New Jersey: Gov. Christie Confronted Over Foot-Dragging On Medical Marijuana
'Don't Let My Daughter Die, Governor,' Father Implores
By Steve Elliott
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said Wednesday that he will decide by the end of this week whether to sign a bill making it easier for children to participate in the state's medical marijuana program. The governor made the comments after being confronted at a campaign stop by the father of a two-year-old epileptic girl who needs medicinal cannabis.
The bill, S2842, passed the New Jersey Assembly back in June on an overwhelming 55-13 vote, but Christie has so far refused to say whether he will sign it, reports Bryan Koenig at CNN. It would expand to children the medical marijuana access already available to adults.
Brian Wilson is the father of two-year-old Vivian, who has Dravet syndrome, a severe form of epilepsy which results in multiple seizures every day, reports WCBS-TV. Vivian's seizures are so severe, she has stopped breathing twice.
"Every day, she's dying more and more and he keeps on wanting to 'think about' this bill," Wilson told WCBS's Peter Haskell.
Standard epilepsy medications have failed to work for Vivian, and her family believes medical marijuana may be able to help her, as it has Charlotte Figi, the five-year-old girl featured in Dr. Sanjay Gupta's Weed documentary which aired this week on CNN.
Wilson and members of his family had been unable to get a meeting with the governor, so they crashed a Christie campaign stop at a local diner in Scotch Plains, N.J. They begged the governor to sign the bill, which would allow for medicinal cannabis products to be administered to Vivian and other children like her.
"I was wondering what the holdup was; it's been like two months now," Wilson said to the governor.
"These are complicated issues," claimed Gov. Christie, who is widcely seen as a major contender for the GOP's 2016 nomination for president. "Very simple issue," Wilson shot back. "I know you think it's simple and it's not," the governor said.
The Wilson family and their supporters have a website, Letters for Vivian, where the urge people to write the governor and ask him to support the measure. The type of medical marijuana they want for Vivian has no "high," with far less THC than is typically found in recreational marijuana.
"I wish the best for you, your daughter and your family and I'm going to do what I think is best for the people of the state," Gov. Christie told Wilson.
Christie said in July that he is "very reluctant" to allow children access to medical marijuana. Could it be that his Presidential ambitions somehow outweigh his compassion for children? We'll apparently know by Friday.
(Photo of Vivian Wilson: Letters for Vivian)