On Monday, The New Jersey Legislature approved a measure that will legalize marijuana for medical use by those with chronic illnesses like cancer, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, Lou Gherig's Disease and AIDS. This move makes New Jersey one of the few east coast states to take such action, and only the 14th state to pass such legislation.Within 9 months, the state plans to have 6 dispensaries in which cancer patients can receive prescribed doses of medical marijuana from their doctors. It will be interesting to see the reaction from Oncologists in New Jersey over the next few weeks as opponentsof the bill voice their opinion.The benefits of medical marijuana for cancer patients (and the side effects associated with treatment) include:
- helping with appetite loss
- suppressing nausea & vomitting
- pain relief
You can also check the American Cancer Society's page on Marijuana Use in Supportive Care for Cancer Patients for more detailed info. In case you were curious, the bill passed without too much opposition racking up a 48-14 vote in the General Assembly and 25-13 in the New Jersey State Senate. Democrat Reed Gusciora sponsored the legislation, and made it clear that NJ would be very restrictive in permitting doctors to prescribe medical marijuana for a specific list of chronic illnesses. Actually, the law doesn't even allow patients to grow their own marijuana..or use it in public! Lastly, patients will be restricted to a monthly limit of 2 ounces. We would love to hear your thoughts on the subject. Drop a comment below, or weigh in on our forum poll on medical marijuana usage by cancer patients.