Marijuana – DON’T legalize! Be guided by science, not dollars. Promote a balanced, public health approach, reducing criminal penalties, with responsible policies protecting our Health, Families and Children, Education, the Environment and our Communities, including our marginalized and underserved communities, communities of color and the Business community. Legalization is not the answer for New Jersey.
NJ RAMP is a coalition of individuals and associations who believe that the health, safety and economic harms or recreational marijuana legalization far outweighs the perceived social benefits. We are medical doctors, employers, treatment providers, drug prevention professionals, business owners, employees, law enforcement officers, and parents. NJ RAMP believes that NJ communities should not be victims of the commercialization and normalization of marijuana.
Our Message to policy makers:
The son of Senator Edward “Ted” Kennedy, he decided to leave Congress not long after his father’s death to devote his career to advocacy for brain diseases and to create a new, healthier life and start a family. He has since founded the Kennedy Forum, which unites the community of mental health, and co-founded One Mind for Research, a global leader in open science collaboration in brain research. Kennedy is also the co-author of “A Common Struggle,” which outlines both his personal story and a bold plan for the future of mental health in America.
Patrick lives in New Jersey with his wife, Amy, and their four children.
Mr. Jones has been featured on a wide variety of TV and radio outlets talking about marijuana policy including Howard Vocal Point WHUT, Fox Business –The John Stossel Show, WUSA9, NBC4, WTOP, Reuters TV, TheTomiLahren Show with OAN News, The Ingrahm Angle – Fox, Telemundo DC, Voice Of America, The Kojo Nnamdi Show, CBS, WNEW, Radio France, BBC World, Dutch TV, Al Jazeera, ICTV Channel (Ukraine), Marc Steiner Show, C-span.
He has also been covered in a variety of print outlets as well including the Washington Post, Washington Times, Washingtonian, Washington Informer, WAMU, VOX, The Telegraph,CBS DC, Afro- American, Huffington Post, Fusion, DC1st, Associated Press.
He is currently working on his MPA at George Washington University. He graduated Cum Laude from Columbia International University (CIU) with a Bachelor of Science degree in Communications and Business and was inducted into the CIU Delta Epsilon Chi Honor society. Mr. Jones has served in various leadership roles and has been a recipient of scholarships and awards for leadership and societal change including: delegate to the South Carolina Student Legislature, president of the CIU African-American Student Association, recipient of CIU Presidential and Leadership scholarships.
President - Newark/North Jersey Committee of Black Churchmen, Inc.
Bishop James has served as pastor of Paradise Baptist Church in Newark, New Jersey for twenty eight (28) and is President of the Newark/North Jersey Committee of Black Churchmen, Inc. His many years of community service include membership in several civic and fraternal organizations and the State of New Jersey Attorney Legal Ethics Committee. He currently serves as a chaplain for New Jersey State Police Department. Certified by the State of New Jersey as a Social Worker, he is chairperson of the Human Services Advisory Council of Essex County, chairperson of appropriations committee of FEMA for the City of Newark, and Community Advisor to the State of New Jersey Office of Homeland Security. Bishop James also serves as a member or the Law & Justice Transition Team for Governor Phil Murphy, Senior Advisor for R.A.M.P. (Responsible Approached To Marijuana Policy) and a National Spokesperson for S.A.M (Smart Approached To Marijuana) all of which have provided the opportunity to speak to government and agencies nationwide and the Congress of the United States.
Ms. Opara is also a PhD candidate and a Doctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Family Science and Human Development at Montclair State University. As a research fellow, Ms. Opara works in a SAMHSA funded research lab where she provides support to two programs: Paterson Coalition Against Substance Abuse (P-CASA) & Project Community Organizing for Prevention Education (Project COPE). Ijeoma’s primary role as a research fellow is to evaluate both programs, disseminate data and findings to community stakeholders, and educate youth and youth adults using an evidence based curriculum involving HIV/AIDS, Drug Use, and Viral Hepatitis prevention strategies.
Before pursuing her doctorate, Ijeoma worked as a youth and family therapist for an alternative-to-incarceration agency in New York City where she primarily served urban youth of color and their families. In addition to conducting research and advocating for policy change, Ms. Opara is also a lecturer at Columbia University School of Social Work where she teaches Human Behavior & Social Environment courses. She also teaches Substance Abuse policy at Silberman School of Social Work MSW program at Hunter College.
Ms. Opara has received numerous awards for her work on HIV/AIDS and drug use prevention including being named AcademyHealth’s “ Population Health Scholar” award and one of POZ Magazine’s Top 100 women ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Ms. Opara has presented her work at national conferences such as the American Public Health Association and National Council on Family Relations, and internationally at the International AIDS Conference in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Ms. Opara’s role in NJ-RAMP as a policy advisor is to primarily influence marijuana legislation in New Jersey by encouraging legislators to utilize a public health framework for marijuana policy in addition to utilizing an upstream approach to drug use prevention. Ms. Opara is very passionate about improving health outcomes for Black and Hispanic youth and advocates for policy makers to aggressively incorporate concrete plans to reduce drug use and access in urban communities.
GoldmanWells Legal Group based in Red Bank, New Jersey. Prior to opening the firm Rory served as an
Assistant Prosecutor with the Ocean County Prosecutors Office for over 12 years.
While at the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Rory also served as the Community Relations
Officer and spoke extensively throughout the state on topics that include leadership, diversity, the drug
crisis, generational issues and criminal law. Rory serves as the Co-chair of the RWJBarnabas Institute for
Prevention Dart Coalition (2017-2018), whose mission is to reduce substance abuse within Ocean County
and beyond. Rory earned his Bachelor of Science degree, magna cum laude, in government and public
administration from John Jay College of Criminal Justice, New York, NY before going on to serve as a
Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps. After serving in the Marine Corps, he earned his Juris
Doctor degree from Regent University School of Law, Virginia Beach, VA.
organization. In her role, she oversees the provision of programs and services that teach, improve,
enhance and maintain mental health and healthy lifestyles across the age continuum. Prior to her
current role at PBHG, she served as Executive Director of Prevention First, where she oversaw
programs to counter the negative effects of drugs, violence and bullying. Both non-profits have been
the recipient of many awards under her leadership.
Mary Pat Angelini served in the NJ’s General Assembly from 2008-2016 as Deputy Conference
Leader and ranking member of the Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee. While in the
Legislature, Ms. Angelini sponsored legislation to improve the conditions at state psychiatric
hospitals, and to address underage drinking and drug abuse. She was prime sponsor of the “Anti-
Bullying Bill of Rights,” and the “911” or “Lifeline” legislation, which establishes a “safe haven” from
prosecution for minors who summon medical assistance for intoxicated underage persons. In
addition, she has fought for strict ethics reform and stronger regulations for child care centers.
Mary Pat has received numerous awards over her professional career. She has consistently been
recognized for her commitment and support of children and families in NJ. She was honored by the
Children’s Aid and Family Services and named “Children’s Advocate of the Year” by the American
Academy of Pediatrics. She was also named “Legislative Champion for Improving Treatment” by the
NJ Association of Mental Health and Addiction Agencies and Mental Health Association of
Monmouth County “Tony Dowling Child Advocacy” Award.
Mary Pat earned a Bachelor of Social Welfare from East Tennessee State University and a Master
of Public Administration from Fairleigh Dickinson University. She is a Certified Prevention Specialist.
Mary Pat and her husband, Robert, reside in Ocean Township. They have two children and three
Dr. Jethro James Senior Advisor
Senior Pastor of Paradise Baptist Church Newark,NJ
President of the Newark/North Jersey Committee of Black Churchmen
Mary Pat Angelini
CEO, Preferred Behavioral Health Group
President, ICC - Industrial Cooling Corporation
Dr. Calvin Chatlos
Addictions Psychiatrist, Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
Sherriff Shaun Golden
Sheriff of Monmouth County and Adjunct Professor at Monmouth University, Department of Political Science and Public Policy.
Executive Director/CEO South West Council (Prevention Treatment & Personal Recovery Support)
Dr. Robert Zlotnick
Executive Director Atlantic Prevention Resources
Founder of Hope Sheds Light (Dedicated to educating families on the disease of addiction by creating awareness, providing resources and installing hope for a healthier community)
Preferred Behavioral Health Services
New Jersey Prevention Network
South West Council
Atlantic Prevention Services
Partners in Prevention
Prevention Coalition of Mercer County
Center for Prevention and Counseling
Hope Shed Light
Patterson Coalition Against Substance Abuse
New Jersey Council of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry