This time last year, with his half-hearted signature to Senate Bill 2842 instead of the dreaded veto that New Jersey legislators feared, Governor Chris Christie allowed an amendment to make marijuana medicinal edibles available to all registered and prescribed patients with approved illnesses proving necessary for improving life. He later amended that bill to reflect that the medicinal marijuana edibles would be only for minors, would require 3 medically approved signatures by licensed physicians to affirm the pediatrician’s recommendation to write the prescription for patients only registered in the NJ Marijuana Registry. Many parents wondered at that time what they would do when their children aged out, but still needed the medication. Maybe they will just start smoking it. Who knows?
It is highly questionable if Governor Christie has even done the personal research regarding the cannabis plant to give him the education and understanding of what he is basing his decisions on regarding the cannabis leaf. Surely he has done extensive research that supports his unwillingness to bend regarding the lives of the children in his own state with what seems to be a pure disregard to the infinite possibilities, not to mention his quote open and public announcement telling his people of New Jersey who support the legalization to move to Colorado!
It was also this time last year, August 2013, that Brian Wilson and his army of supporters would make another visit to the Governor’s chamber door where he continued to explain to the his Honorable that the cannabinoid he had recently made accessible to suffering minors (at least on paper) in the edible form will be really great for other children needing relief. However, his Vivian would not be able to benefit because she cannot ingest sweets or candy due to the type of illness she lives with, Dravet syndrome that unleashes horrible and exhausting seizures uncontrolled by legal medicines. Wilson pleaded with the Governor to do better and make the concentrated CBD (high in CBD/Low in THC) oil available as an alternative to the edibles so his daughter wouldn’t die.
In lieu of their tremendous contribution to the momentum behind legislation, the Wilson’s chose life for their daughter Vivian. So, like many Americans living with life-threatening illnesses untreatable by traditional therapies, they too became Marijuana Refugees and fled to the welcoming state of Colorado where Vivian had immediate access to the CBD oil that minimizes the intensity and the number of seizures she had once experienced on a daily basis.
Although Vivian and her family has new hope in their hearts, the same cannot be said for Miss Anna Conte. Anna, 9 of Orchard Park, New York was living with Dravet syndrome. Like Vivian, Anna did not have access to the medicinal marijuana that would have decreased the intensity and amount of seizures she experienced daily.
In an article dated December 4, 2013, it was made known to the community of Orchard Park, New York that medicinal marijuana could spare her life from being taken by Druvet syndrome. Miss Anna Conte, 9 passed away from conditions caused by Dravet syndrome on July 17, 2014.
Although was not made effective quick enough to to spare her little life, on June 7, 2014, Governor Cuomo of New York signed the Compassionate Care Act and implemented a patient-access plan so that no more people lost their lives in the ropes of politics and waiting periods. With the help from Congressman Scott Perry (D-PA), Representative Steve Cohen (D-TN) and Representative Paul Brown (R-GA) introducing the “Charlotte’s Web Medical Hemp Act of 2014. This would make New York the 23rd state to legalize in some capacity.
The bill proposes to exclude industrial hemp and cannabidiol (CBD) from the definition of marijuana, ensuring that children and individuals with epilepsy and other debilitating seizure disorders have access to life-changing Cannabidiol (CBD) Oil and therapeutic hemp such as the Charlotte’s Web™ brand of hemp products. High CBD hemp strains have provided relief for thousands of people in the United States as it’s shown to reduce the amount and duration of seizures in children suffering from epilepsy and other seizure disorders.
Advocates and families of Anna, Vivian, and others who continue to live out their days suffering from disease are confused when the government is so concerned about marijuana getting wrongly into the hands of the nation’s children. They say, “What about our children? They will die without it.”
The Wilson’s continue to advocate for Vivian and others who need the cannabis plant’s healing qualities. You can learn more about Vivian’s long road in her story found at Letters For Vivian.
Advocacy to legalize has picked up a fierce momentum that is being heard by everyone today. Challenging many decades of unexplained taboo smothered in a massive amount of political vomit, makes it a great time for legislators to send their aids and researchers to the streets to hear the stories of their constituents where a whopping 90% of all Americans say YES to some form of legalization to allow access to the people it greatly benefits. That has to tell policy makers something quite loud.
It is crucial for ALL PEOPLE to understand the cannabis plant and its extremely complex properties, traits, and the many compounds that can be broken down from the plant through chemical change processes.
- It takes 5 personally hand written and mailed letters (not canned letters, or canned emails) to your legislator (District Senators/Representatives and U.S. Congressmen) to rethink their decision on a particular issue they will be voting on.
- It takes 7 direct dialed phone calls to their state house office or home to rethink their decision on a particular issue they will be voting on.
- It takes 1 personal SCHEDULED visit to their office or home for them to sit down with you and talk to them about an issue requiring their support. They will then seek out professionals in their peer groups to validate and find out more.
(values above are based on the authors personal experience in Governmental Affairs as an advocate for people with developmental disabilities, numbers and response rates may vary across different states.)
Legislators can not know everything about every issue and every industry. People must reach out to them and educate them about what they know, so they can ask more questions and learn. Each aspect of the cannabis plant brings some sort of blessing to those seeking its healing and serenity that emits from all its wondrous qualities. People are suffering immensely from great pain and sickness brought on by life-threatening illnesses and side effects from pharmaceutical prescriptions prescribed to give the best possible treatment available.
Visit with your legislators, and educate your legislators.