MONTCLAIR, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Desperate parents of a sick child awaited word Thursday from Gov. Chris Christie about expanding access to medical marijuana. They say their daughter’s well-being hangs in the balance.
As CBS 2’s Christine Sloan reported, there will be political significance to the governor’s decision.
Vivian Wilson is a 2-year-old who suffers from Dravet Syndrome, a potentially deadly form of epilepsy. Her father says a special strain of medical marijuana is the only thing that helps her violent seizures.
Brian Wilson confronted Christie while he was campaigning in the family’s town on Wednesday. Wilson said the Republican governor is standing in the way of a bill that would make it easier for children like Vivian to get that special strain of medical marijuana in New Jersey.
“Don’t let my daughter die,” Wilson begged Christie.
Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine signed the original medical marijuana bill. Christie has said in the past he has a good reason for taking his time.
“I am concerned about expanding the program and I want to make sure if we do it we do it in a way that is helpful to children, that does not reduce any of the requirements of the program to make sure this does not go down a slippery slope,” Christie said.
But the Democrat who co-authored the bill said the governor is playing to the conservative wing of his party. Though he has consistently said he’s not interested, Christie has often been mentioned as a possible presidential candidate in 2016.
“The problem is that what he’s really looking at is how this is polling in Iowa,” state Assemblywoman Linda Stender said.
The governor has denied the issue is political and said he’ll make a decision Friday. The governor has to make a decision by Monday at the latest, because that’s when the state Senate will be in session.
“I wish the best for you and your daughter. I am going to do what’s best for the people of this state,” Christie told Brian Wilson Wednesday.
The bill changes the three-doctor requirement for children to just one. It also allows state dispensaries to carry more than three strains of medical marijuana. Right now, they don’t have the special strain Vivian Wilson needs that prevents patients from getting high.
It’s only grown in Colorado.
The bill would also allow children to take medical marijuana in an edible form.
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