Connecticut "Medical Marijuana Refugees" Will Stay in Maine | Connecticut Public Radio
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Connecticut "Medical Marijuana Refugees" Will Stay in Maine

Jun 5, 2015

What keeps Cyndimae Meehan's seizures at bay also keeps her in Maine as a medical marijuana refugee.

Time ran out this legislative session on a bill that would have allowed minors to be prescribed medical marijuana. The legislature's inaction means a Montville mother and her sick daughter will continue to live in Maine where children can legally be prescribed pot.

Susan Meehan's 12-year-old daughter Cyndimae has Dravet syndrome, a rare form of epilepsy. The disease causes Cyndimae to experience hundreds of small seizures every day, and Meehan said none of the FDA-approved drugs and therapies on the market could stop the seizures.

"We had been through 23 different anti-epileptic drugs and our neurologist basically told us we were out of options, and should look into getting her to a state where we could legally try medical marijuana," Meehan said.

Out of desperation, Susan Meehan took that doctor's advice. In 2013, she said goodbye to her husband and her three other daughters in Montville and moved with Cyndimae to Maine, where minors can legally be prescribed marijuana.

"Cyndimae used to have about a thousand mild chronic jerks a day, which are a very quick and generalized seizure," said Meehan, "and they resolved nearly overnight on a marijuana tincture that is made with THC-A." 

But what keeps Cyndimae's seizures at bay also keeps her in Maine as a medical marijuana refugee. Susan said bringing Cyndimae back to Connecticut, even for a short visit, could land her in jail because Cyndimae needs the marijuana tincture several times a day.

Susan's story and heartfelt testimony did a lot to bring attention to Senate Bill 1064, a proposal that would have allowed minors with certain ailments to be prescribed medical marijuana. But the bill did not get called for a vote before the session ended, dashing Meehan's hopes of bringing Cyndimae back to Connecticut for good.

"I can't even describe it," Meehan said. "It's shameful, it's nearly criminal that this bill was disregarded."

Susan Meehan said if a similar bill is submitted next session, she will testify in support of it, but she will do so as a permanent resident of Maine. The two years of separation has taken its toll on the Meehan family, and Susan said she is house hunting in Maine. She expects her entire family to join her and Cyndimae in Maine by the end of the summer.