BALDWIN CITY, Kan. -- A Kansas family is moving west to Colorado for medical marijuana and they hope it will help their son's medical condition. They've been fighting for the legalization of medical marijuana in Kansas for the past two years ever since their son was born. Lawmakers aren't budging, so they're taking drastic measures in hopes of giving their son a normal life.
"Love. I mean, he's my kid. There's hope I guess, joy most of the time," dad Ryan Reed said.
Reed feels a pleasant sense of joy when he looks at his two-year-old son, Otis. But there's another emotion that comes directly after.
When Otis was 9 weeks old he started having seizures.
"That first trip to the hospital was pretty scary, but in the back of mind I thought, ‘We are in the right place, they'll help him. They'll fix him,’" Reed said.
But soon Reed and his wife Kathy realized there would be no quick fix. Otis was diagnosed with a rare type of epilepsy, called “Infantile Spasms,” causing more than 100 seizures a day.
Doctors immediately put him on a wide array of prescription drugs that gave Otis side-effects like high blood pressure, but never stopped the seizures.
"He looks at you and says with his eyes, ‘Help me.’ The only thing we can do is hold him and pray," Reed said.
But there's something that could give their son peace. There's a compound in marijuana called cannabidiol, or CBD. It's been proven to significantly lower the number of seizures for epileptic patients. The Reeds have been trying to prove the treatment's worth to lawmakers by spending countless hours at the capitol.
"We got a lot of, ‘This sounds like you're doing the right thing.’ We didn't get a lot of, ‘Here's what I'm gonna do to help,’" Reed said.
So they were forced to make a series of decisions. Reed quit his job as a teacher. They sold their house and are moving to Colorado to put Otis in medical marijuana treatment, in hopes of leaving the fear behind.
“I hope that, I hope that Otis can get some relief and smile more. When he smiles, it's pretty awesome,” Reed said.
The Reeds are confident this will work for Otis, and when it does, they're going to blog about it. They hope it will catch the attention of those lawmakers in Kansas. You can follow the family's progress through their blog by clicking on this link.