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The Coalition for Medical Marijuana New Jersey

PaNA hosts Myths & Medicine

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 The Pennsylvania State Nurses Association (PSNA), representing more than 215,000 registered nurses in Pennsylvania, will host a continuing education series titled “Medical Marijuana: Myths & Medicine.” This half-day event will be offered at four Pennsylvania locations – Centre Valley, Scranton, Lancaster and Pittsburgh – between September 2014 and April 2015.

The first offering will be held Thursday, September 18, 2014 at DeSales University, Center Valley from 8:30 am to 12:30 pm.

For more information: 
http://psna.org/medicalmarijuana/

Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing in Trenton, 11/16

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 The Coalition for Medical Marijuana - New Jersey will be testifying at an historic Senate Judiciary Committee meeting regarding the legalization of marijuana in NJ. You can easily contact the committee via the link below, provided by New Jersey United for Marijuana Reform (NJUMR)

https://www.njumr.org/index.php?cID=302

NORML is also hosting a petition to the committee here:

http://salsa3.salsalabs.com/o/51046/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=15336

Sativa Cross will be live podcasting the event from Trenton:

www.ustream.tv/channel/sativa-cross

 

CMMNJ Calls for Improvements to NJ MMP

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 The Coalition for Medical Marijuana New Jersey, Inc. (CMMNJ) has identified issues to make the NJ Medicinal Marijuana Program (MMP) more effective.

The amendments CMMNJ proposes to NJ’s Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act would bring comprehensive changes to the MMP. These needed improvements to the MMP would:

 

• Eliminate the physician registry (This is a major stumbling block to an effective program, and it was not called for in the law.  A voluntary registry would be OK to help patients find physicians who will recommend medical marijuana in the event a patient cannot locate a doctor, but any licensed NJ healthcare professional with prescriptive privileges, including Advanced Practice Nurses, should be allowed to recommend marijuana for patients);

• Expand qualifying conditions (Immediately add to the NJ MMP the 43 petitions to add qualifying conditions that were given final approval by the NJ DOH MMP Review Panel);

• Restore home cultivation of 6 (six) plants for qualified patients with a NJ MMP ID card; 

• Eliminate the tax on medical marijuana;

• Include explicit employee workplace protections;

• Eliminate background check and fee for caregiver ID card, and reduce ID card fees;

• Eliminate the requirement for psychiatric clearance for minors;

• Require initial and ongoing training for all state, county and local Law Enforcement Officers;

• Eliminate the two ounce/month limit;

• Honor out-of–state ID cards and allow patients to obtain medical marijuana from out-of-state, if necessary;

• Cut permit fees for ATCs and impose no upper limit on the number of ATCs;

• Permit any edible form of marijuana for any age and establish dosage units for all forms (The current prohibition on edibles for adults while allowing them for minors is simply absurd);

• Require testing in licensed laboratories on each batch of marijuana (and on request);

• Forbid the DOH to issue overly restrictive or unduly burdensome regulations for this law;

• Eliminate the need for marijuana to be the last resort drug and establish it as a potential treatment of first resort;

• Broaden the definition of caregiver to allow for more than one child and eliminate the background check for the Primary Caregiver;

• Establish secondary caregivers who will be permitted to assist qualifying patients with the use of medical marijuana at schools, facilities for the developmentally disabled and LTC facilities. These secondary caregivers can be adult employees of the patient’s school or facility, and a person may serve as secondary caregiver to more than one qualifying patient at the school or facility at a time. Eliminate the fees for both caregivers.

(Ideally, nurses at the facilities would automatically qualify as secondary caregivers. Nurses should have no problem administering standardized doses of medical marijuana, as long as the typical prescribing information accompanies the drug—side effects, adverse effects, usual dosage, precautions, drug interactions, etc.  This info is already available. While the federal government still considers marijuana a Schedule I drug, the feds have promised not to interfere with the state medical marijuana programs, and indeed they have not.  Besides, the federal government has no power over the actions of nurses in NJ.  NJ determines what appropriate actions for nurses to perform are.)

• Deschedule marijuana in NJ—remove it entirely as a Scheduled Drug since marijuana will soon be legalized in the state;

• Consider medical marijuana the same as any other medication used at the direction of a physician, and a patient may not be disqualified from receiving any medical care, including an organ transplant, based on the authorized use of medical marijuana;

• Block local governmental units of this state from enacting or enforcing any ordinance or other local law or regulation conflicting with, or preempted by, any provision of this law;

• Establish no upper limits on the number of ATCs in the state;

• Get the Board of Medical Examiners (BME) actively involved in educating physicians about the Endocannabinoid System and advising physicians of the availability of the standardized dosage unit information;

(The BME should insist that every physician in the state be required to take 1 – 3 hours of Continuing Medical Education on the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) as a condition for continued licensure in the state.  The ECS is an important emerging science, developed within the last 25 years, that explains how marijuana works in the human body and how it can be effective for so many diverse diseases, symptoms and conditions.  Even today, the ECS is only mentioned in about 13% of medical schools, despite its many implications for healthcare. Moreover, the DOH has an MMP which many physicians are completely ignorant of, and have no incentive to learn about.  These physicians refuse appropriate care to qualified patients in NJ, and often belittle and insult attempts by patients to receive this care.)

• Complete prescribing information, developed by the NJ DOH, should be available to NJ physicians when standardized doses of edible marijuana are available (currently lozenges and oils are available at one of the ATCs in NJ);

• Expand the time period that physicians may provide written instructions for to 60 days, which may include multiple written instructions up to 6 months.

(Once a patient with a chronic condition is established on medical marijuana, it should not be necessary to be routinely seen more frequently than this.)

• Allow edible medical marijuana products for qualified patients in all state institutions including psychiatric hospitals and state prisons.

 

Ken Wolski, RN, MPA

Executive Director

Coalition for Medical Marijuana--New Jersey, Inc.

609.394.2137

www.cmmnj.org

 

December 12, 2017

Trenton Thursdays

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 You may or may not be aware that we have been attending protests in front of the Statehouse in Trenton, NJ.  Our goal?  Access.  While the two things may not be connected, we scored a meeting with teh State Department of Health.  Jim Miller explains what transpired:

I apologize for not summing up the gist of Thursday's meeting with Dr. Arturo Brito (NJ Deputy Commissioner of Health), Robert Schwaneberg (Policy Advisor for Health Care, Office of the Governor), and Jeanne Ashmore, (Director of Community and Constituent Relations, Office of the Governor. Jennie, Ken and I covered a lot of ground. Not being able to record the meeting left us with making notes and our individual recolliections as our only way of debriefing afterwards. I will start covering areas of concern discussed at the meeting in comments below. Ken Wolski and Jennie Stormes can add to the list as it unfolds. below. 

WE DID formally suggest forming a volunteer (no cost to NJ tax payers) advisory panel to identify problems within the medical marijuana regulations and offer recommendations for remediation. I handed them a written version for them to assess. It suggested one seat on that panel being for Jennie and one for the CMMNJ (Ken). Fill in the rest any way they want. I explained that I can go back to CMMNJ blogs and show that we predicted what problems would be arising and we were right. And that those problems could have been prevented with transparency including coalescing with the Coalition. Many other things were brought up. More to come. Better to list them individually over a small period of time for ease of assimilation.

Ken has a steadier hand than I do apparently. Sorry for the blurry picture. I asked if we could get a picture of all six of us involved in the meeting, and was told no. Seriously, why would the NJ Deputy Commissioner of the Dept. of Health, the Policy Advisor for Health Care for the Office of Gov. Christie, and the Director of Community and Constituent Relations for the Governor's Office NOT want pictures of them meeting with organizations and/or individuals with concerns about medical marijuana state regulations? When they don't want those pictures to lend credibility to the subject of that meeting...which would then prompt questions from the media or the public about the meeting. So...why would they not want to talk about having a meeting with us? Well...probably because they don't want to talk about the things that were brought up. And WHY would they NOT want to talk to anybody else about what was discussed at this meeting? Because THEY were not the ones at that table with the winning hand.

Bottom line?  Politicians being politicians.  We need to bring the power of numbers to bear.  Please consider joining us this, and every, Thursday, until all of those who can benefit from this medicine have access.  Every Thursday at the Statehouse in Trenton.  Permit runs from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.

 

NJ Medical Marijuana Patients To Governor-elect Murphy: We Need Home Cultivation

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 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The Coalition of Medical Marijuana, New Jersey (CMMNJ)

Contact:Peter Rosenfeld ----  jprosenfeldyahoo.com

December 7, 2017 at 10:00AM - Press Conference in NJ State Capitol Building Annex, Room 9.


New Jersey Medical Marijuana Patients To Governor-elect Murphy: We Need Home Cultivation 

Trenton: Registered medical marijuana patients in New Jersey will gather at the State Capitol Building Annex, Room 9 on December 7th at 10:00 a.m. for a press conference calling on legislators and Governor-elect Phil Murphy to allow home cultivation of cannabis. 

Advocates will highlight the stories of patients serving prison time for a handful of plants and will have a model of a small home medical marijuana grow on display. 

Peter Rosenfeld, a board member of the Coalition of Medical Marijuana New Jersey (CMMNJ), pointed out that caregivers and patients were expecting home gardens until the provision was removed in 2009 from the Compassionate Use of Medical Marijuana Act. Almost a decade later and the promises of a robust medical marijuana program have been broken.

“Patients are still being arrested or moving away due to the problems in the state's program,” says Rosenfeld, “The price is unaffordable to many, and the dispensaries have difficulty in staying stocked with the strains that patients need.”

The demonstration of a typical home cultivation setup will include 2-3 flowering plants, LED lights and 2-3 immature plants. This style of indoor garden will cost much less than what a patient currently spends on an ounce of dried flower from the state dispensaries. 

Ken Wolski RN, Executive Director of CMMNJ, who will be speaking at the press briefing said, “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.”

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

CMMNJ will have copies of model legislation that contains detailed improvements. CMMNJ also extends an open invitation to Governor-elect Murphy to attend our next meeting in Lawrenceville.

Contact: Peter Rosenfeld  jprosenfeldyahoo.com

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