Colorado governor approves medical marijuana use for autism

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Colorado has officially added autism spectrum disorders (ASD) to the list of conditions that qualify for medical cannabis treatment.

Gov. Jared Polis signed a bipartisan bill on Tuesday allowing patients with autism to access medical marijuana, the Associated Press reports.

“It’s National Autism Day today, and we are acting by expanding patients’ access to cannabis products that help those with autism,” Polis told a crowd in his office before signing the bill. “We know that not just anecdotally, but with a mounting amount of good scientific data that is coming in.”

Autism spectrum disorders include autism, Asperger syndrome, and other developmental disorders. Under the new law, said disorders must be “diagnosed by a primary care physician, physician with experience in autism spectrum disorder or licensed mental health provider.”

Patients under the age of 18 will need consent from two doctors to use medical marijuana.

A 2017 study found that cannabis extracts were “dramatically more effective than conventional medicines” at easing symptoms of ASD, while research from the Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem concluded that cannabis can improve behaviors among autistic patients.

“I definitely believe it’s going to help kids for many reasons,” said Michelle Walker, a parent of an autistic child, to WPTV News. “One of the biggest reasons is I’ve seen it. I’ve seen my son’s life change. I’ve seen our family’s life change. It’s done a 180, and we’re not the only ones.”

Oscar Pascual is the editor of Smell the Truth, syndicated on GreenState and SFGATE. Smell The Truth is one of the internet’s most popular destinations for cannabis-related news and culture. This blog is not written or edited by Hearst. The authors are solely responsible for the content.