Children with certain medical conditions can now legally begin receiving medical marijuana in Connecticut. Governor Dannel Malloy signed legislation that extends the state’s medical marijuana program to minors for the first time.
So far, three children in Connecticut have been approved to receive the drug; two more are being considered for inclusion. Only six conditions are so far eligible for the program including cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis, severe epilepsy and terminal illness.
Susan Meehan, whose daughter Cyndimae found relief from epileptic seizures with medical marijuana, campaigned for the change in the law. The Meehans had to move from Connecticut to Maine to allow Cyndimae to receive the drug.
"Connecticut has a lot to learn, but you have the foundation of an amazing program," she told a press conference at the Connecticut Children's Medical Center in Hartford. "This milestone is the very first step. The beginning of a journey that has the potential to save many lives, and improve the quality of life for so many children."
Cyndimae Meehan died in March of this year at the age of 13.
Adults have been allowed to participate in Connecticut’s medical marijuana program since 2012. Governor Dannel Malloy paid tribute to Meehan's testimony on behalf of children, and said the extension is long overdue.
"The fear of the unknown has stopped many good things from happening in a more timely fashion," he said. "The idea that we would go so far with development of opioids, and would at the same time ignore the possibility of cannabis, really makes no sense."
Malloy signed the bill into law in a ceremony at the hospital on Thursday.