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Lawrence Woman Makes First Medical Marijuana Buy

Susan Sturner, of Lawrence Townshipo, visited Montclair's Greenleaf Compassion Center for the first time recently and walked out with legal marijuana.

Susan Sturner suffers from fibromyalgia, Hepatitis C and a host of other ailments. To ease her pain, her doctor recently prescribed her with one thing that will help: medical marijuana. 

Sturner drove to Montclair from Lawrence Township for her appointment at Greenleaf Compassion Center on Dec. 20. She later walked out with her first purchase of medical marijuana - with no fear of being arrested. 

“I feel like I’m in a dream,” said Sturner. “I’ve waited so long for this and so many people with the Coalition with Medical Marijuana of New Jersey have worked for years ... to get here.” 

Sturner is one of the few hundreds of medical marijuana patients going to the newly opened dispensary, which opened on Dec. 6 in Montclair's busy business center. 

Last week, Sturner said she spent $260 on a half ounce of marijuana. In addition, she bought a vaporizer, which is very similar in the shape and style of a smokeless cigarette. Sturner said the odorless vaporizer will allow here to smoke her medical marijuana discretely and nearly anywhere.

While her ailments have persisted for years, which include arthritis and glaucoma, Sturner said she has never purchased marijuana illegally on the street. And while more potent marijuana could be purchased illegally for less, Sturner said that legally purchasing it will help bring more social acceptance to the issue.  

There is a state registration fee of $200 for the program which lasts two years. Patients on Medicaid and low-income programs can register for $20, and get additional discounts when purchasing medical marijuana. 

Altogether, Sturner said the cost of the program is not cheap. She estimated that she had spent nearly $1,000 in doctor visits and fees before she stepped out of Greenleaf with her first purchase. 

Sturner was critical of the state’s handling of the medical marijuana program so far, saying it has been less than smooth. Adding to the headaches, Department of Health sent out an email on Dec. 18 to more than 450 medical marijuana patients that unintentionally disclosed their email address and some of their names, according to NJ.com.

“It’s a very stupid mistake,” said Sturner, who’s email address was included in state's email. “They are dealing with very sensitive information. ... And it’s not just an email address, it’s your contact information.” 

Regardless of the mishaps and delays, Sturner said she was optimistic that things would get better for the program in the future. 

“This really is just a starting point,” said Sturner. “There are so many patients in New Jersey who are really really sick who could use this medication.

 

Malcolm Kyle December 27, 2012 at 10:15 AM
Legally regulated (manufacture, distribution and consumption) of marijuana is coming to a state near you in 2013: CALIFORNIA “These laws just don't make sense anymore. It’s shocking, from my perspective, the number of people that we all know who are recreational marijuana users… these are incredibly upstanding citizens: Leaders in our community, and exceptional people.” —Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom (preparing the way for Governor Jerry Brown to initiate proceedings to legalize and regulate marijuana through the state legislature) MAINE Maine's legislature is moving on a legalization-and-regulation bill that could bring the state $8 million a year in new revenue. ''The people are far ahead of the politicians on this. Just in the past few weeks we've seen the culture shift dramatically.'' —Rep. Diane Russell of Portland, District 120 (Occupation: Public Relations Consultant) NEVADA "Thinking we're not going to have it is unrealistic. It's just a question of how and when" —Assemblyman Richard (Tick) Segerblom of Las Vegas, elected to the Nevada State Senate in 2012 OREGON "We have decades of evidence that says prohibition does not work and it's counterproductive. it's a matter of dollars and common sense. There's a source of revenue that's reasonable that is rational that is the right policy choice for our state. We are going to get there on legalization." —Peter Buckley, co-chair of the Oregon state legislature's budget committee.
Malcolm Kyle December 27, 2012 at 10:16 AM
RHODE ISLAND Rhode Island is also expected to legally regulate marijuana through the state legislature instead of a popular referendum. ''Our prohibition has failed, Legalizing and taxing it, just as we did to alcohol, is the way to do it.'' —Rep. Edith Ajello, chairs the House Committee on Judiciary and is a member of the House Oversight Committee. VERMONT In November 2012, the state's Democratic governor, Peter Shumlin, cruised to re-election while strongly backing marijuana decriminalization. And the city of Burlington passed a resolution in November 2012 calling for an end to prohibition – with 70 percent support. ALASKA Most Alaskans already have a clear view of things from their own back garden. Personal use and possession of Marijuana in Alaskan homes has been effectively legal since 1975.
FlyingTooLow December 27, 2012 at 05:19 PM
All card-carrying members of the DEA need to read: Shoulda Robbed a Bank Here is one of its reviews: 5.0 out of 5 stars... If David Sedaris had written 'Catcher in the Rye'..this would be it, June 30, 2012 Amazon Verified Purchase This review is from: Shoulda Robbed a Bank (Kindle Edition) I have never smoked pot in my life...nor do I ever care to. I read about this book in numerous Huffington Post comments. Thought I would read it because I know nothing about marijuana or the people involved with it. I am ecstatic that I did. Funny, Funny, Funny!!! The chapters are like short stories. Stories about unloading boats with helicopters, close encounters with law enforcement, traveling through the jungles of South America. The chapter about the author's first time smoking marijuana made me feel like I was with him...coughing. All of the characters were just a group of loveable, nice guys and girls. Not what I had been raised to believe...hysterical maniacs high on pot bent on death and mayhem. They were nothing like that. If you have ever read any of David Sedaris' books, and like them...you will love Shoulda Robbed a Bank. And the crazy things happening reminded me of Holden Caufield in 'Catcher in the Rye' and the way he staggered through life. The way the words are put together are like nothing I have ever heard. I am sure I will use many of the sayings found in this book just to dazzle my friends. A terrific read. I love this book.
FlyingTooLow December 27, 2012 at 05:20 PM
Several years ago, I had surgery on my right shoulder. Pain medication was prescribed..."take one capsule every 4 hours." I took one capsule. I was down for over 20 hours. When I came to, I felt like I had been hit by a truck. The next time I felt discomfort, I smoked a small amount of marijuana ...pain gone, no after effects. I threw the pills out. Then I wrote: Shoulda Robbed a Bank My contribution to helping point out just how ludicrous our pot laws truly are. I would be honored by your review .
Ken Wolski December 27, 2012 at 08:44 PM
The Coalition for Medical Marijuana New Jersey, Inc. (CMMNJ) formed in March 2003. CMMNJ was instrumental in getting the Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act introduced into the legislature in 2005 and then passed into law five years later. CMMNJ testified and demonstrated at the State House in Trenton numerous times on behalf of patients. The goal of CMMNJ is to have safe and legal access to medical marijuana for all New Jersey patients who can benefit from it. CMMNJ is a trusted source for information and advocacy. For monthly updates, join the CMMNJ e-mail list. Visit our web site, http://www.cmmnj.org/ Click on the link on the front page that says: “Join our mailing list.” For up-to-the minute news, follow us on Facebook, at Friends of the Coalition for Medical Marijuana-NJ, at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/62462971150/?ref=ts CMMNJ public meetings are the second Tuesday of each month (there is no meeting in February 2013). All meetings are held at the Lawrence Twp. Library from 7 PM until 9 PM. All are welcome and there is no charge to attend. The library is at 2751 Brunswick Pike, Lawrence Twp., Tel. #609.882.9246. (Meeting at the Library does not imply endorsement of our program).

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