Autism spectrum disorder could be added to Colorado's list of conditions treatable with medical marijuana if Gov. John Hickenlooper approves a bill that passed the General Assembly on May 4. HB 1263, introduced by Rep. Edie Hooton, went through the legislature with relative ease after it was introduced in March, but not without changes.
As originally drafted by Hooton, the bill was designed to add acute pain to the state's list of medical marijuana conditions in hopes of combating opioid addiction. Before its introduction, however, she was approached by mothers and advocates of children suffering from ASD. Persuaded by their stories and studies taking place in Israel and Chile on marijuana benefits for ASD, Hooton added the condition to her bill...and it soon proved the most winning component.
Early on, House committee members told Hooton they wouldn't vote for the bill if acute pain stayed part of the proposal. Hooton complied with their request and removed that provision. After that, the bill moved through the legislature relatively uncontested, passing its final Senate and House readings 32-3 and 53-11, respectively. But since Hickenlooper's office hasn't taken an official stance on the measure, advocates aren't calling it a victory just yet.
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