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Stender Calls on Governor to Make NJ a Compassionate State, Support Legislation to Ease Medical Marijuana Restrictions so Families not Forced to Leave NJ

Appeal comes amid news that family of chronically ill toddler at heart of fight to ease restrictions will be moving to Colorado because they cannot get medicine she needs in NJ

(TRENTON) – Assemblywoman Linda Stender on Friday called on Gov. Christie to prevent turning residents into medical refugees and support legislation she is sponsoring that would ease access to medical marijuana for licensed patients. The call comes after news that the Scotch Plains family at the forefront of the fight to ease the state’s medical marijuana regulations, will be moving out of New Jersey because they cannot get their daughter the treatment she needs in the state.

Meghan and Brian Wilson have been fighting to eliminate the obstacles preventing their daughter Vivian from receiving the medicine she needs. The toddler, who suffers from a severe form of epilepsy, was issued an ID card that qualifies her for cannabis a year ago, but has been unable to get the drug because the needed strain is not available. The Wilsons testified before state legislators in hopes of getting the law changed. The family now plans to move to Colorado, where dispensaries sell the drug in edible form. New Jersey’s dispensaries sell it only in a smokable form.

“Sadly our program is not working, and as evidenced by the Wilson family’s decision to flee the state so their young daughter can have access to the medicine she needs, it is creating medical refugees,” said Stender (D-Middlesex/Somerset/Union). “I call on the governor to make New Jersey a compassionate state, so families like the Wilsons are not forced to choose between leaving their home and family that support them, and having potentially life-saving medicine for their children.”

Stender is calling on the governor to support bill (A-4537) which would allow state medical marijuana patients to possess and use, medical marijuana legally obtained from another jurisdiction. The bill was approved by the Assembly this month and now awaits further consideration by the Senate.

“The edible form of medical marijuana that the Wilsons really need is not available in New Jersey and it is still not known when it will be,” added Stender. “This legislation can help approved participants like the Wilsons get the medicine they need without having to uproot their families.”