Gov. Phil Murphy announced Tuesday several immediate changes that will allow the state’s medicinal marijuana program to expand far beyond the 18,500 patients who are enrolled now. The biggest change: people with specific kinds of chronic pain, anxiety, migraines and Tourette’s syndrome may ask their doctor to recommend them to the program.
Here’s a quick look at what’s changed and how it may affect you.
Q: What are the medical conditions that qualify a person for the program?
Before Tuesday, and still in effect:
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease);
- multiple sclerosis;
- terminal cancer;
- muscular dystrophy;
- inflammatory bowel disease including Crohn’s disease;
- any terminal illness with a prognosis of less than 12 months;
- seizure disorders including epilepsy, intractable skeletal muscular spasticity, post-traumatic stress disorder and glaucoma qualify if traditional medicine has failed;
- Severe or chronic pain, severe nausea or vomiting and wasting syndrome caused by HIV/AIDS and cancer.
Since Murphy’s announcement, these were immediately added:
- Tourette’s syndrome;
- Chronic pain related to musculoskeletal disorders, which include rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, fibromyalgia and opioid use disorder;
- Chronic pain affecting internal organs, such as pancreatitis, irritable bowel syndrome, and neurogenic bladder and bowel dysfunction.
Q: Can I simply walk into a dispensary now and get medical marijuana?