Senator Benjamin Announces Medical Marijuana Legislation

Brian A. Benjamin

April 19, 2018

**For Immediate Release**
April 19, 2018
Contact: Neil D. Reilly, 774.766.2351 | New York State Senator Brian A. Benjamin

Today, joined by parents, youth, advocates, and healthcare providers, State Senator Brian A. Benjamin announced his medical marijuana legislation titled Tanshin’s Bill, named for Aiden Tanshin Stephen, a 5-year-old who suffers from Generalized Epilepsy.  This bill, S8191 would remove a critical obstacle that parents face in their pursuit of providing for the health and educational wellbeing of their children.

“After beginning a therapy of full spectrum cannabidiol (CBD) tincture three times a day, Nina and Osiris’s beautiful son Aiden’s seizures have dropped dramatically to 5-10 per month from 100-200 per day.  However, widespread confusion about the use of medical marijuana in New York State, schools and mental health care facilities have made it hard for children like Aiden to receive this critical treatment while pursuing their educational studies,” said Senator Benjamin. “The bill we are introducing clarifies that medical marijuana therapy is legal at schools, and requires that schools have policies in place for the administration of these life changing therapies.”

When Aiden was 2.5 years old he was diagnosed with epilepsy. After two unsuccessful seizure medicines, Aiden’s parents tried CBD, an oil derived from the cannabis plant that does not contain THC, which reduced his seizures by 90%. However, confusion over medical marijuana policies at school made school nurses nervous about administering his medicine.

“Imagine your child suffered from migraines and was unable to get medication in school to mitigate his or her symptoms.  Or imagine if your child couldn't get their asthma meds during an attack in school. Children like my son should have access to their medication in  school so they can learn in their healthiest state,” said Aiden’s parents, Nina and Osiris Stephen. “This new legislation that we worked on with Senator Benjamin will help children like our son experience life to their fullest extent possible, by making sure that they can receive the medical care they need while at school.”

Parents shouldn’t have to choose between their children’s healthcare and education. We can and we should guarantee that every child have access to both,” said Senator Benjamin.