New Jersey Legislators support Medical Marijuana for PTSD Treatment

Posted by Sagar Satapathy on June 05, 2016.

group of lawmakers in New Jersey have recently urged to add post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, to the list of medical conditions that qualify someone to receive medical marijuana in the state.

They initiated a new marijuana bill A457 in this regard. However, the Assembly approved a siilar bill in March 2015 by a 53-13 vote, but it died in a Senate committee. The three Democrats on the committee on Thursday voted for the bill, while the one Republican present, Assemblyman Ronald Dancer, R-Ocean, voted to abstain, as he did when the Assembly voted on the bill last year.

The primary sponsor of bill A457, Vince Mazzeo, D-Atlantic, said 10 percent to 12 percent of an estimated 428,000 veterans living in New Jersey suffer from PTSD and that psychotherapy and antidepressants don’t always help. “To have another avenue for relief which will be a dramatic effect for many, many of our veterans I think is a good step in the right direction,” the lawmaker revealed.

Another Assemblyman Reed Gusciora, D-Mercer, chairman of the oversight committee and a co-sponsor of the marijuana bill, said he is more optimistic about the chances for passage in both houses of the Legislature this year.

According to the federal data, as many as 22 war veterans commit suicide every day across the state. Currently, the rule of New Jersey's medical marijuana program does not recognize PTSD as a "qualifying condition”, though it allows to prescribe for several ailments, including glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, terminal cancer, muscular dystrophy, severe or chronic pain, inflammatory bowel disease and other terminal illnesses.

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