Vivian Wilson suffers from Dravet Syndrome and suffers from frequent, violent seizures. Her family explains that her symptoms are alleviated by a strain of marijuana oil, and the only thing stopping her from getting her medicine is a medical marijuana dispensary bill, which is changing as New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is getting on board.
Brian Wilson and Meghan Wilson have been lobbying the state of New Jersey to get their 2-year-old daughter Vivian the medical marijuana that she needs to relieve symptoms of Dravet Syndrome, a severe form of infant epilepsy. On August 16, crucial updates came from the state government over a landmark bill in a highly controversial case inspired by Vivian’s story to see if medical marijuana can be dispensed to children: Chris Christie is supporting easing access to medical marijuana for children.
Vivian Wilson’s Medical Marijuana For Epilepsy — Fighting To Change New Jersey Laws
Vivian suffers from Dravet Syndrome, which is also known as Severe Myoclonic Epilepsy of Infancy. She suffers frequent violent seizures — getting 20 to 70 mild seizures per day — but her family has found that a version of marijuana greatly alleviates Vivian’s suffering. A bill inspired by Vivian and her family’s quest to get her medical marijuana that eases the symptoms of her severe epilepsy appeared before her state’s government.
Vivian is a “card-carrying medical marijuana patient,” according to the Scotch Plains-Fanwood Patch, but “the Wilsons aren’t able to get the specific strain of marijuana they need due to a limitation that dispensaries sell no more than three strains of marijuana.”
“The strain we need contains more CBD (short for cannabidiol), which is non-psychoactive, than THC, the other ingredient in marijuana,” Vivian’s mom Meghan Wilson told the Patch. “CBD doesn’t make you high. The strain is really rare and has to be bred a certain way, but its gaining popularity in states like Colorado and California.”
New Jersey Acts On Medical Marijuana Bill
On August 16, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie sent back a bill pulling for easier access for medical marijuana. He explained that he would approve the bill if two key changes were made in the legislature:
That edible forms of marijuana would be available to qualified minors only, not for everyone.
That both a pediatrician and a psychiatrist should sign off on a child’s prescription.
Christie has a past of being wary about medical marijuana. “I am not going to turn New Jersey into Colorado and California. I’m not legalizing marijuana in New Jersey,” he said in July, reports CNN. His tune is changing slightly in this case, but is maintaining his conditions for the bill’s approval.
Vivian’s dad, Brian Wilson, has explained that Governor Christie’s stance on marijuana doesn’t take into consideration very young children. Christie would sign off on a bill that would allow medical marijuana for children if they get cleared by a psychiatrist –but unfortunately, as Wilson explains, lots of kids that are affected by severe medical conditions and could benefit greatly from medical marijuana are not old enough to speak.
Wilson has been the voice of his daughter in this ongoing case, and stresses that this is not a case about getting kids to smoke marijuana but rather to get children medical care.
“Vivian’s family also supports the bill because it would allow her to get marijuana in edible oil form,” explains CNN. “Vivian’s family prefers this form to lozenges — which they say is a choking hazard and contains sugar, which is inadvisable for her condition — and smoking.”
There is no simple solution in this case, but the bill is expected to keep being taken up to the governor.
WATCH: CNN — Father’s Plea: Legalize Marijuana In New Jersey
— Kristine Hope Kowalski