Sunday, April 29, 2018

POT Comes to NJ: May 10 -12, Jersey City

“Patients Out of Time” Conference Coming to New Jersey, May 10-12, 2018

Mary Lynn Mathre, RN, MSN, CARN, the President and Founding Director 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 Loews Movie Palace, 54 Journal Square Plaza, Jersey City, NJ. Registration information is available at:

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, the use of marijuana in the treatment of pain and addiction, is particularly relevant to New Jersey this year.

In October 2017, the healthcare professionals in the Review Panel, appointed by the New Jersey Department of Health (DOH), recommended that 43 petitions be approved as additional qualifying conditions for marijuana therapy in the state’s Medicinal Marijuana Program (MMP). The majority of these petitions concerned chronic pain of various origins. One of the petitions recommended for approval would allow marijuana to be recommended for Opioid Use Disorder.

Governor Phil Murphy signed Executive Order #6 on January 23, 2018 directing the DOH and the Board of Medical Examiners to review the MMP within 60 days and make recommendations to expand it and ease access to it. See:

Governor Murphy announced at a press conference in Trenton on March 27, 2018 that the Commissioner of the DOH approved the recommendations of the Review Panel, along with other improvements to the MMP. For the full report on Executive Order 6, see:

The governor noted that “scientific studies demonstrate that the medical use of marijuana has proven to be an effective treatment for patients suffering from painful, debilitating, and often chronic medical conditions; (but) of New Jersey’s nine million residents, only approximately 15,000 are able to participate in the State’s MMP.” Expanding the MMP will “ensure that (patients) are receiving a product 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.”

The governor said at the press conference, "For 8 years medical marijuana has been legal in New Jersey, but the law's spirit has been stifled by a hostile administration. We've had medical marijuana in name only."

Governor Murphy also campaigned to legalize marijuana for adult use in New Jersey. Marijuana use is poised to become a great deal more prevalent in New Jersey with the expansion of the medical program and the possibility of legalization for adults. It therefore is incumbent on healthcare professionals to have a greater understanding of the expected effects, side effects, adverse effects, dosages and drug interactions associated with the use of this substance.

Attending the Patients Out of Time national conference, “Cannabis: Alleviates Pain, Treats Addiction” is an excellent place to start, or continue, this educational process.

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

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