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Parents Of Epileptic 2-Year-Old Upset Over N.J. Medical Marijuana Delays
Meghan and Brian Wilson of Scotch Plains, N.J., have been waiting patiently for medical marijuana to become available for their 2-year-old daughter Vivian, “Vivie,” who suffers from a rare and severe form of epilepsy called Dravet syndrome.
Inquirer staff writer Jan Hefler recently reported on Vivie’s story.
Vivie has had 20 hospitalizations in all, and sometimes her convulsions can last up to an hour. In February, the state issued Vivie a wallet-size medical marijuana card.
Gov. Chris Christie inherited the medical marijuana law three years ago and promised strict regulations. When he was asked about Vivie’s case by reporters last month, he said he was “not inclined to allow” medical marijuana for kids.
As a minor, Vivie had to get consent from three doctors. Cannabis could alleviate her seizures, and unlike barbiturates, it will not kill brain cells. However, there is only one dispensary in the state, and it will not sell to the Wilsons. They will have to wait for a dispensary in central New Jersey to receive its permit to grow marijuana.
Vivie’s neurologist, Orrin Devinsky, supports her using marijuana “given the severity of her epilepsy.” Devinsky is the director of New York University Comprehensive Epilepsy Center and the St. Barnabas Institute of Neurology and Neurosurgery in Livingston.
Her mother said doctors in the state’s marijuana program do not seem to understand there are kids who qualify for treatment. She said she called 20 doctors before one would certify Vivie as a patient.
The Wilsons, who also have a 4-year-old daughter, say they considered moving out of the state, but they are lifelong New Jerseyans.
NJ set for final vote on medical marijuana bill
TRENTON, N.J. - New Jersey lawmakers are set to vote on a bill that would make it easier for children with certain medical conditions to have access to medical marijuana.
The bill would go to Gov. Chris Christie if it clears the state Assembly Monday.
The bill would eliminate the need for written consent from a pediatrician and a psychiatrist for juveniles to be eligible.
It would also allow treatment centers to produce an unlimited number of varieties and for marijuana to be produced in an edible form, which is banned.
The bill was drafted in response to the plight of a Scotch Plains girl with severe epilepsy, whose parents had not been able to find a psychiatrist to sign a consent form.
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