Society

New Jersey Family Moves to Colorado To Save Daughter's Life With Medical Marijuana

| by Allison Geller

A New Jersey couple with a young daughter who suffers from a severe form of epilepsy was forced to move to Colorado when medical marijuana legislation — their only hope of a real recovery for Vivian — stalled in their home state.

Two-and-a-half-year-old Vivian Wilson has Dravet Syndrome, a condition that causes random, life-threatening seizures. Her parents Meghan and Brian Wilson have tried every doctor and combination of drugs they've found. It wasn't until finding out about a certain low-dosage form of medical marijuana that they had any real hope of controlling their daughter's disease.

The only dispensary available when Vivian got a medical marijuana card a year ago had too much demand to keep up with, and the couple could not find cannabis in a butter or edible form, as Vivian needed.

New Jersey state lawmakers penned legislation to make the edible form of medical marijuana legal. Gov. Chris Christie opposed it.

"Here's what the advocates [of medical marijuana] want. They want legalization of marijuana in New Jersey," he said. "It will not happen on my watch, ever."

But when Brian Wilson personally asked him, "Please don't let my daughter die, governor," when Christie was at a campaign stop, the governor signed the bill with a few modifications.

However, the changes didn't come quickly or effectively enough. Due to a number of hold-ups, no New Jersey dispensaries sell marijuana in a low-dosage, edible form.

"Unfortunately, six months later, none of those changes have been implemented," Meghan Wilson told CBS Philly of the ediblesn legislation.

A donation came to the rescue to provide for the next-best thing: a move to somewhere where Vivian can get the treatment she needs. The couple received a $10,000 gift from Magical Butter, a company that sells a machine that converts cannabis into a butter, to help relocate them to Colorado, where cannabis in edible form for medical purposes is readily available.

"We're just going to go to Colorado and … maybe we'll only need to be there for a year," Vivian's mom told CBS. "Maybe two years. We don't think it's gonna be forever. But we can't sit here waiting for the state to implement the changes to the program while our daughter continues to suffer."

Sources: The Weed Blog, Philly.com (2), CBS Philly