N.J. Legislators Back Resolution To Ease MMJ Rules
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N.J. Legislators Back Resolution To Ease MMJ Rules
Posted by CN Staff on November 09, 2010 at 06:57:48 PT
By Chelsea Conaboy, Inquirer Staff Writer 
Source: Philadelphia Inquirer
Trenton, N.J. -- A bid to force the Christie administration into rewriting proposed medical-marijuana rules that patient advocates call too strict won support from state Senate and Assembly committees Monday. The resolution, if passed by the full Legislature, would effectively veto draft rules released by the Department of Health and Senior Services last month. State officials would have 30 days to rewrite them.
In January, New Jersey became the 14th state to legalize medical marijuana for patients suffering from a list of mostly chronic illnesses. But sponsors say the administration's plan to implement the program is more restrictive than called for in the law, which already was considered the most conservative in the country. Top among their concerns are a reduction in the number of distribution centers statewide from six to four and limits on the strength and number of strains of marijuana that can be sold. The rules make it appear as if "the administration does not want this to be successful," said Sen. Nick Scutari (D., Union), a sponsor of the resolution approved by the committees Monday. Scutari worked on the original bill for five years. Gov. Christie has said he would not have signed the medical-marijuana bill if he had been governor when it passed. He believes the implementation rules create a program that provides the drug to those who need it and prevents it from being distributed to those who don't, spokesman Kevin Roberts said Monday. Several patients who testified in support of the bill in January told the Senate health committee Monday that they were frustrated the medicine still was not available and concerned that their access would be limited. Diane Rivera-Riportella, 54, told the Senate health committee that the optimism she felt in January had faded. The Egg Harbor Township resident has Lou Gehrig's disease and seeks pain relief through morphine, which takes 45 minutes to work and limits her ability to communicate. Marijuana provides similar relief but is immediate, Rivera-Riportella said. Plus, "I can express myself," she said, during tearful testimony. "I can be the person that I was." At the urging of Sen. Loretta Weinberg (D., Bergen), Rivera-Riportella visited Christie's office to try to share her story with him directly, but the governor was unavailable. State Health Department officials have spoken with patient advocates on the matter, Roberts said. Jay Lassiter, 38, of Cherry Hill, urged legislators to straighten out the rules quickly. Lassiter has HIV and smokes marijuana to relieve side effects from the bag full of medications he takes weekly to keep the virus in check. "I was a criminal yesterday, and as long as this is in limbo, that's just a choice I have to make," he said. The rules limit the marijuana that can be sold in the state to three strains, none with more than 10 percent of the chemical tetrahydrocannabinol, known as THC, which is primarily responsible for marijuana's psychoactive effects. No other state puts a cap on THC content or has a distribution system as centralized as the one proposed in New Jersey. Candice Singer, of the National Council on Alcohol and Drug Dependence, spoke against the resolution, saying it is important for the program to have strict limits. Most medications are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, but marijuana is not. "We're left to provide those restrictions," she said. Roseanne Scotti, director of the New Jersey chapter of the Drug Policy Alliance, said the rules appear crafted to provide "the least amount of relief to the fewest number of people." She said she was shocked by a stipulation that prohibits distribution centers, which would have strict security, from being located within 1,000 feet of a school. That would rule out clinics in most urban areas, limit access to underserved communities, and open the state to potential lawsuits, she said. Sen. Ronald Rice (D., Essex) voted against the medical-marijuana bill in January, but he voted for the resolution. The Legislature sent the administration a clear message about the kind of program to be created and the rules should reflect that, he said. The resolution passed in the Senate health committee by a 6-1 vote. The Assembly Regulatory Oversight and Gaming Committee approved it 5-0. Scutari said he would be willing to withdraw the resolution if the administration compromised on key issues. Source: Philadelphia Inquirer, The (PA)Author: Chelsea Conaboy, Inquirer Staff Writer Published: November 9, 2010Copyright: 2010 Philadelphia Newspapers Inc.URL: Inquirer.Letters phillynews.comWebsite:  Medical Marijuana Archives 
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Comment #10 posted by museman on November 10, 2010 at 07:46:55 PT
more freedom
Written in 1991, for the first Bush War, re-release for the second (that still continues despite the lack of interest, concern, or protest from any quarter it seems.)LEGALIZE FREEDOM
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Comment #9 posted by runruff on November 10, 2010 at 01:56:49 PT
Freedom? Freedom? You can't handle freedom!
The ruling classes [and we have them] cannot conceive of the plebeian class actually making their own decisions. If they did their choices would be a detriment to the status quo. Much power would be lost to them and redistributed.I see many uninformed laws on the books and I see much legislation meant to keep us in line. It all works perfectly for the industrial magnates so long as we go along. I don't go along. I do as a free agent on this earth will do and fight my foes as they oppose.If we had 300 million runruffs running around this country we might very well be bumping into each other, I don't know but at least we would be bumping into friends.My wife says Jerry has never met a stranger, he calls them friends he hasn't met yet.I have therefore concluded, it is not us, the plebes, who cannot handle our freedom it is they who seek to oppress us who cannot handle our freedom.
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Comment #8 posted by DrDunkleosteus on November 10, 2010 at 00:35:18 PT:
6-1, 5-0
See, this is what baffles me about those who voted against prop 19 in California. In NJ, they approved MMJ even though the law was "the most concervative in the country". Then, 11 months later, it looks very promising that some of the "strictness" of the law will be eased-up.Even if prop 19 was "badly written" "too broad" "a tangled mess" or any of the other criticisms it received, those issues have the potential to be dealt with and ammended very quickly. Just goes to show that the pro cannabis, anti prop 19 people were indeed greedy. When people are working to change a law, they somehow think that said law will be permenant and unchangeable... after it's changed. WTF? Good luck, NJ!
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Comment #7 posted by afterburner on November 10, 2010 at 00:05:36 PT
"a special streak of American cruelty"
{ Roseanne Scotti, director of the New Jersey chapter of the Drug Policy Alliance, said the rules appear crafted to provide "the least amount of relief to the fewest number of people." She said she was shocked by a stipulation that prohibits distribution centers, which would have strict security, from being located within 1,000 feet of a school. }In Ontario the LCBO (Liquor Control Board of Ontario) has shopping carts with child seats. Is it OK to bring a child into a liquor store? Yet, medical cannabis distribution centers are prohibited from "within 1,000 feet of a school." WTF! Extreme double standard, anyone?As far as Legalization goes, the debate has only just begun this year. Previously, it was denied, ridiculed and ignored. The learning curve of the misinformed and uninformed has only just begun for those Not yet dedicated to addressing this unjust situation.A current example of how the federal government's obstinance is betraying the medical needs of its citizens:9 Nov 2010 ... Trapped between state and nation. By Oren Dorell USA TODAY. Conflicting laws can spell trouble for patients using medical marijuana ...
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Comment #6 posted by konagold on November 09, 2010 at 14:28:54 PT
the prior link was to a 7-13-2000 articleI talked with Trans High Corp[High Times] and they had no new newssorry to shake any thing up but that this was recent is what was presented to methe question is what happened to this DEA petition??
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Comment #5 posted by dongenero on November 09, 2010 at 13:47:41 PT
How the DEA operates $$$$$
10 years ago. I seem to recall the DEA succumbed to pressure of petitions to re-investigate cannabis scheduling. As the article states they deferred to HHS. (whew, dodged that one, now forget it ever happened).I believe HHS followed through and concluded rescheduling was appropriate. That was the end of that, until the AMA recently called for rescheduling and further studies. The AMA call for rescheduling was just this year. Of course, nothing has happened with that either.The DEA have no intention nor any interest in this rescheduling of cannabis. They have an interest in the status quo which inflates their budget and gives them their requisite "war" against Americans, for profit. Period.konagold, you weren't supposed to unearth that article. We were all supposed to forget it ever happened.This is how the DEA operates. From the time their own DEA judge called for change to cannabis laws, to the HHS study to the AMA call for rescheduling....decade after decade of hundreds of thousands of cannabis arrests, the DEA just obfuscates the issue and never follow through. 
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Comment #4 posted by Canis420 on November 09, 2010 at 13:10:02 PT:
# 3
There are no recent dates on this press release. The most recent date is 7/13/00.I cant find any corroborating stories anywhere else
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Comment #3 posted by konagold on November 09, 2010 at 12:08:27 PT
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Comment #2 posted by konagold on November 09, 2010 at 11:12:36 PT
Schwarzenegger tells Jay Leno, 'No one cares if you smoke a joint'
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Comment #1 posted by Sam Adams on November 09, 2010 at 08:58:37 PT
one thought
I am continually fascinated by American culture. In some countries they just beat the living crap out of political opponents.Here we don't do that, but we have a special streak of American cruelty - we save our worst oppression for the sick and dying. We take away their medicine - especially painkillers - and toss them into the street without health insurance.  The upper 1% in the US has lost their sense of shame.
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