As of Oct. 1, children who are suffering from some serious illnesses can now be treated with medical marijuana.
On Wednesday morning, Gov. Dannel Malloy made it official, signing the measure that gives new hope to children and their families.
"For all of you who care about what we're doing...who care for our children, let me simply say on behalf of the citizens of the state of Connecticut, I very much appreciate the sacrifices you've made and with that I am going to sign the legislation,” Malloy said.
The state legalized medical marijuana for adults in 2012, and four years later, it’s now expanded to include children.
Under the legislation, children under 18 years old can treat pain and serious illnesses using medical marijuana as long as there is parental consent.
Doctors said the new option is a game changer for children living with daily pain.
"Some of our most vulnerable patients are children who would truly benefit from the use of medical marijuana,” said pain specialist Dr. Bill Zempsky.
Connecticut is also the first state to have a formal research program on the benefits of the cannabis treatment.
"This is an important day in our state and a learning opportunity for the rest of the nation,” Malloy said.
Medical marijuana is available for children suffering from specific conditions, including: cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis, spinal cord injuries, severe epilepsy, seizures or terminal illnesses requiring end of life care.
Children approved to use the medical marijuana will do so in an oil or liquid form…they would not smoke it.
“The opportunity to use new agents to control their pain and improve their quality of life is essential,” Zempsky said.
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