Teaching Hospitals Campaign To Be Sole Dispensers 
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Teaching Hospitals Campaign To Be Sole Dispensers 
Posted by CN Staff on July 12, 2010 at 05:19:52 PT
By Susan K. Livio, Statehouse Bureau
Source: Star-Ledger 
Trenton -- New Jersey’s teaching hospitals are campaigning to be the sole dispensers of medical marijuana in the state by touting their secure buildings, connection to patients, and "legitimacy" in the community, according to a proposal obtained by The Star-Ledger.The New Jersey Council of Teaching Hospitals’ pitch is the leading proposal Gov. Chris Christie’s administration is considering as it wrestles with implementing the controversial law within the next six months, said state Sen. Nicholas Scutari (D-Union), one of the law’s sponsors.
"The program not only will make New Jersey a model for the nation in how to implement a safe and sane medical marijuana program, it could bring significant new dollars to the teaching hospitals to fund graduate medical education therein addressing New Jersey’s physician manpower shortage," according to the proposal.The plan assumes Rutgers University’s School of Environmental and Biological Sciences would be the lone farmer supplying the marijuana crop to the 16 largest of the 40 teaching hospitals. They would include Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, and University Hospital in Newark, according to the proposal.The patients registered by the hospital would place orders online and pick them up at the in-house pharmacy. The product itself would be sold in prescription pill bottles, with specific strains like "White Widow" and "AK-47" renamed to eliminate reference to "pot culture terminology,’’ the proposal said.J. Richard Goldstein, a physician and the council’s executive director, said the proposal would benefit chronically-ill patients, many of whom rely on hospital clinics, as well as the state, "which is rightly concerned about abuse. We already handle all classes of legal drugs so this is no different."The teaching hospitals also stand to gain "a significant funding source" to invest in training new doctors, Goldstein said.The council released a report earlier this year saying New Jersey is facing a shortage of nearly 3,000 family doctors and specialists in the next decade because the state has a reputation of being a "hostile" place to run a practice."All proceeds would be dedicated to improving the physician supply or for research" demonstrating how the cannabis plant best reduces pain, muscle spasms, nausea and other debilitating symptoms, the report said.But before the proposal can gain any traction, it must win the support of Sen. Nicholas Scutari (D-Union) and Assemblyman Reed Gusciora (D-Mercer), who sponsored the original law and would need to amend or draft new legislation. The law calls for six nonprofits to grow and dispense the drug as decided by a competitive regulatory process overseen by the state Department of Health and Senior Services.The changes Christie envisions would exclude involvement by entrepreneurs and the economic benefits many communities have reaped in California and Colorado. Snipped   Complete Article: Star-Ledger (Newark, NJ)Author:  Susan K. Livio, Statehouse BureauPublished: July 12, 2010Copyright: 2010 Newark Morning Ledger Co.Contact: eletters starledger.comWebsite: Medical Marijuana Archives 
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Comment #5 posted by Storm Crow on July 13, 2010 at 10:42:48 PT
I have no problem .....
With Rutgers being A source, but big problems with them being THE source. Cannabis patients need to be able to grow their own. Otherwise we are just trading the old Big Phama for a new Big Phama! We will still get ripped off by outrageous prices for dried flowers! Only the "dealer" changes, not the policy of squeezing every penny out of the sick and dying! Disgusting!
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on July 12, 2010 at 17:28:54 PT
Related News Article From NBC
Medical Marijuana Advocates Not Happy with Christie's Alternative Plan***By Brian ThompsonJuly 12, 2010Even before New Jersey's new medical marijuana law goes into effect, ideas are floating around the state capitol on how to change it.One report on Monday said Governor Chris Christie's administration is considering allowing only the state's teaching hospitals to distribute it -- and Rutgers University would be the only place where it could legally be grown.There's just one problem according to Chris Goldstein, an advocate with the Coalition for Medical Marijuana New Jersey."Risk," he wrote to NBCNewYork."New Jersey hospitals and Rutgers University have not fully examined their federal liabilities," explained Goldstein.He added that the teaching hospitals and Rutgers would be subject to the same federal law that individuals who market medical marijuana face, and hope is never enforced (the Obama Administration, through Attorney General Eric Holder, has said it will not enforce its marijuana possession laws where individual states allow small amounts for consumption).Referring to sellers of medical marijuana in the 13 states (before New Jersey) that allow it to be sold, Goldstein wrote "Any one of several authorities could seize their properties and assets at any given moment."And Goldstein doubts the teaching hospitals and Rutgers would want to take that risk."The owners and employees of medical cannabis businesses also take on the risk of personally losing their freedom through federal arrest," he added.Mike Drewniak, Press Secretary to Governor Chris Christie, had no comment on the report, and no reaction to the concerns of medical marijuana advocates."The proposal to monopolize NJ's medical marijuana program to provide a funding source for training new doctors in the state represents a betrayal of the very patients that the law was designed to protect and serve," said Ken Wolski, executive director of The Coalition for Medical Marijuana New Jersey.Under the law passed in January and amended earlier this month, the state has until October 1st to write the rules and regulations that will allow patients to sign up for medical marijuana, and Alternative Treatment Centers to get up and running to sell it.Follow Brian Thompson on Twitter  Brian4NYCopyright: 2010 Associated Press / NBC New YorkURL:
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Comment #3 posted by Sam Adams on July 12, 2010 at 11:43:18 PT
King Christie
Question: how can a governor come in and just start changing laws? what happened to the legislative process? The State House and former Governor passed this bill into law - how can the governor change anything without getting new legislation passed?As soon as the target becomes the scapegoated, persecuted cannabis user, the ruling elite are instantly willing to throw all our laws and concepts of democracy into the trash can.
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Comment #2 posted by greenmed on July 12, 2010 at 11:25:45 PT
related article
"Christie Administration Eyes Rutgers as Possible Source of Medical Marijuana"Rutgers has a long history of cultivating agricultural crops and licensing them for commercial production.Think cranberries. Asparagus. Dogwood. Turfgrass.Could medical marijuana be Rutgers’ next big crop?Yes—although discussions are in the early stages, according to Robert Goodman, a plant biologist who serves as executive dean of Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences and the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station."We have the entire sweep of things that a state interested in implementing medical marijuana legislation on a scientifically sound basis could want," Goodman says he told state officials at a meeting last month, including farms, a pharmacy school and a top research program on the therapeutic properties of plants.Soon after that meeting, arranged by the state Department of Health and Senior Services, the Christie administration floated a proposal that Rutgers oversee cultivation of medical marijuana. Under the New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act—the most restrictive of the laws legalizing its use in 14 states—patients are not permitted to grow their own plants.
Marijuana InfrastructureNew Jersey is scrambling to assemble an infrastructure to make marijuana available to eligible patients. The new law was to have taken effect this month, with regulations published by October 1. Gov. Chris Christie, however, asked for a six- to 12-month delay in May. Lawmakers granted his wish, but postponed implementation by only three months. Now the rules must be in place by January 1, 2011. Depending on growing conditions, marijuana is a 90- to 120-day crop, says Goodman.The Christie administration has also suggested that hospitals dispense the controlled substance. That idea came from J. Richard Goldstein, president of the New Jersey Council of Teaching Hospitals, said Reed Gusciora (D-Princeton Borough), a co-sponsor of the law. Goldstein, a one-time state commissioner of health under former Gov. Tom Kean confirmed making a PowerPoint presentation in Christie’s office. He declined to comment on specifics.Neither Rutgers nor hospitals were envisioned as having any role under the original law, which stipulated that six nonprofit "alternative treatment centers" approved by regulators act as marijuana dispensaries. The law was vague on who would grow the substance.The administration has not made any formal proposal, however, and Christie’s spokesman, Michael Drewniak, says that a number of options are under consideration.Rutgers' Goodman said the university was a long way from agreeing to be a producer or grower. He has not even given thought as to where Rutgers would obtain the initial seeds, a critical problem. And there’s a world of difference between developing new varieties of hazelnuts, holly, or asparagus and cultivating medical marijuana.
Farmers and Entrepreneurs"The growers would not be Rutgers people. They could be farmers. There’s certainly no shortage of entrepreneurs," said Goodman. "Somehow, a commercial operator would be selected. I could see us leasing [Rutgers] space, setting up a separate entity to operate advisory services and possibly having a training role." (my emphasis)SnippedComplete Article: NJ SpotlightAuthor: Mary Jo Patterson
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Comment #1 posted by Storm Crow on July 12, 2010 at 10:35:26 PT
More silliness....
" with specific strains like "White Widow" and "AK-47" renamed to eliminate reference to "pot culture terminology,’’So we replace "White Widow" with a strain number, or one of their "chemical wonder"-type names? "White Widow" becomes "Strain #258", or "Cannazorbinol" or something equally nonsensical and harder to remember? All because some "hippie" named the strain and not some dude in a white coat? Because THEY don't LIKE the sound of the name? These guys are SO RIDICULOUS!If they want to name the new strains like that, OK, but renaming old strains will only cause confusion! I would, however, strongly approve of them getting a chemical breakdown for the strains. "White Widow under ideal conditions- X% THC, Y% CBD, N% CBN, M% CBG, with high levels of limonine and terpines" And perhaps the sativa/ indica ratio.
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