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Jim Bowen

Patients suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder could be granted access to medical marijuana in New Jersey if Gov. Chris Christie (R) signs legislation approved by state lawmakers yesterday, according to an Associated Press report.

The bill is meant to help military veterans diagnosed with the condition, but the Republican governor is a staunch opponent of the cannabis industry and getting his signature is not guaranteed.

“For many veterans, the effects of PTSD are not always healed by time and can be lasting and profound,” Democratic Assemblyman Tim Eustace said in the report. “When it comes to PTSD, medical marijuana holds the promise of providing significant relief as it does for many other illnesses and conditions that are not easily treatable with traditional medication.”

The measure allows for cannabis therapies for PTSD only if it has proven untreatable by conventional methods.

The state currently has a very strict medical cannabis program, allowing its use for severe, chronic and debilitating conditions such as terminal cancer, muscular dystrophy and multiple sclerosis. It is also available to patients diagnosed with seizures and glaucoma if conventional therapies have failed.

According to a New Jersey Policy Perspective and New Jersey United for Marijuana Reform report published in May, a recreation cannabis industry could bring about $300 million a year into state coffers — but Christie would never approve of, or sign, the measure.

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