Thanks to a new legislation introduced by New Jersey lawmakers, medical marijuana may very well be approved for use in patients with menstrual cramps in the state of New Jersey.
On Thursday, April 7, NJ Assembly members Tim Eustace, L. Grace Spencer, and Angelica Jimenez introduced the potential law—close on the heels of Whoopi Goldberg’s announcement to collaborate with a maker of organic marijuana edibles to provide cannabis-based products for women.
Should the bill be passed, dysmenorrhea (abdominal cramping due to uterine contractions) would be added to the list of conditions for which a doctor may authorize medical marijuana use, should conventional therapies be insufficient.
“By denying women in New Jersey access to a means of treating dysmenorrhea, our state fails to acknowledge the serious impact it can have on their wellness and productivity,” said Eustace. “Furthermore, from an economic standpoint, New Jersey is missing out on millions of dollars in tax revenue due to the restrictive nature of its medical marijuana law. While this will affect women directly, the financial benefit ultimately will be positive for everyone in the state.”
Spencer adds that medical issues affecting women have been downplayed for too long, leaving too many to suffer silently.
According to a report in Forbes:
New Jersey has one of the most restrictive medical marijuana programs in the country. Governor Chris Christie has been very vocal that he’s against the program that was initiated under Governor Jon Corzine. It has only authorized 6,527 patients since the registry was opened in August 2012. Only 10 conditions are approved as a qualifying illness. Severe or chronic pain is one condition but only if it is the result of cancer or AIDS. Menstrual cramps wouldn’t be approved.
CBS News agrees with the challenges facing the state:
Medical marijuana in New Jersey is tightly restricted and state lawmakers said Christie’s administration has placed “arbitrary and unnecessary” restrictions on the program. Patients and doctors, for instance, must register with the state. Caregivers have to pay a $200 fee for an identification card.
Despite the wide-spread vocalization in favor of this bill, there are dozens of medications currently approved by the FDA to treat dysmenorrhea, including, but not limited to, naproxen, ibuprofen, and indomethacin.
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
- Multiple sclerosis
- Terminal cancer
- Muscular dystrophy
- Inflammatory bowel disease, including Crohn’s disease
- Terminal illness
Seizure disorder (such as epilepsy), intractable skeletal muscular spasticity, and glaucoma could also qualify for medical marijuana use in the state of New Jersey should a patient be intolerant to conventional therapy.
What do you think? Should menstrual cramps be a qualifying condition for medical marijuana in New Jersey?