Assemblyman VINCENT MAZZEO
District 2 (Atlantic)
Assemblywoman LINDA STENDER
District 22 (Middlesex, Somerset and Union)
Assemblyman TIM EUSTACE
District 38 (Bergen and Passaic)
Assemblyman REED GUSCIORA
District 15 (Hunterdon and Mercer)
Authorizes medical marijuana for qualifying patients with post-traumatic stress disorder.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
An Act concerning medical marijuana and amending P.L.2009, c.307.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. Section 3 of P.L.2009, c.307 (C.24:6I-3) is amended to read as follows:
3. As used in this act:
"Bona fide physician-patient relationship" means a relationship in which the physician has ongoing responsibility for the assessment, care, and treatment of a patient's debilitating medical condition.
"Certification" means a statement signed by a physician with whom a qualifying patient has a bona fide physician-patient relationship, which attests to the physician's authorization for the patient to apply for registration for the medical use of marijuana.
"Commissioner" means the Commissioner of Health.
"Debilitating medical condition" means:
(1) one of the following conditions, if resistant to conventional medical therapy: seizure disorder, including epilepsy; intractable skeletal muscular spasticity; post-traumatic stress disorder; or glaucoma;
(2) one of the following conditions, 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; or cancer;
(3) amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, multiple sclerosis, terminal cancer, muscular dystrophy, or inflammatory bowel disease, including Crohn's disease;
(4) terminal illness, if the physician has determined a prognosis of less than 12 months of life; or
(5) any other medical condition or its treatment that is approved by the department by regulation.
"Department" means the Department of Health.
"Marijuana" has the meaning given in section 2 of the "New Jersey Controlled Dangerous Substances Act," P.L.1970, c.226 (C.24:21-2).
"Medical marijuana alternative treatment center" or "alternative treatment center" means an organization approved by the department to perform activities necessary to provide registered qualifying patients with usable marijuana and related paraphernalia in accordance with the provisions of this act. This term shall include the organization's officers, directors, board members, and employees.
"Medical use of marijuana" means the acquisition, possession, transport, or use of marijuana or paraphernalia by a registered qualifying patient as authorized by this act.
"Minor" means a person who is under 18 years of age and who has not been married or previously declared by a court or an administrative agency to be emancipated.
"Paraphernalia" has the meaning given in N.J.S.2C:36-1.
"Physician" means a person licensed to practice medicine and surgery pursuant to Title 45 of the Revised Statutes with whom the patient has a bona fide physician-patient relationship and who is the primary care physician, hospice physician, or physician responsible for the ongoing treatment of a patient's debilitating medical condition, provided, however, that the ongoing treatment shall not be limited to the provision of authorization for a patient to use medical marijuana or consultation solely for that purpose.
"Primary caregiver" or "caregiver" means a resident of the State who:
a. is at least 18 years old;
b. has agreed to assist with a registered qualifying patient's medical use of marijuana, is not currently serving as primary caregiver for another qualifying patient, and is not the qualifying patient's physician;
c. has never been convicted of possession or sale of a controlled dangerous substance, unless such conviction occurred after the effective date of this act and was for a violation of federal law related to possession or sale of marijuana that is authorized under this act;
d. has registered with the department pursuant to section 4 of this act, and has satisfied the criminal history record background check requirement of section 4 of this act; and
e. has been designated as primary caregiver on the qualifying patient's application or renewal for a registry identification card or in other written notification to the department.
"Qualifying patient" or "patient" means a resident of the State who has been provided with a certification by a physician pursuant to a bona fide physician-patient relationship.
"Registry identification card" means a document issued by the department that identifies a person as a registered qualifying patient or primary caregiver.
"Usable marijuana" means the dried leaves and flowers of marijuana, and any mixture or preparation thereof, and does not include the seeds, stems, stalks or roots of the plant.
(cf: P.L.2012, c.17, s.90)
2. This act shall take effect immediately.
This bill adds post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to the list of debilitating medical conditions that would qualify a patient to receive medical marijuana under the New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act.
PTSD is a mental health condition that is triggered by a traumatic event such as a physical or sexual assault, childhood neglect or physical abuse, a natural disaster, exposure to combat, or other extreme or life-threatening events. Symptoms can include flashbacks, nightmares, severe anxiety, uncontrollable thoughts about the event, emotional distress, physical symptoms, feelings of numbness or detachment, engaging in dangerous or self-destructive behavior, and experiencing suicidal thoughts.
To qualify for medical marijuana, the patient’s PTSD symptoms would have to be resistant to conventional medical therapy, which generally combines psychotherapy with antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications. To be authorized for use of medical marijuana, the patient would have to meet the other requirements of the New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act as well, including obtaining certification of the patient’s condition from a physician with whom the patient has a bona fide physician-patient relationship.