The Public Health Committee in the Connecticut General Assembly is considering expanding the laws that apply to medical marijuana.
The proposal would allow children the same access to treatments as adults, under the proper medical supervision.
Currently, adults can have access to medical marijuana dispensaries if it's prescribed by a doctor for a documented medical issue. Children who suffer from ailments that could use medical marijuana treatments are currently prohibited.
“It’s not marijuana that could be smoked, it is done through other forms whether it be oils or pills, other or whatever may have you" said Rep. Matt Ritter, the Commitee's Chairman who supports the measure. He says the law has built in requirements to ensure people can't work around the system and abuse it.
“You would have two doctors sign off and a legal guardian" Rep. Ritter, (D - Hartford) said. "Those protections in place we think will make sure that they’re going to those folks who need it most who it’s helpful for and who’s physicians support the measures that we’re taking.”
The Meehan family left their home in Oakdale, CT because of the state's restrictions on medical marijuana three years ago.
13 year old Cyndimae Meehan suffers thousands of seizures every day and a doctor told her and mother Susan that other states have more accomodating policies for Cyndimae's condition.
“Our doctor said there really was nothing left and I think you need get her to a state where she can try medical marijuana legally, so that’s what we did. We moved to Maine in 2013" Susan said.
She says of the medical marijuana treatment, “It stops her seizures in their tracks.”
Some Republicans in the General Assembly fear the expansion could lead to the prescriptions being used as gateways to other drugs like opiates.
However, others in the minority party view the expansion as a reasonable and responsible expansion for people who really need the treatments.
“I think you’re talking about a very limited specific purpose that would be used primarily on the same grounds that we did for the use of medical marijuana for adults" said Rep. Whit Betts, (R - Bristol).
He says the issue needs to be thought about less about politics and more about compassion.
“I don’t of know any individual that would be opposed to helping somebody who is suffering so much.”