Tensions collided earlier this week as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.) was publicly confronted about his state's most recent medical marijuana bill that now only needs his signature before it is officially passed.
The bill arose when a non-psychoactive form of marijuana was used last year to help treat a 6-year-old suffering from a form of violent and potentially fatal epilepsy. On Friday, Christie sent back the bill. However, he told the Legislature he would it if it was altered so that edible forms of marijuana would be dispensed only to minors, not to all patients.
Vivian Wilson is the 2-year-old with a rare form of epilepsy who could be helped by medical marijuana. She has emerged at the center of this political conflict. Her story caught media attention when her parents began a statewide campaign to have the bill passed so could receive the lifesaving treatment. While medical marijuana is technically available in the state, the specific strain, oils and pill form of the drug Vivian needs for treatment is not available to her due to New Jersey’s stringent restrictions.
It’s shocking that Christie did not pass the bill since it only loosens New Jersey's restrictions on medical marijuana.
Christie wished Wilson and her family the best, and ultimately stated that he would make a decision based on what he thinks is "best for the people of the state."
Christie faces pressure on multiple platforms surrounding this issue from supporters of the family, supporters of legalization, and supporters of criminalization and stricter regulation.
This law has the potential to be groundbreaking as it may be the first of many to migrate to newly marijuana-friendly states like Colorado, since permissible recreational use of the drug will allow them to avoid the legal hassle for medical attention.