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Understanding New Jersey's Medical Marijuana Law -- Who Qualifies?

Medical marijuana laws vary widely from state to state. In all, 14 states and the DIstrict of Columbia allow medical marijuana in some form. However, every state follows their own model which can lead to confusion among medical marijuana patients. Here we examine which conditions qualify a patient for a medical marijuana license in New Jersey.

Unlike less restrictive laws on the West Coast, states on the East Coast such as New Jersey tend to severely limit medical marijuana patients and dispensaries alike. In New Jersey, for example, only people meeting certain, highly-delimited medical criteria may qualify to receive a medical marijuana license. These criteria include a diagnosis of a "debilitating medical condition" that is "resistant to conventional therapy." Here is a list of conditions that may qualify under New Jersey law:

  • Seizure disorder, including epilepsy
  • Intractable Skeletal Muscular Spasticity
  • Glaucoma
  • HIV/AIDS positivity
  • Cancer resulting in severe or chronic pain, nausea, cachexia, or wasting syndrome
  • ALS
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Crohn's disease any terminal illness with a prognosis of one year or less

New Jersey lawmakers have also included a provision that will allow the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services to review the diseases and conditions periodically and add new ones as the Department sees fit. While those suffering from those diseases and conditions not currently covered in New Jersey are unable to receive a state license to use medical marijuana at this time, we encourage them to continue lobbying the State Assembly and the Department of Health and Senior Services for inclusion.