Medical Marijuana Laws – Cyndimae’s Law
On her last day, Cyndimae Meehan did the things she loved. She colored. She played. She took a nap in her father’s arms. Cyndimae fought for access to medical marijuana laws to treat her rare form of epilepsy. Her struggle brought her and her mother before lawmakers in Maine and Connecticut.
The Meehan family moved to Maine to have legal access to cannabis to treat Cyndimae’s disease, and she was finally able to attend school after the passage of legislation last year.
Sadly, Cyndimae died Sunday while sleeping on her father’s chest on the couch in their Augusta home. She was just 13 years old.
“She really spread love and joy and an unbelievable smile everywhere she went, whether it was the State House or a restaurant or riding roller coasters in Florida,” said her mother, Susan Meehan.
“She was a unifying force wherever she went.”
Medical cannabis had had success treating certain types of epilepsy in young people. Cyndimae had Dravet syndrome, a rare and severe form of epilepsy that begins in infancy.
Her parents decided to treat her seizures with medical marijuana when they tried for years without success to control Cyndimae’s frequent seizures, sometimes many within an hour.
The FDA-approved drugs were powerless against Cyndimae’s epilepsy, so the Meehan’s turned to cannabis therapy.
Soon after, they decided it was the best course for their daughter even though their home state of Connecticut doesn’t allow pediatric medical marijuana use.
So Cyndimae became a medical marijuana refugee.
Eventually, her case became a common reference among lawmakers seeking to pass medical marijuana legislation.
During their time in Maine, the Meehan family became well-known advocates, frequently testifying at the State House on bills that affect the state’s longstanding medical marijuana program.
Meehan often testified in both Augusta and Connecticut with Cyndimae by her side.
Last year, Meehan testified in favor of a bill – since passed into law – that allows schools to provide accommodations for children who use medical marijuana.
Cyndimae wanted to get an education, but her use of medical marijuana was keeping her out of the classroom.
The driving force behind the bill was Cyndimae’s desire to go to school, something her illness had made impossible without access to medical marijuana.
“Cyndimae is probably the biggest advocate we ever brought to Augusta,” Brian Breton, a Meehan family friend and the lead advocate for Maine Children for Cannabis Therapy, said on Monday. “She really opened eyes in Augusta.”
“She was a gift every day we had her,” Susan Meehan said.
(Photo Credit: NewsCenter)