Kids Now Eligible for Medical Marijuana in Connecticut

by | October 17, 2016

By Russell Blair and Lauren Schneiderman

Families of pediatric medical marijuana patients were joined by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy at Connecticut Children's Medical Center Thursday for a ceremonial signing of legislation to expand the state's medical marijuana program to include children.

"We don't always get it right on the first go-around but eventually we persevere," Malloy said. "The idea that we would ignore the obvious benefits of cannabis-based medication made no sense. And once we acknowledged that it might make sense for adults, the idea that we would deprive children of access made even less sense."

Susan Meehan moved from Montville to Maine with her daughter, Cyndimae, so she could use medical cannabis to treat Cyndimae's seizures. Meehan was at the state Capitol earlier this year to testify in favor of the bill that allowed minors to participate in the medical marijuana program.

"Cannabis can provide a whole medicine cabinet worth of options to treat many profoundly difficult-to-treat conditions," she said at the ceremony Thursday.

Cyndimae died in March from complications related to her seizure disorders. Months later legislators passed the bill changing the medical marijuana law, and beginning Oct. 1 patients under 18 were granted access to the drug.

"While clearly there's more research to be done ... it's become clear to me that some of our most vulnerable patients are children who would truly benefit from the use of medical marijuana," said William Zempsky, head of pain and palliative medicine at Connecticut Children's Medical Center.

(c)2016 The Hartford Courant (Hartford, Conn.)