Rooney bill enlists medical marijuana to combat heroin addiction

TRENTON, N.J. – Assemblyman Kevin J. Rooney introduced legislation authorizing medical marijuana to treat opioid and heroin addiction. The bill (A4015) adds substance use disorder to the list of debilitating medical conditions that qualify a patient to use medical marijuana.

“The treatment community is excited by recent studies showing the effectiveness of medical marijuana in addiction treatment,” said Rooney (R-Bergen). “Research found that one compound in cannabis can reverse some of the brain changes associated with heroin use. Medical marijuana can break the physiological grasp of addiction.”

CBD is the key compound in marijuana for addiction treatment, which does not produce a high. Human trials suggest that doses of CBD effectively decrease cravings and anxiety among heroin-dependent people.

Rooney’s bill removes restrictions on medical marijuana, allowing all qualifying patients to benefit from edible forms of medical marijuana, including oils and liquids, tablets, capsules and drops.

“The opioid epidemic is one of the most serious issues facing society today,” Rooney said. “Medical marijuana can help reduce reliance on opioid prescriptions and overdose deaths. It is time to enlist this promising tool in the war on heroin.”

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