Medical Marijuana Bill for Children Dies in Legislature

Some Connecticut families say they are running out of options as a result.

Some Connecticut families say they're running out of options after a bill that would allow children to use medical marijuana died in the legislature.

Seven-year-old West Tarricone is full of energy as she plays with her twin brother, Blake, but hundreds of times a day, seizures stop her in her tracks.

"Her seizures are at the point now where she stops breathing. We have oxygen now," said West's and Blake's mom Cara Tarricone.

West was diagnosed with West Syndrome, a type of epilepsy, at just 11 months. Since then she's been in and out of the hospital and currently takes up to 18 pills a day, though her parents say it does little to help.

"It's getting dangerous. We're at the point where it's life-threatening every day for her, and this medication can help," said Cara.

The medication she's referring to is medical marijuana in oil form, but in Connecticut anyone under the age of 18 is prohibited from using it for medical reasons. The state senate failed to take up a bill for a vote that would have changed that.

Due to the epilepsy, Cara says she gave up her career to care full time for West, and her wife Diane works three jobs to support them. They say they don't have another year to wait for the legislation to pass, and their only solution would be for Cara and West to move to another state, separating the family.

"That would mean she's not with her brother," said Cara. "That would mean she doesn't get to see her mom, and that's not okay."

As the Tarricone's struggle to plan for the future, they're still hoping quick action during a special session will keep them here.

"All it would have taken was five minutes to say yes, to pass this bill and save our daughter's life," said Cara.

The Tarricone's are working with several other parents to raise awareness of the issue in hopes that the State Senate will take up the bill. For more information, check out the facebook page here.

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