An aggrieved father confronted New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie during a campaign stop on Wednesday, begging the Republican to sign into law a bill that would provide easier access to medical marijuana for children, CBS New York reports.
Brian Wilson’s 2-year-old daughter Vivian is diagnosed with Dravet Syndrome, a rare and potentially lethal form of epilepsy. She wears glasses to avoid having light trigger seizures and has stopped breathing twice during epileptic episodes, her parents said.
Wilson accosted Christie in a Scotch Plains diner and demanded to know when he would consider the bill.
“I was wondering what the holdup is. It’s been like two months now,” Brian Wilson said to the governor.
“These are complicated issues,” Christie replied.
“Very simple issue,” Wilson shot back.
“No, I know you think it’s simple… I know you think it’s simple and it’s not,” Christie said. “I’ll have a decision by Friday. I wish for the best for you, your daughter and your family and I’m going to do what I think is best for the people of the state.”
Christie’s answer aggravated Wilson.
“Please don’t let my daughter die, Governor. Don’t let my daughter die,” Wilson said. He later told CBS New York his daughter suffered from 30 seizures that morning alone.
Back in June, the New Jersey state legislature passed a bill that would make it easier for parents to get a strain of medical marijuana for their children with less of the cannabinoid THC, which gets users high, and more of the ingredient cannabidiol (CBD), which has greater medical application and can be used to treat epilepsy. Doctors, however, were unwilling to prescribe it to the Wilsons’ daughter.
“We had to make a bunch of phone calls and we pretty much had the door shut in our faces all over the place,” Brian Wilson told CBS New York.
The bill would allow for only one doctor to sign off, instead of three, and the medical marijuana would be dispensed in pills or oils. Christie will consider signing the bill on Friday.
New Jersey legalized medical marijuana in 2008, but implementation of the law is as difficult and as complicated as it is in other states like Colorado. In 2012, the first dispensary opened after a long political battle.