Monday, March 28, 2011

Medical Marijuana Group Responds to DHSS Resignations

3/28/2011 - The Coalition for Medical Marijuana--New Jersey (CMMNJ) notes with great concern the sudden resignation of New Jersey’s two top health officials and the continued pressure from Governor Chris Christie to implement unworkable regulations for the medical marijuana program.

Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) Commissioner Dr. Poonam Alaigh and Deputy Commissioner Dr. Susan Walsh were tasked with putting the compassionate use law into practice. Both announced their resignations last week coincident with the awarding of permits to run medical marijuana dispensaries, or Alternative Treatment Centers.

CMMNJ would support any investigation into the ATC awards process by the media and/or the Legislature.

NJ DHSS has proposed a set of regulations to implement the Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act. A state executive agency is obligated to adhere to both the specific statutory terms and the clear legislative intent but it is not authorized or empowered to effectively rewrite the statute, substituting its judgment for that of the Legislature.

The New Jersey Senate and Assembly have declared the proposed regulations from DHSS to be inconsistent with the law's intent. Senator Nicholas Scutari has introduced SCR151, the final stage of a rare process that would invalidate parts of the rules. This action would empower the Legislature to ensure the integrity of the new law and could avoid any further delays to the program, if it is employed quickly.

CMMNJ supports this legislative resolution to invalidate significant parts of the current medical marijuana program regulations.

It is our hope the new DHSS officials in charge of the Medicinal Marijuana Program will uphold the intent of the law, unlike their predecessors. CMMNJ suggests the following:

- The DHSS Commissioner and Deputies must commit themselves to understanding and openly stating that marijuana is medicine, since that is what the law declares

- DHSS should be responsive to the concerns of marijuana experts and patients. Previous public hearings have elicited hundreds of impassioned pleas from patients, advocates and potential ATC operators that have been uniformly ignored by DHSS.

CONTACT: Ken Wolski 609 394 2137 or Chris Goldstein


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  2. I am a 65 YO polio survivor. I was diagnosed with Post Polio syndrome in 1992. I have rotating joint pains which causes sleeplessness amoung other things. I have been smoking pot for over 50 years to ease pain as well as helping in other area's of my life. Phsycologically it keeps me focused and on point for the things I must deal with.
    In 2008 my son was arrested and the plice came into my home and found 1 gram of pot. NOW in order for his parole to accepted they wont allow him to live in my home again.
    This is total BS to me. My son knew there was pot in my home and NEVER got involved to ANY degree. He has been tested over and over again and remains clean. He has NEVER had any form of problems with drugs yet he can't come back here and live with me because I use pot. His release is subject to him having a place to live.
    We NEED this law enacted ASAP so that when he is released...he has a place to live and can help me again. I need his help badly as I am not in the greatest health and he was MY LEGS while we lived together prior to his incarceration.
    I'm sick of all the delays and limitations put on this law.