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AZ Bill Would Add Autism and Opiate Addiction to Medical Marijuana Program

Autism Arizona

A proposed bill (HB 2049) by state Rep. Diego Espinoza would add opiod use disorder and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to Arizona’s list of medical marijuana qualify conditions.

Espinoza believes marijuana can be a beneficial alternative treatment option for people suffering from these ailments, Tucson.com reported.

Earlier this year, Colorado added ASD to their medical marijuana program.

“In Colorado there are families that actually have results based on what their children have been experiencing by taking that medical marijuana,” Espinoza mentioned. “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?”

Two years ago, Arizonans attempted to add ASD as a qualifying condition, but the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) denied the petition due to lack of evidence that marijuana provides therapeutic benefits for ASD. However, earlier this year, a new study found that cannabis can help children with ASD.

“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.”

The Arizona Medical Marijuana Act, which was passed by voters in 2010, can only be revised with a three-fourths vote from the Arizona Legislature. This means that 23 of 30 Arizona senators and 45 of 60 Arizona representatives must vote for the bill.

AP Photo/Richard Vogel



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