Pubdate: Tue, 30 Oct 2007
Source: Ocean County Observer (NJ)
Copyright: 2007 Ocean County Observer
Author: Jim Miller


Every year around election time I read about various candidates' 
positions and qualifications.

This year I didn't have to wait for the paper to read about the 10th 
District candidates for state Senate because I am one.

I got to meet my state Sen. Andy Ciesla, R-10th, for the first time 
at an editorial board meeting.

I became the Libertarian candidate for that office mainly because I 
promised my wife four days before she died that I would continue to 
do everything that I could to see that a medical marijuana law was 
passed in New Jersey.

I wouldn't have run if the medical marijuana bills now in the Senate 
and Assembly health committees had seen any movement, but they did not.

I would also not be a candidate if my late wife's senator met with 
her just once during her life, but he refused, knowing he could outlast her.

All Cheryl wanted was for Ciesla to say to her face why he was so 
against her having the chance to legally have medical marijuana and 
substantiate his opinion.

Cheryl's last attempt at getting an appointment was five years ago, a 
year before she died.

She was 56 and could no longer move anything other than her head due 
to 32 years of multiple sclerosis.

Even so, she put up with the pain and physical difficulties that came 
with a personal visit to his office only to be snubbed one last time.

She died a year later, having had no representation.

The system failed her.

When I finally had the chance to meet Ciesla, I told him he should 
have met with Cheryl and asked him if he would get some information 
from the state Health Department concerning its position about 
medical marijuana.

He never took his eyes off me and when I was done he smirked and said 
"I'm sorry, I tuned you out."

The arrogance of such a reply was beyond belief.

I'm a constituent and this is a legitimate issue.

Why would someone who believes he is right about medical marijuana 
refuse to have a five-minute discussion about it?

He should have welcomed the opportunity to put me in my place, but he 
didn't because he couldn't.

I wish that I could tune out the fact that there are thousands of 
sick and dying New Jersey residents who are crying out in pain right 
now, but I can't.

A 2006 poll showed that 86 of the people want medical marijuana in 
New Jersey, but do absolutely nothing to help.

I'm sorry Democratic candidate Britta Forsberg Wenzel said she didn't 
know enough about the subject to offer an opinion.

Apparently she has tuned out medical marijuana patients too.

I know I have about as much chance of winning the election as I do of 
receiving an apology from the good senator, but your vote would not 
be wasted if you cast it for me.

I don't have the political experience the current legislators have, 
but look where their experience has gotten us.

I couldn't possibly screw things up in Trenton any more than they are now.

The votes I do receive would be a message that you are ready for the 
change you say you want.

There could not possibly be any greater change in Trenton than 
sending me there as a senator and medical marijuana would finally 
have a fair chance of becoming law.

Those who are of the opinion that there are already adequate 
medications for those who would use marijuana as medicine, Cheryl 
asked me to record the process of getting her ready for bed one 
night, knowing full well that it was going to be painful because she 
didn't have any marijuana, just her legal medications.

Go to and click on "Cheryl's cry of pain." It didn't 
have to be that way.


Libertarian Candidate

N.J. Senate

10th District

Toms River
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