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Medical Marijuana

George Hendrickson wipes tears from his eyes while watching a recording of South Dakota State Sen. Blake Curd speak about medical marijuana in front of the South Dakota Senate with his wife, Kristin Hendrickson Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016, at their home in Sioux Falls. Hendrickson's son Eliyah, 3, suffers from Dravet Syndrome, also known as severe myoclonic epilepsy of infancy (SMEI), which is a type of epilepsy. South Dakota Senators voted 20-15 to advance a measure that would legalize the use of cannabidiol (CBD), a derivative of marijuana, for severe seizure disorders. Hendrickson said they've basically seen a complete neurological regression in Eliyah since mid-January when his seizures increased. "His ability to walk, stand against objects, walk with assistance, feed himself, chew food, make eye contact and interact physically and play, we've lost all of that," Hendrickson said, "he's basically gone back to being six-months old again." Hendrickson explained that for Eliyah CBD would be used as seizure control. "If it can become our main seizure control, it's better to be on it than it is the pharmaceuticals--in our view--because you look at all the known side effects of the pharmaceuticals and they're horrendous," Hendrickson explained.