Local family pushes for medical cannabis to help son

By  | 

It's a debate across the county and it's heating up here in South Dakota.

Medical marijuana is legal in 23 states; South Dakota is not one of them. But, one family is hoping it's added to the list.

"We finally decided to post it because there needs to be an awareness because we can talk about it until we are blue in the face about compassion and these type of things, but until you physically see what it looks like to have somebody suffer -- somebody who is beyond their control. You see that there are little children out there that can't get the thing they need that quite possibly could change their life completely," said George Hendrickson, pro medical cannabis.

Eli is two and a half years old. Because he has Dravet Syndrome he can't talk, he can't walk and he suffers from debilitating seizures. For Eli's family, the glimmer of hope is medical cannabis. But they have yet to see that day come in South Dakota.

"Children that have been having 300 seizures a day are down to 30 a month. And all of a sudden within six months, not all of sudden but within six months, this child's had a progression where they can talk and they can walk.," said Hendrickson.

Eli's dad George Hendrickson says South Dakota is his family's home but he will move his family if it means a better life for his son.

"I hope one day I'll be able to here him say I love you Daddy. I know he does. I just want to hear him say it once," said Hendrickson.

Eli takes a lot of medications -- far too many, his dad says, for such a young boy. He's spent nearly his whole young life in a fog and his dad hopes medical cannabis will help his son truly live life.