The New Jersey Assembly has passed a bill that would expand the state’s medical marijuana program to include PTSD as a qualifying condition.
The New Jersey Assembly vote in favor of the expansion won by a 55-14 margin. Seven members abstained from the vote. The bill will now head to New Jersey’s Senate.
According to the New Jersey Department of Health website, current qualifying conditions include:
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
- Multiple sclerosis
- Terminal cancer
- Muscular dystrophy
- Inflammatory bowel disease, including Crohn’s disease
- Terminal illness, if the physician has determined a prognosis of less than 12 months of life.
The following conditions apply, if resistant to, or if the patient is intolerant to, conventional therapy:
- Seizure disorder, including epilepsy
- Intractable skeletal muscular spasticity
The following conditions apply, if severe or chronic pain, severe nausea or vomiting, cachexia or wasting syndrome results from the condition or treatment thereof:
- Positive status for human immunodeficiency virus
- Acquired immune deficiency syndrome
Although the bill has been passed by the New Jersey State Assembly and may also be approved by the Senate, it still may not received the signature of Governor Chris Christie. In April, he implied that other states allowing for additional qualifying conditions are doing so to create a quasi recreational marijuana program. He decided against advancing a proposed bill to add qualifying conditions to state regulations.
“The reason why it hasn’t gotten the response it’s gotten in other states is because ours is a truly medical-based program for only people who have true illnesses that require medicinal marijuana,” Christie said comparing New Jersey laws to other states.“Other states have programs that are faux medical-marijuana programs that allow for recreational use.”
Despite a lack of clinical research, many veterans claim to have reduced their PTSD symptoms with marijuana. Since many returning soldiers feel they do not have time to wait on research and legal debates, there is a growing number of veterans who have taken it upon themselves to use marijuana even if it is against the law in their state.