Bill to Add Autism and PTSD to Arizona Medical Cannabis Program Passes Committee

Lawmakers in the Arizona House Health and Human Services Committee advanced a measure this week that would allow patients with autism and PTSD to participate in the state’s medical cannabis program.

Full story after the jump.

A bill proposed in Arizona would allow patients with autism and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to access medical cannabis products in the state, the AZ Mirror reports. The measure passed the House Health and Human Services Committee 7-2 on Monday. 

Earlier this month, the legislation was approved by a bipartisan 24-6 vote in the state Senate and will move next to the full House after approval by the Health and Human Services Committee. 

During testimony on the measure, Aaron Jacobs, the father of a nine-year-old son with severe autism, told the panel that cannabis therapy would be preferable for his son as the medications he currently uses include harsh side effects. 

“This is not about drugging our children so that they are manageable. This is about improving their quality of life, as well as the family’s quality of life, and the right to try a natural, plant-based medicine. … The potential to help regulate his nervous system naturally could lead to a better quality of life, and possibly some form of independence.” — Jacobs via AZ Mirror 

Because the state’s medical cannabis law was created via a constitutional amendment approved by voters, it requires two-thirds of lawmakers’ support in order to be changed. The 24 votes in the Senate are four more than required to change the law. In the House, the bill would require support from at least 40 members.  

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