In July, the Michigan Medical Marijuana Review Panel, a panel that consists of all but one licensed physician, voted 4 to 2 to recommend adding autism as a condition that qualifies an individual to become a legal medical cannabis patient. Despite this recommendation, Mike Zimmer, Director of the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (who was appointed by Governor Rick Synder), has rejected the recommendation, and refused to allow autism to become a qualifying condition (Zimmer has final say on the matter).
In his decision – which he outlined in a four-page paper titled Final Determination of Department – Zimmer stated that “While the record is replete with sincere and well-articulated testimony on the potential benefits of medical marihuana to autism patients and, in particular, parents of autistic children, several troubling concerns remain”. He notes that those with non-severe forms of autism would have been able to use the medicine. This, of course, shouldn’t be a problem if physicians believe it can help those who have the condition and decide to recommend it, especially considering that children with autism would have been required to receive the approval from two separate physicians and their parents before being able to use any cannabis-based medicines.