Stender: Christie Punts and Prolongs Pain for Suffering Children

Assemblywoman Linda Stender on Friday expressed sadness and frustration at Governor Christie’s conditional veto of legislation she sponsored that would allow minors with life-threatening and debilitating illnesses to obtain relief through New Jersey’s medical marijuana program.

Stender’s legislation (S-2842/A-4241) would help children like two-year old Vivian Wilson of Scotch Plains whose family has been advocating for the move because medical marijuana is the only drug that provides relief for the severe and rare form of epilepsy she suffers from known as Dravet Syndrome, which anti-seizure medicine does not control.

“Our number one priority is to provide relief from suffering for children like Vivian so we will take a close look at the Governor’s proposed changes to see if we can work with them to still accomplish that goal.

“It’s unfortunate that these families were forced to wait nearly two months while this legislation languished on the Governor’s desk and now he is prolonging their suffering by telling them they must wait even longer.

“The Governor was right on one thing, however, when he said the issue is ‘not simple.’ The Wilson’s every day lives are not simple. Finding relief for their daughter is not simple. And the governor’s conditional veto today makes their lives all that much harder.

“What should be simple, however, is for the governor to put a child’s life above his ambitions and sign this bill. In the end, it could save her life.”