The family of a seizure-stricken little girl who became the face of medical marijuana in New Jersey has moved to Colorado after that state's MMJ program completely failed them, the parents say.
Meghan and Brian Wilson maintain that they aren't angry with New Jersey officials. However, they felt they needed to move their daughter, Vivian, to a place where she can access the medicine she needs: high-CBD oil that helps curb the dozens of seizures she faces every day.
The Wilsons were thrust into the spotlight last year after Brian led a high-profile fight to ease New Jersey's restrictive rules regarding medical marijuana for minors. At the time, children needed to be seen by multiple doctors before they could be prescribed MMJ -- and even then, neither high-CBD tinctures nor plants themselves were legal.
A bill allowing for high-CBD strains and edible forms for children eventually was signed into law, but not before New Jersey governor Chris Christie let it sit for months on his desk. At one point, Brian confronted Christie, telling him point-blank, "Don't let my daughter die, Governor."
But even with the new law, New Jersey's program has been slow to change; there are still no high-CBD strains or tinctures available through the state's three medical marijuana dispensaries. And since patients in New Jersey do not have the right to grow their own medicine, the Wilsons were left with few options.
Earlier this year, the Wilsons again tried to speed up access to high-CBD meds in New Jersey by helping legislators push a bill that would have allowed New Jersey MMJ patients reciprocity with other state medical marijuana programs; the hope was that they could purchase the medicine out of state and then bring it back home. But Christie promised to veto any changes to the medical marijuana program, arguing that he would be allowing the state to slide down a slippery slope to outright legalization.
Now the family that fought so hard to stay in New Jersey has moved and is calling Colorado Springs home, at least for the time being. Brian told NJ.com that he hopes to eventually move back to his home state -- once the medical marijuana program there catches up to patient needs. In the meantime, Wilson says, he's already procured a two-month supply of high-CBD oil from a Colorado Springs dispensary.
The Wilsons are part of a growing community of so-called medical marijuana refugees in Colorado. The number of minors on the Colorado medical marijuana registry grew from just 35 kids under the age of eighteen in January 2013 to 199 by the end of December.
More from our Marijuana archive circa August 2013: "Meet Paige Figi, whose daughter helped change CNN doc Sanjay Gupta's mind about weed."