Father pushes for legal marijuana for daughter's seizures

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - With Colorado making millions on legalizing marijuana, the issue is getting bigger. If some lawmakers get their way, Missouri will be the next state to legalize pot for personal use.

Tony Ballard and his family recently moved from the Kansas City area to Manhattan, Kan. They believe legalizing pot is about much more than getting high.

Ballard started a blog called "View From The Helmet Cam" where he discusses how legalizing the drug might be the right treatment for his 7-year-old daughter.

"She'll have clusters of seizures which could last anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes," Ballard said.

At the age of 3, doctors diagnosed his daughter Elise with leukemia.

"When she was in the midst of chemotherapy, then she contracted a virus on her brain," Ballard said.

That's when the seizures started and haven't stopped.

"She has them many, many times a day. We'll say upwards to 300 times a day," her father said.

To Elise, her helmet is a fashion accessory rather than just a necessity.

"As I look at all the things that are legal and approved for my daughter for treatment, none of those have worked, so while they're all legal and approved it's been completely unsuccessful," Ballard said.

Elise's doctor at Children's Mercy recommended medical marijuana. Colorado though is the closest state for the treatment.

"We're not real interested in living apart as a family. We're certainly not interested right now in uprooting to go take a gamble that something may or may not happen because it's not a guarantee."

But they would still like for that to be a legal option to give their daughter a fighting chance.

"Every time she begins to make some kind of progress in the right direction then she begins to seize and that kind of erases everything," Ballard said.

He has considered going before the legislature to tell his family's story, but said he wants more time to get educated on the subject.

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