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New Jersey: Opioid-Dependent Patients Now Eligible For Cannabis Therapy

Thursday, 31 January 2019

Opioids and Cannabis

Trenton, NJ: Opioid-dependent patients are now eligible to access medical marijuana under a new initiative package implemented by Democrat Gov. Phil Murphy and the Department of Health.

"We are pleased to announce that, as of today [January 23], opioid use disorder is a condition for which physicians can recommend medical marijuana to patients," Health Commissioner Dr. Shereef Elnahal said in a press release. "We are also taking steps to ensure that these patients will be on MAT [medication assisted treatment] for their addiction, in addition to marijuana.

According to a 2018 literature review published in the journal Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, cannabis possesses the ability "to ease opioid withdrawal symptoms, reduce opioid consumption, ameliorate opioid cravings, prevent opioid relapse, improve OUD [opioid use disorder] treatment retention. ... Adjunct cannabis use alongside current treatment strategies could help to improve the number of individuals engaging in OUD treatment, as well as increase treatment retention rates."

For more information, contact Justin Strekal, NORML Political Director, at (202) 483-5500. Additional information is available in the NORML fact-sheet, "Relationship Between Marijuana and Opioids."