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Friday, April 6, 2018

Medical Marijuana for Autism

In The Politics of Autism, I write:
The conventional wisdom is that any kind of treatment is likely to be less effective as the child gets older, so parents of autistic children usually believe that they are working against the clock. They will not be satisfied with the ambiguities surrounding ABA, nor will they want to wait for some future research finding that might slightly increase its effectiveness. They want results now. Because there are no scientifically-validated drugs for the core symptoms of autism, they look outside the boundaries of mainstream medicine and FDA approval. Studies have found that anywhere from 28 to 54 percent of autistic children receive “complementary and alternative medicine” (CAM), and these numbers probably understate CAM usage
These approaches sometimes include marijuana.

Maria Clark at The New Orleans Times-Picayune:
Louisiana residents living with autism disorder are one step closer to accessing medical marijuana as a possible treatment option.
The bill (HB 627) cleared the Louisiana House 78-21 Thursday (April 5) after several members of the cabinet questioned a new amendment proposed by Rep. Dodie Horton R- Bossier that would have made medical marijuana accessible to anyone with any medical condition. Horton added that it would be up to medical specialists to determine whether a patient could be treated with medical marijuana.
The amendment was a complete 180 for Horton who on Thursday morning voted against a similar bill (HB 579) that expands the use of medical marijuana to treat post-traumatic stress disorder, glaucoma, severe muscle spasms, and chronic pain. The bill cleared the committee with a vote of 8-4
At The Denver Post, John Ingold reports on a bill to allow medical marijuana for autism.
At the end of more than five hours of testimony and debate, lawmakers on the state House Health, Insurance and Environment Committee approved the bill by a 12-1 vote, the first of several hurdles at the Capitol that it must clear before becoming law.

The bill, House Bill 18-1263, would allow doctors to recommend marijuana as a treatment for symptoms suffered by anyone diagnosed on the autism spectrum. An initial provision in the bill that also would have qualified acute pain as a condition meriting cannabis was stripped out before the committee’s final vote.

Thursday’s hearing echoed numerous prior debates in recent years at the Capitol that pitted families with personal anecdotes of transformations brought about by cannabis against doctors worried by the lack of high-quality studies and unknown long-term effects.
Overall, more than 93,000 people in Colorado have active medical marijuana cards — 314 of those age 17 or younger, a decline from several years ago, when families with children who suffer from epilepsy poured into the state in a similar quest to help their children through marijuana.

KSWO-TV reports on a movement to allow it in Arizona:

KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports