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Saturday, June 9, 2018

Marijuana Veto in Colorado

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.

At High Times, Adam Drury reports on Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper (D) vetoing legislation that would have allowed the use of medical marijuana for autism.
Of the 30 states (and D.C.) that have legalized medical cannabis, only 5 consider autism spectrum disorder a qualifying condition. Colorado was poised to become the sixth. But bi-partisan support for the measure was not enough to convince Gov. Hickenlooper to sign the bill.
HB 1263 passed the Colorado Senate with a 32-3 majority. The House voted 54-7 in favor of the bill. But that, and MAMMA’s vocal presence in the capitol Tuesday didn’t sway Hickenlooper.

He says other autism advocates and support groups failed to turn out for (or against) the bill. “Their neutrality speaks volumes,” Hickenlooper said in his office.
The governor also said he hadn’t received any support for the autism measure from certified pediatricians. “I’m sure they’re out there, but I haven’t found a pediatrician yet who thinks it’s a good idea to sign this bill,” Hickenlooper said.
From Hickenlooper's office:
House Bill 18-1263
“While we are very sympathetic with families advocating medical marijuana (MMJ) as a safer and more effective treatment for their children, we cannot ignore such overwhelming concerns from the medical community,” said Governor Hickenlooper in the veto letter. He went on to say, “In vetoing this bill, we do so on sole concern that medical efficacy on MMJ to treat ASD has yet to be fully studied by medical professionals and scientific experts entrusted to this role at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE).”
Additionally, an executive order will be issued directing CDPHE, in coordination with the Board of Health, to evaluate the safety and efficacy of medical marijuana for the treatment of autism spectrum disorders in children.
View the entire executive order here.

Gov. John Hickenlooper today signed a letter of support for the “Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States Act” proposed by Senators Cory Gardner and Elizabeth Warren. This legislation would allow states to adequately regulate their marijuana industries without intervention from the federal government.

"The federal government needs to provide states adequate space to self govern,” said Governor John Hickenlooper. “The issue can no longer be avoided. Ultimately, collaboration with the states will prove critical as the federal government begins to engage on cannabis issues."

You can view the entire letter here.