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The latest MMJ news for Dirty Jersey

Discussion in 'New Jersey Patients' started by gopherbuddah, Jun 17, 2011.

  1.  
    gopherbuddah

    gopherbuddah Well-Known Member

  2.  
    Farfenugen

    Farfenugen Active Member

    Typical beaurocratic stumble-bumbing. Retraining for doctors who prescribe lethal nasty drugs that do more to harm an immune system than aide it? This is your basic political waivering, stretching out the procedural wasting of time. Proscribing medical marijuana is in itself a lengthy and disheartening process. Not only do they wish to have everyone and anyone's name into some database, they also wish to discriminate against those that deem medical marijuana a viable alternative to the big pharm corporations products. Even if the laws are somehow tweaked a bit to allow even the most stringent of medical uses, it always comes back to this huge black cloud of legalization (ie: having everyone happy and carefree with no consideration to the billions of dollars needed to fund CEO's corporate jets, political contributions, limouzines and the big war machine).

    The Blue Meanies are out to thwart fun and freedom. It will NEVER be legalized. And all those medical marijuana dispensiaries are merely scapegoats to be crushed when (not if) they require it to be crushed.
     
  3.  
    gopherbuddah

    gopherbuddah Well-Known Member

    Despite the ongoing threats from the federal government, New Jersey’s medical marijuana law will be implemented, Governor Chris Christie announced on Tuesday.

    Gov Christie’s decision came despite his failing to receive sought-after assurances from the U.S. Justice Dept that it wouldn’t seek to prosecute government employees involved in the regulation of the Garden State’s medi-pot program.

    In announcing his decision, Gov Christie cited his own previous experience as New Jersey’s U.S. Attorney in coming to the conclusion that the Feds have bigger fish to fry than medicinal cannabis dispensaries.

    “It is my belief, having held that job for seven years, that there's a lot of other things that will be more important as long as the dispensaries operate within the law,” Gov Christie said.

    Christie said he was willing to assume the “risk” of implementing New Jersey’s medical marijuana law, passed in 2010 by the state legislature (and amended in early 2011), that is among the most restrictive medical marijuana legislation of the 16 U.S. states (and D.C.) that have legalized it. Six nonprofit “Alternative Treatment Centers” (ATC) have been designated to provide medicine throughout New Jersey, but they had been unable to begin operations until Governor Christie’s decision. New Jersey medi-pot patients are not allowed to grow their own medicine; they must obtain it from an ATC.

    Though Paul Fishman, the U.S. Attorney for New Jersey, has not publicly commented on this issue, an anonymous source who is “familiar with Fishman’s thinking” told the AP it was unlikely Fishman would prosecute any state employee working within the parameters of state law.

    Roseanne Scotti of the New Jersey Drug Policy Alliance, the organization that initiated the effort to get New Jersey’s medical cannabis law passed, told the AP: “We are absolutely thrilled that the governor has decided to move forward with the program and we hope that officials in other states who are contemplating options for their programs will follow New Jersey's lead.”

    New Jersey state Assemblyman Reed Gusciora, a sponsor of the medi-pot bill, made his point that New Jersey medical marijuana regulators have nothing to fear at the expense of one of neighboring New York’s baseball teams: “The Mets have a better chance of winning the World Series than a state public official being prosecuted by the feds.”

    More @ cbsnews.com
     
  4.  
    gopherbuddah

    gopherbuddah Well-Known Member

    Message flagged
    Friday, September 30, 2011 5:55 PM

    Message body


    Untitled document[​IMG]

    Monthly Public Meeting Agenda

    Lawrence Twp. Library (Mercer County) Room #1
    Tuesday, October 11, 2011; 7:00 PM -- 9:00 PM

    7:00 PM: Call meeting to order. Approve September 2011 minutes. Discuss:

    NJ's Medicinal Marijuana Program is moving forward "expeditiously"? Latest count: 99 doctors have registered with DHSS. No ATC's open yet. No ID cards issued yet. CMMNJ Board votes to support A4252 which decriminalizes 15 grams or less of marijuana in NJ.
    John Wilson released from state prison on bail pending NJ Supreme Court appeal. NJ medical marijuana patient, activist & CMMNJ volunteer Colleen Begley faces prison term. Ed Forchion, NJWeedman, trial slated for 10/18/11 in Burlington Co.; seeks to have drug charges dropped.
    Upcoming events: Community Day, Lawrence Twp, 10/2/11, 12:30 pm to 4:00 pm. NORML NJ meeting in Joe's Mill Hill Saloon, Trenton, 10/10/11 at 7 pm. Lecture: "Medical Marijuana Update" for Bayada Nurses, Overlook Hospital, Summit, NJ, 10/19/11, 9:00 am to 10:30 am. "NJ Monthly" article on medical marijuana is due in the November 2011 issue.
    Recent events: Midwest Harvest Fest., Madison, WI, 10/1 & 2. Boston Freedom Rally 9/17.
    Treasury report: Checking: $3881; PayPal: $3072. Make a tax-deductible donation to CMMNJ, a 501(c)(3) public charity. Use Paypal on our web site, or send a check to "CMMNJ" to the address below. Get a free t-shirt for a donation above $15—specify size.
    CMMNJ's meetings are the second Tuesday of each month from 7 - 9 PM at the Lawrence Twp. Library, 2751 Brunswick Pike, Lawrence Twp., Tel. #609.882.9246. All are welcome. (Meeting at the library does not imply their endorsement of our issue.)
    The meeting in November 2011 will be held at the Green Party Headquarters, 855 Berkeley Ave., Trenton, NJ.
    For more info, contact: Ken Wolski, RN, MPA, Executive Director, Coalition for Medical Marijuana—New Jersey, Inc. 219 Woodside Ave., Trenton, NJ 08618 (609) 394-2137 [email protected] www.cmmnj.org


    [​IMG]

    Monthly Public Meeting Minutes
    Tuesday, September 13, 2011; 7:00 PM -- 9:00 PM

    7:00 PM: Call meeting to order. July 2011 minutes approved. Discussion:
    CMMNJ extends condolences to Chris Goldstein on the recent death in his family.
    After a three-month delay, NJ's Medicinal Marijuana Program is moving forward "expeditiously" according to Governor Christie on 7/19/11. Latest count: 99 doctors have registered with DHSS. No ATC's open yet. No ID cards issued yet. Some ATC applicants are appealing the awards process.
    John Wilson imprisoned; files NJ Supreme Court appeal; family says he is not receiving proper treatment in prison. CMMNJ calls for National MS Clinical Trial of Medical Marijuana. CMMNJ volunteer Colleen Begley faces prison term. Ed Forchion, NJWeedman, seeks to have drug charges dropped. Stroke victim Mary P. used medical marijuana on her doctor's recommendation: "It changed my life remarkably," she said.
    Recent events: Chris Goldstein on NJ Today 7/8/11. "NJ Medical Marijuana Documentary" at the Princeton Public Library, 7/21/11. Ken Wolski on News12 NJ's "Power and Politics" 7/22/11. Louis Santiago debates medical marijuana on Hispanic Int. TV Network (HITN), 7/26/11. NORML NJ meeting Trenton, NJ 8/8/11. NJ State Police Supt. responds to canceled Cheryl Miller Vigil in June. U.S. Medical Marijuana Chamber of Commerce Press Conference at the State House, Trenton, NJ 8/31/11.
    Upcoming events: Great Midwest Harvest Festival, Madison, WI, Oct. 1 & 2. Boston Freedom Rally, 9/17/11. NORML NJ meetings at Joe's Mill Hill Saloon, Trenton, NJ, 2nd Monday of each month, 7:00 pm. Benefit party to be held there 12/2/11 from 7 pm to midnight. Help update cmmnj.org.
    Treasury report: Checking: $4041; PayPal: $3043.
    CMMNJ's meetings are the second Tuesday of each month from 7 - 9 PM at the Lawrence Twp. Library, 2751 Brunswick Pike, Lawrence Twp., Tel. #609.882.9246. All are welcome. (Meeting at the library does not imply their endorsement of our issue.)

    The meeting in November will be held at the Green Party Headquarters, 855 Berkeley Ave., Trenton, NJ. For more info, contact:
    Ken Wolski, RN, MPA, Executive Director, Coalition for Medical Marijuana—New Jersey, Inc. 219 Woodside Ave., Trenton, NJ 08618 (609) 394-2137 o[email protected] www.cmmnj.org


    Below is a Letter-to-the-editor (LTE) published 9/22/11 in The Times (of Trenton, NJ). It is also available at: http://www.nj.com/times-opinion/index.ssf/2011/09/times_of_trenton_letters_to_th_108.html
    Medical marijuana delays deny relief to patients
    On March 21, the Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) issued a release announcing the "Licensing of Six Nonprofit Alternative Treatment Centers for (the) Medicinal Marijuana Program." Now, nearly six months later, the DHSS says that despite the March announcement, no licenses or permits have actually been issued ("Marijuana program's leaders criticized — Background checks, progress questioned," Sept. 20). Gov. Chris Christie said in a July news conference that he expected medical marijuana to be available to patients by the end of the year. This can never happen if the licenses have not even been issued yet. It is clearly just another piece of medical marijuana misinformation from the Christie administration.
    Meanwhile, qualified patients continue to suffer and die in New Jersey without the pain relief and quality of life improvement that marijuana can bring to them. Patients suffer in other ways, too.
    Multiple sclerosis patient John Wilson recently began serving a five-year prison term for growing marijuana to treat his debilitating medical condition. Medical marijuana patient Colleen Begley faces 10 years in prison for obtaining marijuana from out of state and sharing it with her fellow patients.
    The delays in implementing the medical marijuana program are intolerable and often have tragic consequences. If the state can't get its act together, let qualified patients or caregivers grow six plants at home, as the original bill stipulated.
    Ken Wolski, R.N., MPA
    Trenton
    The writer is executive director of the Coalition for Medical Marijuana-New Jersey Inc. (cmmnj.org).



    [​IMG]
    Resolution of support for A4252, which "Decriminalizes possession of 15 grams or less of marijuana" in New Jersey

    Jim Miller, co-founder and President of the Coalition for Medical Marijuana—New Jersey, Inc. (CMMNJ) said:
    "CMMNJ should support A4252 which decriminalizes possession of 15 grams of marijuana or less because it will provide a level of support for thousands of sick, disabled, and dying patients which New Jersey's medical marijuana law will not provide by virtue of their statuary exclusion."

    "At least pain patients with an 'unapproved source of pain' will not be subjected to criminal proceedings for possession of the same amount of marijuana as a one week supply allowed to patients in the exclusive list allowed by law. This holds true for patients who would be approved in other states with medical marijuana law, but not in their home state of New Jersey."

    Since CMMNJ was founded, Board members of this organization have taken a strictly neutral stance on the issue of broader legalization of marijuana and/or drugs in general. We neither support it nor oppose it. Though many of our supporters favor broader legalization of drugs, many other supporters do not. The mission of CMMNJ has been to educate the public about the medical benefits of marijuana.
    At this time the Board of CMMNJ has endorsed Assembly Bill A4252 which decriminalizes possession of 15 grams or less of marijuana in New Jersey. The bill currently has seventeen sponsors led by Assemblymen Reed Gusciora (D-25) and Michael Patrick Carroll (R-15). CMMNJ has taken this action for these reasons:
    1.) Nearly two years have passed since the New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act was signed into law, yet not a single patient has received legal medical marijuana; and,
    2.) Patients continue to be arrested and imprisoned in this state for using medical marijuana illegally to treat their medical conditions; and,
    3.) Countless patients who could benefit from medical marijuana are currently disqualified from participating in New Jersey's Medicinal Marijuana Program (MMP) and will continue to be disqualified for the foreseeable future.
    New Jersey's medical marijuana law is a failure. The original bill was introduced into the legislature in January 2005. After five years of debate, the bill was signed into law in January 2010. Yet as of the autumn of 2011, not a single patient or caregiver in New Jersey has received an ID card from the Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) as provided for in the law. Not a single legal marijuana plant is growing in New Jersey, and not a single Alternative Treatment Center has opened its doors.
    Meanwhile, patients continue to be arrested and imprisoned for using marijuana to treat debilitating and even fatal medical conditions here. The state wanted to impose a 20 year prison sentence on John Wilson for growing marijuana to treat his incurable and painful multiple sclerosis (MS). Moreover, the state refused to allow Wilson to testify at his trial that the marijuana that he was growing was being used solely to treat his MS. Wilson is appealing his conviction, but he has already begun serving a five year prison sentence in the harsh confines of both the Somerset County Jail and the state prison system. The painful irony in this case is that the State now recognizes marijuana as a treatment for MS, but Wilson's crime is that he recognized it before the State did.
    Even if the DHSS's MMP ever gets operational, it is wildly deficient in properly identifying patients who can benefit from medical marijuana in New Jersey. Chronic pain, for example, is considered a qualifying condition only if it is associated with HIV/AIDS or cancer. All other cases of chronic pain are disqualified. There are an estimated 75 million Americans who suffer from chronic pain, about one in four people. Given New Jersey's population of over 8 million people, that means that over two million New Jerseyans could benefit from medical marijuana for chronic pain alone. All but a handful of these patients are disqualified.
    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that one in four Americans suffer from mental illness at some time in their lives. Many of these patients could benefit from marijuana therapy. There is a wealth of anecdotal evidence that marijuana can be useful in the management of depression, mania, crippling anxiety, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and even some cases of schizophrenia and Alzheimer's Disease. Current research has even identified the specific component of marijuana that has anti-psychotic properties. Moreover, marijuana's safety margin is certainly greater than those of the accepted and traditional pharmaceutical interventions for these maladies.
    Yet no mental or emotional conditions qualify for marijuana therapy in New Jersey.
    The DHSS is empowered to add qualifying conditions at any time. Yet the DHSS has proposed a most cumbersome process to do so in the regulations that they will soon adopt. CMMNJ predicts that it will be a minimum of five years before the chronic pain category is expanded and a minimum of ten years before mental or emotional conditions are added as qualifying conditions for marijuana therapy in New Jersey.
    Meanwhile, legitimate patients continue to be dragged through the legal system and even imprisoned simply for following the advice of their physicians. Millions more suffer needlessly while a viable therapeutic alternative is readily at hand.
    It is for these reasons that CMMNJ supports A4252 which decriminalizes possession of 15 grams or less of marijuana in New Jersey. Marijuana's therapeutic potential is enormous. Who are the legitimate patients that can benefit from medical marijuana? Clearly, the criminal justice system is not qualified to determine this. Nor have the state legislature or the DHSS shown that they are up to the task. Let the medical community in New Jersey determine who is using marijuana appropriately, as medicine, in the privacy of the doctor-patient relationship.


    [​IMG]


    MEDIA ALERT: Medical Marijuana Patient John Wilson Faces Bail Hearing Thursday, September 29, 2011

    WHO: Multiple sclerosis (MS) Patient John Ray Wilson
    WHAT: Faces bail hearing
    WHEN: 1:30 PM, Thursday, September 29, 2011
    WHERE: Somerset County Courthouse -- Somerville, NJ—with Judge Marino
    WHY: Pending appeal to New Jersey Supreme Court
    Multiple sclerosis (MS) patient and medical marijuana user John Ray Wilson will appear in the Somerset County Courthouse before Judge Marino for a bail hearing tomorrow, Thursday, September 29, 2011 at 1:30 PM. Wilson is currently imprisoned at CRAF, the Central Reception and Assignment Facility for the New Jersey State Prison system, located in Trenton, NJ. Wilson had been free on bond pending an appeal of his conviction and sentence of five years, but an Appellate Court upheld his conviction of "manufacturing" marijuana in late July. He was incarcerated on August 24, 2011. Attorney William Buckman has filed a petition to the State Supreme Court. The bail hearing tomorrow will determine if Wilson can remain with his family as the Supreme Court appeal is considered. Mr. Buckman's office reports that the State intends to vigorously oppose the release of Wilson.
    "New Jersey already has some of the most draconian laws in the nation with respect to marijuana, costing taxpayers outrageous sums to incarcerate nonviolent, otherwise responsible individuals-- as well as in this case -- the sick and infirm," said Buckman. "As it stands, the case now allows a person who grows marijuana to be exposed to up to 20 years in jail, even if that marijuana is strictly for his or her own medical use. No fair reading of the law would ever sanction this result."
    Wilson's conviction in January 2010 came just as New Jersey's Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act passed into law. The state now recognizes MS as a qualifying condition for marijuana therapy; however, the state's Medicinal Marijuana Program is not operational yet.
    Depending on the outcome of the hearing, Wilson may be freed pending his appeal or must continue serving his sentence. Wilson's father, Ray, reports that John is scheduled to be transferred from CRAF to maximum security Northern State Prison in Newark, NJ to serve the rest of his sentence.
    CONTACT: Ken Wolski 609 394 2137, Chris Goldstein 267 702 3731, William Buckman 856 608 9797 www.cmmnj.org



    [​IMG]
    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    DHSS says no Alternative Treatment Center permits have been issued yet
    WHO: Donna Leusner, DHSS spokeswoman
    WHAT: Said no Alternative Treatment Center permits have been issued yet
    WHEN: September 19, 2011
    WHERE: Trenton, NJ
    WHY: "The process is not over," Leusner said.
    The Star-Ledger reported yesterday that not a single Alternative Treatment Center (ATC) has been issued a permit to operate by the Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS). In January 2011, a full year after the New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act was signed into law, the DHSS issued a Request for Applications (RFA) for ATCs to grow, process and distribute marijuana to qualified patients in New Jersey. Extensive applications were required to be submitted by 2/14/11, accompanied by a $20,000 application fee. The DHSS RFA noted that on 3/21/11there would be a "Department announcement of applicant(s) granted a Permit to operate an alternative treatment center." On March 21, 2011, the DHSS issued a press release announcing the "Licensing of Six Nonprofit Alternative Treatment centers for (the) Medicinal Marijuana Program."

    Yesterday, nearly six months later, the Ledger reported that Donna Leusner, the department's spokeswoman, said that the March announcement actually meant that the applications had been approved with the intent to award permits. "The process is not over," Leusner said. "The department has not issued permits yet for any of the alternative treatment centers. No one will be able to begin the business of growing or dispensing medical marijuana until this process is completed."

    Ken Wolski, executive director of the Coalition for Medical Marijuana--New Jersey, Inc. said, "CMMNJ is disappointed to learn that the licensing of six ATCs on 3/21/11 was a misleading communication from the DHSS. Apparently the DHSS did not mean what it said. I wonder if this had anything to do with the sudden resignations of New Jersey's two top health officials announced in March 2011, DHSS Commissioner Dr. Poonam Alaigh and Deputy Commissioner Dr. Susan Walsh. A greater and more immediate concern, however, is when exactly these ATCs will start to operate. Gov. Christie said in a press conference in July 2011 that he expected medical marijuana to be available to patients by the end of this year. This is nonsense. This can never happen. It is clearly another piece of medical marijuana misinformation from the Christie administration."
    "Meanwhile, qualified patients continue to suffer and die in NJ without the pain relief and quality of life improvement that marijuana can bring to them. Multiple sclerosis patient John Wilson began serving a five year prison term for growing marijuana to treat his debilitating medical condition. Medical marijuana patient Colleen Begley faces 10 years in prison for obtaining marijuana from out-of-state and sharing it with her fellow patients. These delays in implementing the medical marijuana program are intolerable." Wolski said. "If the state can't get its act together, let qualified patients or caregivers grow six plants at home, like the original bill said."
    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 [email protected]


    NorthJersey.com: Medical marijuana out of reach for City man with epilepsy

    http://www.northjersey.com/news/state/politics/129936698_Medical_marijuana_out_of_reach_for_City_man_with_epilepsy_.html?page=all
     
  5.  
    gopherbuddah

    gopherbuddah Well-Known Member

    [​IMG]David McNew/Getty ImagesNew Jersey is taking major steps to get six medical marijuana treatment centers up and running sometime next year. Pictured here are various types of marijuana on display at a nonprofit cooperative medical marijuana dispensary in Los Angeles.
    TRENTON — Amid signs that New Jersey's medical marijuana program is in disarray, state officials have taken major steps to get six treatment centers serving thousands of patients up and running sometime next year.
    The moves, made in the past week, include putting the finishing touches on rules to govern the program and requesting the six approved growers comply with a final round of evaluation before they plant their first crop.
    But the government will not meet its goal of making pot available to patients before the end of the year.
    The state's program, has been largely idle since it passed into law nearly two years ago, and has faced growing criticism in the past months. The actions follow recent Star-Ledger reports showing the program to be disorganized and far from ready to launch. The newspaper detailed concerns about the vetting of two proposed medical marijuana treatment centers and other problems with the program, including appeals filed by four separate centers challenging the state’s selection process.
    In addition, patients and dispensary officials have growing concerns about the lack of progress in getting the centers up and running. The patients’ I.D. cards have not been made, and the health department is unsure if it will even publish the names of 108 physicians who have pre-registered for the program, leaving patients unsure how they can find an appropriate doctor.
    Chris Goldstein of the patient advocacy group, the Coalition for Medical Marijuana of New Jersey, said he remains disappointed the program will not be running by the end of the year, as Christie said publicly in July. "There hasn’t been a promise kept yet by the legislature or governor," he said.
    Roseanne Scotti, director of the Drug Policy Alliance of New Jersey and one of the primary proponents who helped passed the law in January 2010, was more upbeat about the incremental progress.
    "We are disappointed it won’t be up and running by the end of the year, but progress is progress," she said.
    Scotti said she also is encouraged the Department of Health and Senior Services officials noted in the rules they finalized Wednesday they were willing to revisit one of the most unpopular restrictions: limiting the potency level of the drug to no more than 10 percent.
    The department will cap the potency level at 10 percent for now, but will "collect data from patients to evaluate whether the 10 percent limit on THC should be revisited in future rulemaking,’’ according to a written response from health officials following a March public hearing.

    "We are thrilled the department is willing to consider this moving forward,’’ Scotti said.
    [​IMG]Video: Gov. Christie gives go-ahead for N.J. medical marijuana programGov. Chris Christie today said the state will move forward with a "limited, medically-based" medical marijuana program. Though it's not a law he would have signed, he said his priority is getting care to those who need it. (Video by Megan DeMarco / The Star-Ledger)Watch video

    Goldstein said he believes once the program gets started, this rule "would be difficult to enforce and practice . . .The cap is arbitrary is not based on anything medical or having to do with the patient. It’s purely a political cap."
    The department also will not enforce a provision that required doctors treating patients who use medical marijuana to wean them off the drug as soon as possible. "The rule. . .will not require a physician to take steps periodically to stop or reduce medical marijuana . . .if the physician determines that the patient is achieving treatment objectives," according to the health department’s written response to the public hearing.
    The department has hired New York pediatrician Arturo Brito as Deputy Commissioner for Public Health Services, whose job includes oversight of the program, said department spokeswoman Donna Leusner. Brito replaces Susan Walsh in taking over the $140,000 job.
    Except for a few revisions, the final version of the rules did not change much from the proposed rules first introduced in February.
    The department is still vetting the six nonprofit dispensary operators, and notified them they must complete a 71-page permitting request form and ensure all employees undergo police and FBI background checks. Once the department deems the documents are complete, it has 60 days to evaluate the information and issue a final permit to let the growing begin, Leusner said.
    Joe Stevens, president and CEO for the Greenleaf Compassion Center planned for Montclair, said while the background check is "comprehensive," he and his board have already gathered the information and will mail it off next week.
    "It looks like the department is going in the right direction," Stevens said.
     

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