Randy Gross hopes a new law allowing children into Illinois’ medical marijuana program will reunite his family, nearly a year after his wife moved to Colorado so their son could receive a controversial treatment to ease his epileptic seizures.
“We can tell he’s feeling better,” Nicole Gross said of their son, Chase, who also has autism and uses sign language. “He puts four or five signs together. He’ll sign, ‘brother go downstairs play.’ … He engages more, makes better eye contact. If he notices something funny on his TV show, he’ll clap and pat you on the back.”
The boy formerly suffered abrupt “head drop” seizures — at least one every two minutes, she said. Now 20 minutes go by, sometimes 30 minutes, between seizures, she said.
The dark green, pungent oil comes from a hybrid marijuana strain called Charlotte’s Web, which was cultivated by a Colorado company to be heavy in a compound called CBD and low in THC, the ingredient that gets people high. It hasn’t been tested in clinical trials for effectiveness or safety, but it will be legal in Illinois under a law that took effect Thursday.
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