TRENTON - Women in New Jersey might be able to take medical marijuana to ease their menstrual cramps.
Democratic Assembly members Tim Eustace, L. Grace Spencer and Angelica Jimenez introduced the bill last week.
Dr. Jenae Mazzone of North Jersey Gynecology says that for some women, the pain goes beyond cramps and can be a disease like endometriosis, which is when the cells from the lining of the uterus deposit onto different parts of the pelvic cavity.
Dr. Mazzone says that there are various ways to treat the disease.
"Sometimes we actually have continuous birth control where we don't even let them cycle. And obviously they don't get periods, they don't get cramps. Shots, injections, IUDs, just various hormonal options and non-steroidal anti-inflammatories."
The Assembly members say that they want to see women in the Garden State have another option and that denying women treatment fails to recognize the impact cramping can have on wellness and productivity.
"These are people who are very, very sick. They're spending a fortune on their health care and we're making it almost impossible for them to get the care they need,” Eustace says.
Spencer adds that medical issues affecting women have been downplayed for too long, leaving too many to suffer silently.
Under current New Jersey law, marijuana is approved to treat only 10 ailments, including multiple sclerosis and terminal cancer, among others. It's also approved for seizures and glaucoma when those conditions prove resistant to conventional treatment.
According to Forbes magazine, less than 6,600 patients have been authorized for medical marijuana treatment since the New Jersey registry opened in 2012.
The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.