Grandmother on chemo, with lupus & rheumatoid arthritis, denied medical marijuana

TOMS RIVER — New Jersey resident Cindy Bronman, a single mother of four and grandmother, faces a lifetime of chemo to treat her lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. Each Sunday, she takes a pill that brings on nausea, vomiting, headaches, and hot and cold sweats.

Medical marijuana could alleviate her symptoms, but she doesn’t qualify for it in the state of .

Bronman started a Care2 petition urging state legislators and Gov. Chris Christie to expand the very short list of qualifying conditions for the drug; it has gathered over 40,000 signatures.


“My doctor is excellent and tried his best to help, but because I’m not on chemotherapy due to cancer, I do not qualify for this drug,” Bronman told Care2. “It’s absolutely ridiculous that the state is preventing people like me from using a plant that could help.”

New Jersey law contains just six qualifying conditions for medical marijuana, plus another six if the patient is “intolerant to…conventional therapy.”

Bronman was diagnosed five years ago and has been undergoing chemotherapy since then. She says before her stepmother passed away from cancer, medical marijuana helped her to handle the side effects of chemotherapy.

The treatment has now been denied to Bronman, who also suffers from a formidable list of other conditions: disc degenerative disease, which has caused eight herniated discs and one ruptured disc, fibromyalgia, PTSD, anxiety, and depression.

Bronman says it’s frustrating that other states, like Colorado and California, have made it easy for people who are sick to access marijuana.

“It frustrates me very much because I am not in a position to move. I cannot afford it, and my children have grown up here. I don’t want to move them from their lives,” she says. “It’s a simple plant, but legislators would rather make me take man-made medications. I would rather take something that won’t bring about awful side effects like all the medications I’m already on — about 12 different medications.”

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