Louisiana to allow Medical Marijuana for Autistic Children

Posted by Sagar Satapathy on April 01, 2018.

Persons with certain types of autism will soon to get medical marijuana under a measure that passed its first legislative test Wednesday.

A committee composed of members of the Louisiana House of Representatives approved an expansion to Senate Bill 271 that will make autistic children and adults eligible for medical marijuana treatment.

The House committee voted 9 to 4 in favor of the bill. Next, the entire Louisiana House of Representatives will vote on whether to make it law for expanding the original medical marijuana legislation.

Medical marijuana is legal in Louisiana, but only for certain illnesses with serious conditions such as epilepsy, cancer, Crohn’s disease and other illnesses. This list did not originally include autism treatment for children or adults.

If passed into law, this bill would add autism, with aggressive, destructive or self-injuring behavior, to that list of medical marijuana.

However, not everyone with autism will automatically qualify for medical marijuana. A physician will need to approve and observe any child with autism on medical marijuana.

Autism spectrum disorder is a spectrum, and for kids in the more severe category they need help," said John Vanchierre, M.D., who heads up the Louisiana chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Many people with debilitating illness turn to cannabis for more side-effect free treatment. The parents who have used marijuana to treat their children with autism often report its immediate beneficial effects.

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