Arizona Representative Pushes Bill Allowing Medical Marijuana For Autism
Diego Espinoza, a Democratic state representative from Tolleson, Arizona, is advancing a proposal this month that would force state health officials to allow the use of medical marijuana as a treatment for autism. According to a report by the news site Tucson.com, Espinoza’s proposal would add “autism spectrum disorder” to the list (implemented through a 2010 law) of “debilitating medical conditions” that medical marijuana can be prescribed for. Espinoza said that many parents of children with autism want medical marijuana as an alternative to other medications.
In addition to autism, the bill, titled House Bill 2049, would allow the use of medical marijuana for people suffering from opioid use disorder. The bill would eliminate the need for health department approval or medical studies by getting lawmakers to add autism to the list of permitted conditions in the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act. “In Colorado there are families that actually have results based on what their children have been experiencing by taking that medical marijuana,” Espinoza said, referring to Colorado legislation adding autism to the list of conditions that medical marijuana can be prescribed for. “So how could you deny, especially a parent that’s willing to try that ... (to) transition into this alternative to see if that would be a better alternative for them?” he added. Espinoza also said he has seen the benefits of medical marijuana first-hand among his constituents. “I can share with you that I have worked with constituents in my district (and) that their sons and daughters in that realm have had tremendous results,” Espinoza said. “I’ve actually seen it first hand.”