss-war-marijuana.html?emc=edit_tnt_20180107&nlid=17961243&tntemail0=y

Asbury Park Council Would Support Marijuana Dispensaries Here
https://patch.com/new-jersey/asbury-park/asbury-park-council-would-support-marijuana-dispensaries-here

VA Clears The Air On Doctors Talking To Veterans About Marijuana Use
https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2018/01/09/576577596/va-clears-the-air-on-doctors-talking-to-veterans-about-marijuana-use

NORML: Marijuana Regulation: Impact on Health, Safety, Economy
http://norml.org/marijuana/fact-sheets/item/marijuana-regulation-impact-on-health-safety-economy

NORML: Marijuana and Psychomotor Impairment
http://norml.org/marijuana/fact-sheets/item/marijuana-and-psychomotor-impairment

Beware of bogus marijuana studies | Editorial
http://www.nj.com/opinion/index.ssf/2018/01/beware_of_bogus_marijuana_studies_editorial.html

Howell Mourns Jake 'The Tank,' 7, Who Fought Brain Cancer
https://patch.com/new-jersey/howell/howell-mourns-jake-tank-7-who-fought-brain-cancer

The moral case for legal pot | Editorial
http://www.nj.com/opinion/index.ssf/2018/01/the_moral_case_for_legal_pot_editorial.html

Welcome to Drug War Facts
http://drugwarfacts.org/

New governor signs executive order aimed at expanding New Jersey’s medical marijuana program
https://planetprinceton.com/2018/01/23/new-governor-signs-executive-order-aimed-at-expanding-new-jerseys-medical-marijuana-program/

New Jersey Governor Orders Review of Medical Marijuana Program
https://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/NJ-Murphy-Executive-Order-Medical-Marijuana-470740043.html

Phil Murphy moves to expand access to medical marijuana in New Jersey
http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2018/01/hold_murphy_expands_medical_marijuana_program_adds.html

Should N.J. expand access to medical marijuana?
http://www.nj.com/opinion/index.ssf/2018/01/should_nj_expand_access_to_medical_marijuana.html

Murphy's marijuana audit moves NJ closer to legalization
http://www.dailytargum.com/article/2018/01/murphys-marijuana-audit-moves-nj-closer-to-legalization

NJ marijuana legalization: 5 weed lessons from the New Jersey Cannabis Symposium
https://www.app.com/story/news/local/public-safety/2018/01/26/new-jersey-marijuana-legalization-cannabis-symposium-phil-murphy-2018/1066220001/

Medical marijuana program needs fixes after Christie sabotage | Editorial
http://www.nj.com/opinion/index.ssf/2018/01/medical_marijuana_program_needs_fixes_after_christ.html

Failing to move for emergency vehicle leads to drug arrest of Hopatcong driver
http://www.njherald.com/20180130/failing-to-move-for-emergency-vehicle-leads-to-drug-arrest-of-hopatcong-driver#

What does N.J. say to legal recreational weed? New poll has answers
http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2018/01/what_does_nj_say_to_legal_recreational_marijuana_a.html

New bill could legalize home-grown marijuana in New Jersey
http://newjersey.news12.com/story/37398412/new-bill-could-legalize-home-grown-marijuana-in-new-jersey

New FDU marijuana poll highlights continued divisions
http://www.njbiz.com/article/20180201/NJBIZ01/180209990/new-fdu-marijuana-poll-highlights-continued-divisions

N.J. Assembly majority whip sitting out marijuana legalization | Philly 420
http://www.philly.com/philly/business/cannabis/n-j-assembly-majority-whip-sitting-out-marijuana-legalization-philly-420-20180123.html

Monday, January 8, 2018

NJ Medical Marijuana Patients for Home Cultivation

         
                                         
New Jersey Medical Marijuana Patients for Home Cultivation

Registered medical marijuana patients in New Jersey call on New Jersey legislators and Governor-elect Phil Murphy to allow home cultivation of cannabis.

Caregivers and patients were expecting home gardens until the provision was removed in 2009 from the Compassionate Use of Medical Marijuana Act. Now, almost a decade later, the promise of a robust medical marijuana program is broken.

Home Cultivation is STILL needed for three reasons:
1) Cost - the cost of medical marijuana exceeds half the income of 50% of patients who are on disability;
2) Consistent supply - many patients need specific strains for their conditions, but the dispensaries have trouble maintaining their supplies, often dropping production of the most effective strains;
3) Empowerment - allowing patients to grow their own medicine lets them take control of their disease.

The recreational marijuana bill will likely make the medical strain supply issue worse, to the detriment of patients. Home cultivation is one way of alleviating this issue.

Ken Wolski RN, Executive Director of CMMNJ, stated, “Home cultivation empowers patients to take charge of their own healthcare, to grow their own medicine for pennies and to choose the specific strains that best helps their medical conditions.”

Peter Rosenfeld of CMMNJ added, “As New Jersey moves on to full legalization of marijuana, we want our legislators and Governor-elect Murphy to consider the needs of our state's medical marijuana patients.”

CMMNJ extends an open invitation to Governor-elect Murphy to attend the free, monthly CMMNJ public meeting: Lawrence Township Library, Room #3, Tuesday, January 9, 2018 7:00 PM -- 9:00 PM

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

For more info, contact: Peter @ (856) 495-5824
                                      jprosenfeld@yahoo.com

CMMNJ, a 501(c)(3) public charity, provides education about the benefits of safe and legal access to medical marijuana.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

CMMNJ 2017 Year End Report


Year End Report 2017

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 about medical marijuana.  The goal of CMMNJ is to have safe and legal access to medical marijuana for qualified New Jersey patients.

In 2014, CMMNJ’s Board of Directors endorsed legalization of marijuana. The Board recognized legalization as the most efficient and effective way to get the therapeutic effects of marijuana to the vast number of patients who can benefit from this plant. Legalization of marijuana is also an important step in undoing the harms to our society that are caused by our current policy of drug prohibition.

In 2017, CMMNJ held ten free public meetings at the Lawrence Township Library in Mercer County.  At the meetings, Board members and volunteers planned upcoming events and educational programs.  CMMNJ sent the agenda and minutes of these meetings via e-mail to over 1000 supporters each month and posted the agendas on Facebook, Twitter and on the CMMNJ blog.  There was no March meeting because of a snowstorm and no July meeting due to a schedule conflict at the library. 

CMMNJ’s public meetings for 2018 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 at these meetings and there is never a charge to attend.

New Jersey Highlights of 2017:
Election Day, Tuesday, November 7, 2017 was a big win for Phil Murphy and marijuana reform in New Jersey! Governor-elect Murphy plans to legalize marijuana in the first 100 days of 2018!

CMMNJ pursued marijuana legalization in New Jersey throughout 2017. The January 2017 monthly meeting asked the questions: What strategies should we pursue to advance the support for legalization of marijuana in New Jersey in 2017? Our usual answers applied:
Educational efforts, Coalition building, Demonstrations, Media & Social Media outreach.

Our Goals were: Legalization, with home cultivation, and expungement of prior non-violent marijuana records.  Rescheduling or descheduling of marijuana from its Schedule I status in New Jersey. Help to inner city communities devastated by the War on Marijuana.

Meanwhile, Gov. Christie hammered backers of legalizing marijuana, calling it “beyond stupidity.” Governor Christie leaves office on 1/16/18.

CMMNJ began working locally in Trenton with the Trenton Cannabis Community Awareness organization.

New Jersey State Senator Nick Scutari introduced a legalization bill (S3195) on 5/15/17 at State House press conference. CMMNJ issued a press release in support of the bill, calling Legalization “the best way to get the right medicine to the most people.” An informational hearing on Sen. Scutari’s legalization bill was held at the Senate Judiciary Committee on 6/19/17. CMMNJ testified in support of the bill and called for public use of marijuana. CMMNJ also called for CUMMA amendments—repeal 7% medical tax; add home cultivation; & reschedule marijuana.

Scutari's bill, (S3195) based on visits to Colorado's thriving recreational program, would:
Legalize possession and personal use of small amounts of marijuana for persons age 21 and over; creates Division of Marijuana Enforcement and licensing structure;
http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/2016/Bills/S3500/3195_I1.HTM
Decriminalize marijuana possession of up to 50 grams "immediately" and allow people who have been arrested for pot possession to expunge their records;
Establish a Division of Marijuana Enforcement in the state Attorney General's Office which would create the rules used to govern the legal market of growers and sellers;
Allow people to possess up to one ounce of dried marijuana, 16 ounces of edible products infused with cannabis, 72 ounces in liquid form and seven grams of marijuana "concentrate;
Impose a sales tax on recreational sales beginning at 7 percent in the first year, climbing to 10 percent in the second year and jumping five percent more each year until it reaches 25 percent;
Taxes on medical marijuana would be abolished;
Give the five existing medical marijuana dispensary nonprofit groups first crack at selling adult use marijuana.

Marijuana legalization may well be an idea whose time has come. Forbes magazine reports that Total Marijuana Demand Tops Ice Cream In the U.S.:
https://www.forbes.com/sites/debraborchardt/2017/05/17/new-report-says-total-marijuana-demand-tops-ice-cream/#2e396df75b5e

Marijuana rescheduling in New Jersey:
The New Jersey Superior Court Appellate Division heard oral arguments for marijuana rescheduling in New Jersey on 11/29/16 in Trenton. Arguing pro bono to reschedule were Joseph L. Linares, Esq. and Marc Haefner, Esq. from the Newark Walsh law firm. The lawsuit was initiated by an inmate at New Jersey State Prison at Trenton, Steven Kadonsky, #807236B.

Nearly a year later, in November 2017, the Appellate Court ruled that the Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs in the NJ Attorney General’s office erred when he said he lacked the authority to reclassify/reschedule/de-schedule marijuana. The Director must reconsider his decision in the “post-CUMMA era” the court said. New Jersey must recognize marijuana's medicinal value, the court insisted.

The AG’s office is considering an appeal of the decision to the NJ Supreme Court. CMMNJ told KYW Newsradio 1060 that appealing the Appellate ruling would prove to be “an exercise in futility.”
 http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2017/11/04/appeals-court-orders-new-jersey-to-rethink-designation-of-marijuana-as-dangerous-drug/

New Jersey Department of Health (DOH) Medicinal Marijuana Program (MMP):
The fifth anniversary of legal sales of marijuana in New Jersey was on 12-6-17.  The 8th anniversary of New Jersey’s Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act becoming law will be on 1-18-18. Five Alternative Treatment Centers (ATCs) are currently open and dispensing medical marijuana to qualified patients.

 Acting Commissioner Christopher Rinn began leading the Department of Health on November 9, 2017. Mr. Rinn said, in the Nov./Dec. 2017 Newsletter, “NJ Health Matters,”  the DOH “created a Medicinal Marijuana Program that now serves 16,000 patients and developed a protocol for testing to ensure the product is free of contaminants.” http://www.nj.gov/health/newsletter/documents/2017/Health%20Matters%20Nov-Dec%202017.pdf

Susan Carson is the Director of the NJ DOH MMP. She continues to be a good source of information about the program, and she appears to have the best interests of New Jersey patients always in mind.

Harmony Foundation was issued a permit to grow marijuana as the 6th ATC in New Jersey on 7/27/17. As of the end of 2017, Harmony has not yet opened. Harmony was one of the original nonprofit organizations to be approved to grow, process, and sell medical marijuana in the state, but it reportedly had ongoing problems with the state’s vetting process.

NJ DOH MMP process to add qualifying conditions for marijuana therapy:
The New Jersey Department of Health accepted Petitions to add qualifying conditions to the state’s MMP between 8-1-16 and 8-31-16. A total of 45 Petitions were accepted by the NJ DOH for consideration by a panel of health care professionals --five physicians, two pharmacists and one RN, who were appointed by the DOH.

For a list of the conditions, see: http://cmmnj.blogspot.com/2017/01/petitions-to-nj-doh-panel.html;
for links to each Petition, see: http://www.nj.gov/health/medicalmarijuana/review-panel/petitions2016.shtml

The Review Panel held a Public Hearing in Trenton on 2/22/17 for additional testimony on the 45 Petitions. Additional comments were accepted by the Panel through 3/8/17. Thanks to all those who came out to testify. The Panel heard compelling stories from patients, patients’ families and advocates. These were the stories that the Medical Review Panel needed to hear! The Review Panel gave initial approval to 43 of 45 petitions to add conditions to the MMP (only Asthma and Chronic Fatigue were denied). The DOH posted the Review Panel’s initial approval to add conditions to the MMP on 7/25/17. See: http://www.nj.gov/health/medicalmarijuana/documents/Initial%20Recommendation%20Letter.pdf

After the Panel’s initial recommendations to the DOH Commissioner, there was a 60-day public comment period, followed by the Panel’s final recommendations. 

A Public Hearing was held on 9/18/17 at the Trenton War Memorial on the Medicinal Marijuana Program Review Panel’s initial approval of 43 petitions. The 60 day public comment period ended 9/25/17, followed by final recommendations.  Panel was thanked and urged to speed up the process. DOH Commissioner Cathleen Bennett announced her resignation.

The Review Panel gave their final approval on October 25th for the use of marijuana for 43 of the 45 petitions. These additional medical conditions include chronic pain, anxiety, migraines, and Tourette's syndrome.

The panel should be congratulated for its research, its thoroughness and its courageous adherence to evidence-based criteria in its decision making. When the science is objectively pursued, the therapeutic potential of medical marijuana is found to be enormous.

Now the DOH Commissioner/Acting Commissioner has 180 days from 10/25/17 to make the final decision on what, if any, conditions to add to the MMP. No word has come from the DOH on this by the end of 2017.

Ed “NJWeedman” Forchion Update:
Ed Forchion’s restaurant, the "Joint" and his church, the "Liberty Bell Temple," both located across the street from Trenton’s City Hall, were visited by law enforcement officers (LEOs) on 3-5-16. This was followed by a request for an injunction to stop police harassment of these facilities. However, the facilities were instead raided by LEOs on 4-27-16 with multiple arrests and property confiscated. 

Mr. Forchion was subsequently arrested again and charged with harassing a Trenton police officer. Mr. Forchion was arrested on 3/3/17 on witness tampering charges and held without bail. He remains incarcerated nine months and counting, though he has not been found guilty of any charges.

At trial on the witness tampering charge, he was found not guilty of the more serious charge, but the jury was hung on the less serious charge. Incarcerated without bail awaiting retrial, Mr. Forchion considers himself a political prisoner, who is being harassed because of his outspoken advocacy for marijuana reform. Mr. Forchion uses marijuana medicinally to control the pain associated with tumors that he has on the bones in his legs. He is also a Rastafarian who uses marijuana as a part of his sincere religious beliefs.

Marcel “Leo” Bridgewater, a Veteran who was instrumental in getting PTSD added as a condition that qualifies for marijuana therapy in New Jersey, is now president of NJ Chapter of “Minorities for Medical Marijuana” a national organization. He is also affiliated with NJ CannaBusiness Association.

For the first time ever, a New Jersey Judge of Compensation Orders Employer To Pay Costs Of Medical Marijuana Program And Costs Of Filling Prescriptions:
http://njworkerscompblog.com/new-jersey-judge-of-compensation-orders-employercarrier-to-pay-costs-of-medical-marijuana-program-and-costs-of-filling-prescriptions-for-marijuana/

NORML: Action Alert List - Find Your Elected Officials: http://norml.org/


Marijuana Bills in New Jersey’s 2016-2017 Legislative Session:
January 2018 will be the start of a new, 2-year legislative session in New Jersey.  All bills reintroduced in the legislature will be given new bill numbers. There were 22 marijuana-related bills in the 2016-2017 Legislative Session. Information about these bills can be found on the web site of the New Jersey Legislature: http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/

A416: Dedicates sales and use tax collections from sales of medical Marijuana to the "Medical Marijuana for a Cure Fund" for medical research grants on certain debilitating medical conditions.
A457: Authorizes Medical Marijuana for qualifying patients with post-traumatic stress disorder.
Identical Bill Number: S2345   
A861: Requires registered qualifying patient's authorized use of medical Marijuana to be considered equivalent to use of any other prescribed medication. Identical Bill Number: S1294   
A2068: Legalizes possession and personal use of small amounts of Marijuana for persons age 21 and over. Last Session Bill Number: A3094   S1896
A2116: Extends "Right to Farm" protections to cultivation or production of Marijuana for medical use; permits such activity on preserved farmland; prohibits county or municipal interference with such activity.
A2482: Establishes protection from adverse employment action for authorized medical Marijuana patients. Identical Bill Number: S2161   
A3443: Authorizes transfer of excess medical Marijuana inventory between alternative treatment centers.
A3664: Authorizes Medical Marijuana for treatment of dysmenorrhea. Identical Bill Number: S2139   
A3852: "Children's Caregivers Act"; revises requirements for primary caregivers for medical Marijuana patients who are minors. Identical Bill Number: S2954   
A3942: Places question on ballot allowing Atlantic City to adopt resolution to legalize Marijuana in Atlantic City; establishes regulatory scheme for Marijuana controlled by State Department of Law and Public Safety; increases penalties for driving under influence of Marijuana.
A4026: Revises various requirements concerning State Medical Marijuana program, including facilitating access to medical Marijuana for children with debilitating medical conditions and their caregivers.  Identical Bill Number: S2794   
A4193: Legalizes Marijuana and provides for records expungement for certain past Marijuana offenses; treats Marijuana products similar to tobacco products, including use of civil penalties for providing Marijuana to persons under 19 years of age.
A4793: Prohibits restrictions on patient receiving organ transplant based on Marijuana use.
A4872: Legalizes possession and personal use of small amounts of Marijuana for persons age 21 and over; creates Division of Marijuana Enforcement and licensing structure. Identical Bill Number: S3195   
ACR149: Determines that certain medical Marijuana program regulations are inconsistent with legislative intent.
S1294: Requires registered qualifying patient's authorized use of medical Marijuana to be considered equivalent to use of any other prescribed medication. Identical Bill Number: A861   
S2139: Authorizes Medical Marijuana for treatment of dysmenorrhea.
S2161: Establishes protection from adverse employment action for authorized medical Marijuana patients. Identical Bill Number: A2482   
S2345: Authorizes Medical Marijuana for qualifying patients with post-traumatic stress disorder.
Identical Bill Number: A457   
S2794: Revises various requirements concerning State Medical Marijuana program, including facilitating access to medical Marijuana for children with debilitating medical conditions and their caregivers. Identical Bill Number: A4026 w/c   
S2954: "Children's Caregivers Act"; revises requirements for primary caregivers for medical Marijuana patients who are minors. Identical Bill Number: A3852 w/c   
S3195: Legalizes possession and personal use of small amounts of Marijuana for persons age 21 and over; creates Division of Marijuana Enforcement and licensing structure. Identical Bill Number: A4872   

National Events:
New Jersey U.S. Senator Cory Booker introduced The Marijuana Justice Act of 2017 (S1689) at a press conference in Linden, NJ on August 4, 2017.  CMMNJ members were invited guests at the press conference. Supporters of the bill are looking for national co-sponsors of Booker’s bill.

On Election Day, in November 2016, four states OK’d legal marijuana (California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada); four states OK’d medical marijuana (Arkansas, Florida, Montana and North Dakota). But advocates were left wondering: What can we expect from President-elect Trump? Now, a year later, we are still wondering. Mr. Trump has supported states rights and medical marijuana on the campaign trail, but he appointed Jeff Sessions as Attorney General, and Mr. Sessions has spoken out against marijuana reform on numerous occasions and seems to want to roll back reform efforts.

On 12/22/17 in Washington, D.C., Congress voted to extend protections for state medical marijuana programs through January 19. The provision, known as the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment, was continued in legislation to fund the government for a month.

Representative Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), co-chair of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus and champion of the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment, released the following statement:
“Patients around the country who rely on medical marijuana for treatment and the businesses that serve them now have some measure of certainty. Our fight, however, continues to maintain these important protections in the next funding bill passed by Congress.”

A federal bill to resolve the conflict between state and federal medical marijuana laws is the Compassionate Access, Research Expansion and Respect States Act (CARERS Act). Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), and Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), teamed up for S. 683, which now has a mix of cosponsors, 14 Democrats and three Republicans. It has been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee but has not yet come up for a vote.   The identical House version H.R. 1538, introduced by Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN9) has evenly-bipartisan cosponsors, 19 Democrat and 12 Republican, but also has yet to receive a vote.

100th 2017 Statehouse Podcast:
CMMNJ sponsored and participated in a series of Statehouse demonstrations and Podcasts every Thursday, rain or shine, from April through November, going back to 2014. 

The final 2017 Statehouse Podcast (the 100th ) concluded with Thanksgiving Day lunch/clothing giveaway outside the Annex. Wayne Burrini (http://www.burrinis.com/) generously donated many delicious food items. Other advocates and patients donated food and clothing. Jim Miller and Lefty Grimes were recognized at the December 2017 CMMNJ meeting for their heroic efforts in completing 100 podcasts outside the New Jersey Statehouse in all kinds of weather. Permits were obtained from the State Police each week for the demonstrations.  The podcasts and demonstrations called attention to the deficiencies of the MMP and the need for legalization of marijuana. 
Sample Podcasts:
SativaCross.com Podcast from Chris Christie's Office
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ALaEBYKW78g&feature=push-lsb&attr_tag=WEdnMp0uNnilwc59-6
Sativa Cross.com Potcast from the Statehouse 5/31/17
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ypdv4M8fMgI
SativaCross.com Podcast from Chris Christie's Office
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=liJiWCyUsm8
Sativa Cross Podcast
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vWIdWGsQ1Bg
Sativa Cross .com Potcast From The NJ Statehouse
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=5924&v=et-Qc8mjTcQ

2017 CMMNJ Publications:
CMMNJ Monthly Agendas and Minutes also contain links to published reports by and about CMMNJ Board members and friends. 
For the 2017 CMMNJ Agendas and Minutes, see:

December 2017: 
CMMNJ Minutes for December 12, 2017 Meeting
http://cmmnj.blogspot.com/2017/12/cmmnj-minutes-for-december-12-2017.html
CMMNJ: Proposed improvements for the NJ Medical Marijuana Program
http://cmmnj.blogspot.com/2017/12/cmmnj-proposed-improvements-for-nj.html
NJ Medical Marijuana Patients to Governor-elect Murphy: We need home cultivation
http://cmmnj.blogspot.com/2017/12/for-immediate-release-coalition-of.html
CMMNJ Meeting Agenda for December 12, 2017
http://cmmnj.blogspot.com/2017/12/cmmnj-meeting-agenda-for-december-12.html
November 2017: 
NJ Panel OKs marijuana for more conditions
http://cmmnj.blogspot.com/2017/11/nj-panel-oks-marijuana-for-more.html
November 14, 2017 Meeting Agenda and October Minutes
http://cmmnj.blogspot.com/2017/11/monthly-public-meeting-agenda-lawrence.html
September 2017: 
CMMNJ Meeting Agenda for October 10, 2017 and September Minutes
http://cmmnj.blogspot.com/2017/09/cmmnj-agenda-for-october-10-2017.html
Public comment period on adding qualifying conditions to the Medicinal Marijuana Program
http://cmmnj.blogspot.com/2017/09/219-woodside-ave.html
CMMNJ Public Meeting Agenda for September 12, 2017 and August Minutes
http://cmmnj.blogspot.com/2017/09/cmmnj-public-meeting-agenda-for-sept-12.html
August 2017: 
CMMNJ Public Meeting Agenda for August 8, 2017 and June Minutes
http://cmmnj.blogspot.com/2017/07/cmmnj-public-meeting-agenda-for-august.html
June 2017: 
S3195: Legislation to Legalize Marijuana in New Jersey and CMMNJ’s Proposed Amendments to the Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act
http://cmmnj.blogspot.com/2017/06/s3195-legislation-to-legalize-marijuana.html
Legislation to Legalize Marijuana in New Jersey
http://cmmnj.blogspot.com/2017/06/legislation-to-legalize-marijuana-in.html
CMMNJ Public Meeting Agenda for June 13, 2017 and May Minutes
http://cmmnj.blogspot.com/2017/06/cmmnj-monthly-meeting-agenda-for-june.html
May 2017:  
CMMNJ Public Meeting Agenda for May 9, 2017 and April Minutes
http://cmmnj.blogspot.com/2017/05/cmmnj-public-meeting-agenda-for-may-9.html
April 2017: 
CMMNJ Public Meeting Agenda for April 11, 2017 and February Minutes
http://cmmnj.blogspot.com/2017/04/cmmnj-april-11-2017-meeting-agenda.html
March 2017:
CMMNJ Public Meeting Agenda for March 14, 2017 and February Minutes
http://cmmnj.blogspot.com/2017/03/march-14-2017-cmmnj-monthly-public.html
February 2017: 
CMMNJ Public Meeting Agenda for February 14, 2017 and January Minutes
http://cmmnj.blogspot.com/2017/02/cmmnj-public-meeting-agenda-for-feb-14.html
January 2017: 
CMMNJ Public Meeting Agenda for January 10, 2017 and December 2016 Minutes
http://cmmnj.blogspot.com/2017/01/cmmnj-meeting-agenda-for-jan-10-2017.html
Petitions to the NJ DOH Panel
http://cmmnj.blogspot.com/2017/01/petitions-to-nj-doh-panel.html
CMMNJ Year End Report 2016
http://cmmnj.blogspot.com/2017/01/cmmnj-year-end-report-2016.html

CMMNJ TV: “CMMNJ TV” began at Princeton Community TV on 11/11/14 and continued throughout 2017.  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.  Episodes of “CMMNJ TV” are taped one day each month at the Princeton Community TV Studio.  “CMMNJ TV” episodes also include footage shot outside the studio.

2017 Episodes–CMMNJ TV: 
Zoe Patchell /INE Tour: Parsippany
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ICUOU3JLHA&t=144s
CMMNJ TV: Dana Beal
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tdN63pIBCg8
Audrey and Kevin Byrnes discuss medical marijuana, laws and uses.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6dKk5byTFFk
CMMNJ TV: Women's Veterans Collective
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQWBZ_S_h7I
CMMNJ TV: Chris Conrad & Mikki Norris
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O1NQwip4SK8&t=166s
CMMNJ TV: Honeyb Thomas Ignorance Is No Excuse Wheelchair Video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k-P-9j7FWRk
CMMNJ TV Dave Borden
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zq00hYwhu6g

CMMNJ members participated in or attended the following events in 2017:
Medical Cannabis Conference, Montego Bay Jamaica, Nov. 10 -15, 2017.
Princeton psychiatrist Dr. David Nathan gave a presentation at the August CMMNJ meeting on the organization he founded, Doctors for Cannabis Regulation, http://dfcr.org/.
Ken Wolski and Dr. David Nathan were interviewed on NJTV News: http://watch.njtvonline.org/video/2365918193/
There Are Big Benefits In Medical Marijuana For Seniors
http://advocateformomanddad.com/medical-marijuana-seniors/
What Nurses Need to Know about Medical Cannabis; University Medical Center at Princeton (UMCP) 2/18/17.
ASA Unity Conference, The Role of Cannabis in Modern Medicine, Washington, D.C., 4/7-11.
http://www.nationalmedicalcannabisunityconference.org/
“Nursing Medical Cannabis Conference” at Monmouth Medical Center, 7/15/17.
Medical Cannabis Conference at Princeton Medical Center In Plainsboro NJ, 6/10/17, CEUs.
420 Statehouse Smokedown/Podcast; Party at NJ Weedman’s Joint, Trenton, NJ 4/20.
Community Fest; The College of New Jersey, 9/23/17 10 -4 pm.
Perspectives on Cannabis Legalization on Youth and Emerging Adults, Rutgers U., 9/6.
NORML’s 2017 Conference and Congressional Lobby Day, Washington, DC, 9/10-12.
Medical Marijuana, Holistic Moms Network, 211 Broad St, Red Bank, NJ, 9/8/17.
Trenton Cannabis Community Awareness: Part 2, Mill Hill Park, Trenton, 9/24/17.
Fully Baked Radio educational event at Trenton’s Mill Hill Park, 8/12/17 at 4:20 pm.
CMMNJ TV taping with Riley Cote, 7/31/17.
Global Cannabis March -Rehoboth Beach, DE, 5/6/17, Surfside Park & North Boardwalk.
Pennington Day, 5/20/17.
Ken Wolski’s “Grand Rounds” at Trinitas Hospital, Elizabeth, NJ, 5/11/17 for CMEs.
“Medical Marijuana” at Montclair’s Center for Healthy Living, 5/31/17 for CEUs.
New Jersey Cannabusiness Association (NJCBA): Trade association focused on supporting the growing legal cannabis industry. http://www.newjerseycannabusiness.com/
Meet and Greet Social, Help Not Handcuffs, Asbury Park, NJ, 10/28/17.
NJ CannaBusiness April Seminar Video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p81pLu1DeRw
New Jersey CannaBusiness Association: Updates on Cannabis Laws and Business Opportunities in NJ. Kenilworth, NJ 07033, 4/19/17.
Pot groups: Let NJers smoke marijuana in public
http://nj1015.com/pot-groups-let-njers-smoke-marijuana-in-public/?trackback=tsmclip
Trenton PD shares their thoughts on medical marijuana with Trenton Cannabis & Community Awareness
https://www.facebook.com/thelightersideoftrenton/posts/772617489576377
Cannabis Nurses Magazine, September/October 2017
https://issuu.com/hempnation/docs/cnm_sept-oct_2017fin
Tatyana ‘Tuffy’ Rivera and her New Jersey Cannabis Activist Family
http://www.ladybud.com/2017/09/11/tatyana-tuffy-rivera-and-her-new-jersey-cannabis-activist-family/
New website touts NJ reform: https://www.3fronts.org/

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:
The volunteer administrators on Facebook’s Friends of the Coalition for Medical Marijuana-NJ who ably moderate the many discussions at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/62462971150/
Laura Carter who has selflessly volunteered her time coordinating CMMNJ activities with the Trenton Community, Veterans, and others.

CMMNJ 2017 Board Update:
Formal meetings of the CMMNJ Board of Directors were held on February 8, and June 5, 2017.
Vanessa Maria resigned from the CMMNJ Board in May 2017.
At the close of 2017, the CMMNJ Board consists of the following 10 people: Kenneth R. Wolski, RN, Executive Director; James Miller, Senior Director; Edward R. Hannaman, Esq., Secretary; Nick Mellis, Peter Rosenfeld, Vanessa Waltz, Larry Vargo, Amanda Hoffman, Jo Anne Zito and Philippe Dume. 
CMMNJ’s Honorary Board Member is Allan Marain, Esq.
Jim Price continues in his role as Communications Director for CMMNJ.

Treasury Report: 
A detailed treasury report was forwarded to CMMNJ Board members.  In summary, in 2017 CMMNJ had expenditures of $2,652.42 and income of $3,445.03.  CMMNJ finished the year with a checking account balance of $3,264.85 and a PayPal account balance of $3,292.76, for a grand total of $6,557.61.
 
CMMNJ still has almost 50,000 all hemp wristbands and necklaces that were donated recently.  The multicolored bands were made in Romania. The suggested price is $1 apiece.  Wholesale prices are available.

CMMNJ purchased from Royal T’s 70 t-shirts at a wholesale cost of $490. The t-shirts have the familiar CMMNJ logo and are available for resale at $15 each.

CMMNJ is 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 2018 Recommendations:
Continue to build support for legalization of marijuana in New Jersey.
Implement a timely legalization program that brings affordable, high quality marijuana to New Jersey adults in an appropriately regulated fashion.
CMMNJ renews its annual call for national clinical trials of marijuana for MS and PTSD.
Reschedule or deschedule marijuana, both in New Jersey and nationally.
Expand New Jersey’s Medicinal Marijuana Program by adding qualifying conditions; also, improve the program in ways that bring access of high quality and affordable marijuana to patients who can benefit from it.
Attend the Patients Out of Time conference being held in New Jersey for the first time ever on May 10 – 12, 2018 at Loew’s Jersey Theater in Jersey City.

Schedule of CMMNJ 2018 meetings: 
CMMNJ’s free, public meetings will continue to be held on the second Tuesday of each month in 2018 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.)

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

January 2, 2018