Arizona Representatives Diego Espinoza and Lorenzo Sierra have introduced a bill (HB 2049) to add Autism Spectrum Disorder to the state’s list of qualifying conditions for medical marijuana. Moms across the state are making their voices heard on this legislation.
Brandy Williams has been one of the most vocal moms when it comes to medical marijuana for autism, ABC 15 reported. She and her son Logan have been fighting for several years to get ASD added to the Arizona medical marijuana program.
“We got him on medical marijuana to get seizure control from his Epilepsy, but what we got was a lot more,” Williams said.
Erica Smith is another mom that has become vocal about wanting access to medical marijuana for her son’s autism. Her son qualifies for medical marijuana due to having other conditions that are on the qualifying conditions list.
Smith said, “The joy that it has brought to see my son smiling again and happy, I want other parents to have that opportunity.”
The autistic children that do have access to medical marijuana are not smoking or vaporizing it. They are using alternatives forms such as pastes, tinctures, and extracts.
Williams said, “All you need is a rice-sized grain of the paste, and I mix it in with his food.”
Unfortunately, parents that have children using medical marijuana could face criminal charges or an unpleasant visit from Child Protective Services.
Williams said, “Parents need a layer of protection. We don’t need a bunch of parents having CPS called and being arrested just because they’re trying to find relief for their children.”
Some people, typically anti-cannabis folks, like to say there aren’t enough studies providing evidence that medical marijuana helps those with ASD. However, there are actually multiple studies (here are three: 1, 2, 3) showing its effectiveness. And for many parents, their children getting an improved quality of life due to medical marijuana use is enough evidence.
In 2018, the Arizona Department of Health Services along with an Arizona court denied adding ASD to the state’s program.
At this time, it’s unknown whether HB 2049 will receive a hearing. But Arizonans can easily contact their local representatives and urge them to support HB 2049.