Meghan and Brian Wilson of Scotch Plains, New Jersey, got the best Christmas gift they could ask for this year -- the hope that their daughter Vivian will get to grow up. They just thought Vivian would grow up to be a Jersey girl, not a Rocky Mountain girl.
You may have been following the story of little Vivian Wilson. She suffers from Dravet Syndrome, the severe form of epilepsy America was introduced to by little Charlotte Figi in the CNN Sanjay Gupta documentary, Weed. Charlotte’s epilepsy has been nearly cured by a marijuana oil extract from a plant that is extremely high in cannabidiol (CBD) and low in tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
Vivian is a registered medical marijuana patient in her home state of New Jersey -- a process that was none too easy to complete, as New Jersey requires the recommendation from a doctor, a pediatrician, and a psychiatrist before a minor can use medical cannabis. Her parents jumped through all the hoops legally necessary to save their little girl.
But Governor Chris Christie has restricted the medical marijuana regulations to the extent that Meghan and Brian cannot get the high-CBD oil that would save Vivian’s life. Even as the legislature is currently passing a bill that would allow patients to import cannabis products from other medical marijuana states, the governor has vowed to veto it, claiming that allowing epileptic toddlers to use a non-psychoactive non-smoked marijuana extract with less THC in it than a hemp rope is a slippery slope that leads to teenage drug addiction.
Meghan and Brian’s last hope for their daughter’s life, which is threatened daily by every seizure, seemed to be to escape New Jersey and its evil governor. But moving thousands of miles out west where the CBD-oil flows costs a lot of money and leaving behind extended friends and family would be difficult.
On Christmas Day, the Wilsons got word from a friend that three benefactors had contributed $10,000 to the family to help pay their moving expenses to relocate to Colorado. Garyn Angel, the owner of Magical Butter, a company that makes closed-system appliances for manufacturing marijuana butters and oils, and his friends Drew and Lisa Braun from Florida gifted the money to Meghan and Brian.
Parents shouldn’t have to leave their whole lives behind and flee 2,000 miles just to get life-saving medicine for their children. It is especially ludicrous that Republican Gov. Chris Christie is afraid of high-CBD oil in his medical marijuana state when Republican legislators in Utah, of all places, are debating legal importation of this same oil as a non-psychoactive hemp product.
"Radical" Russ Belville is the host of "The Russ Belville Show."