Louisiana’s Senate Health and Welfare Committee has passed a bill to allow those with autism spectrum disorders to become medical marijuana patients.
Today’s vote on House Bill 627 by the Senate Health and Welfare Committee comes roughly a month after the measure was passed by the full House of Representatives in a 71 to 21 vote. The bill must now be passed by the full Senate before it can be sent to Governor John Bel Edwards for consideration.
The proposed law would expand the state’s medical marijuana program, approved in 2017, by adding autism spectrum disorders to the list of qualifying conditions.
Cardiologist Dr. James Smith has been an outspoken support of the bill, saying that “Cannabis is a safe medicine. 900 people died last year from acetominophine. None from cannabis”.
If House Bill 627 becomes law, autism spectrum disorders would join the following qualifying conditions as part of Louisiana’s medical marijuana program:
- A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or its treatment that produces one or more of the following:
- Cachexia, or wasting syndrome.
- Seizure disorders, including those characteristics of epilepsy.
- Muscular Dystrophy
- Crohn’s Disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Severe Cerebral palsy
- Spasticity (spinal cord injury)
- Severe and persistent muscle spasms, including those characteristics of multiple sclerosis or Crohn’s disease.