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Should 2-Year-Olds Get Medical Marijuana?

<<enter caption here>> on April 18, 2010 in Daly City, California.
Photograph by Getty Images

It’s a fact: Most parents don’t want their kids using marijuana—and the younger the kid, the stronger our kneejerk reservations. So then why is a family in New Jersey fighting to get its 2-year-old access to the drug?

The reason, of course, is “medical.” Everyone and their mother, it seems, is smoking weed for “medical reasons." But in this case we believe the need is legit. Vivian Wilson from Scotch Plains, N.J. suffers from a severe form of epilepsy called Dravet Syndrome. Here’s the parent’s description of what that’s like, from Letters4Vivan.com:

“Vivian started having seizures at 2 months old. Her seizures all lasted 25 to 60 minutes and would not stop without large doses of rescue medications. By the age of 13 months Vivian had failed five different pharmaceutical medications in various combinations. For the past year Vivian has been on a special high-fat diet proven successful for epilepsy, yet she still seizes every day, on average 15 times.”

A certain type of marijuana called cannabidiol (CBD) could alleviate this problem. And, unlike typical strains, it is non psychoactive, so there is no "high." Vivian received her medical marijuana card in February 2013, but to date she has not received the drug due to the state’s restrictions.

“The dispensaries can only sell three strains, and the strain that Vivian needs isn’t as popular,” explains Meghan Wilson, Vivian’s mother. Since Vivian can’t exactly toke up and inhale, she’ll need an edible form not sold in the state’s dispensaries.

Vivian’s parents say that if a bill before New Jersey Governor Chris Christie gets passed, it could loosen restrictions and get Vivian a drug she dearly needs. For more information, visit Letters4Vivan.com.

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