Family at heart of medical pot issue to leave N.J.

Meghan Wilson and daughter Vivian in Scotch Plains. Vivian needs treatment for severe epilepsy.
Meghan Wilson and daughter Vivian in Scotch Plains. Vivian needs treatment for severe epilepsy. (APRIL SAUL / Staff Photographer)
Posted: December 28, 2013

The family of a chronically ill New Jersey toddler who has been at the forefront of a battle to get Gov. Christie to loosen the state's medical marijuana regulations is moving out of state.

Vivian Wilson, a 21/2-year-old Scotch Plains girl with severe epilepsy, was issued an ID card that qualifies her for cannabis a year ago. But she has been unable to get the drug.

After testifying before state legislators to get the law changed, Meghan and Brian Wilson say they now plan to move their daughter and her sister in February to Colorado, where dispensaries sell the drug in a butter or other edible form. New Jersey dispensaries sell it only in a smokable form.

The Wilsons say Vivian needs cannabis to control life-threatening seizures. After getting her a card - which required the approval of three doctors - they could not purchase the drug because the sole dispensary at the time could not keep up with demand.

While waiting for another dispensary to open, the Wilsons launched a campaign to get the law amended to allow edibles. Christie balked, saying the change was "a slippery slope."

The Wilsons then considered moving, saying they were concerned about their daughter's deteriorating health. But they said they wanted to give the state a chance to make changes, and also did not want to give up their jobs and close contact with extended family. There was also the cost of moving.

That problem was tackled when a friend stopped by on Christmas to tell them that Magical Butter, a company that sells a machine that converts cannabis into a butter, and another benefactor had pledged $10,000 to cover relocation expenses.

"That's incredible. Thank you," Brian Wilson said in a video later posted by the friend on YouTube. Meghan got teary and said: "Ohhh. We love you guys."

Garyn Angel, Magical Butter's owner, said in a video-recorded message to them: "You guys helped lay the groundwork" for their efforts to win public support for children who need cannabis.

Angel said that his company and his friends, Drew and Lisa Braun from Florida, made the donation.

"It was a Christmas gift beyond our wildest dreams. We thought a friend wanted to deliver Christmas cookies," Meghan said in an e-mail to The Inquirer. She could not be reached for further comment.

In the summer, during one of Christie's campaign stops, Brian Wilson had begged him: "Don't let my daughter die." Christie later signed the bill.

When a dispensary opened in Egg Harbor, Atlantic County, in October, Vivian obtained an ounce. But the dispensary sells only the smokable type.

Brian Wilson contacted Angel for help in converting it to butter. But Wilson had trouble finding a lab to test the oil so that Vivian's dose could be determined. Wilson said the Department of Health said it did not yet have the ability to do this.

During his visit, Angel said, he asked if he could do anything else. The family's reply, he said, was to help with moving expenses.

"It felt great to do this," he said. "It was a good Christmas for all of us."


>Inquirer.com

To view the video in which the Wilsons learn they will be getting a $10,000 donation to move, go to:

www.inquirer.com/vivian


jhefler@phillynews.com856-779-3224 @JanHefler www.inquirer.com/burlcobuzz

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