Effectively immediately, doctors in New Jersey can recommend their patients use medical marijuana to treat anxiety, various forms of chronic pain, migraines and Tourette’s syndrome.
The conditions have been added under the first stage of a wide-ranging expansion of the medicinal marijuana program announced Tuesday by Gov. Phil Murphy .
Patients will also pay less to register with the program, have more locations from which to buy their medicine, and encounter fewer bureaucratic obstacles when they enroll, Murphy said in a press conference in Trenton.
“Patients should be treated as patients, not criminals. We will be guided by science,” Murphy said. No more would patients be “failed by a system that has been prevented from delivering the compassionate care it promised nearly a decade ago.”
Murphy said former Gov. Chris Christie imposed a stigma on the program by making it hard for patients to qualify and cultivators to operate. Christie inherited what he called a bad law, and resisted most requests to expand the program, more than once calling them a back-door to outright legalization.
The immediate changes, contained in a 28-page report by Health Commissioner Shereef Elnahal, expands the list of medical conditions based on an advisory panel’s recommendation from October.