Last Friday, Michigan’s Medical Marijuana Review Panel voted to add autism to the list of qualifying conditions fit for treatment under state law.
Mike Zimmer, director of the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, is the next step in the process for approval. Zimmer has until late October to make a final decision. Once a final determination is made it will be announced on the agency’s website.
Supporters say using high CBD oil has been shown to help patients who suffer from severe autism, and added that the marijuana would not be given to patients in smokeable form.
The panel in charge of making this decision had the opportunity to listen to comments from some Detroit-area doctors, most notably the head of pediatric neurology at Children’s Hospital of Michigan. They also heard from fed up parents, desperate to find relief for their children.
“The parents I’ve talked to are passionate and adamant that this represents a dramatic improvement in the quality of life for them and their affected children,” said David Crocker, a medical marijuana doctor and member of the panel.
Michigan Lt. Gov. Brian Calley, whose daughter Reagan has autism, has been an advocate of the effort to add autism to the list.
As the fight for legalization of marijuana continues, it has managed to move down the list of concerns at the DEA in a significant way, Higdon reported. The agency’s acting administrator, Chuck Rosenberg, said last week that marijuana cases generally aren’t a focus for agents. “Typically it’s heroin, opioids, meth, and cocaine in roughly that order, and marijuana tends to come in at the back of the pack,” Rosenberg said.
U.S. Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., expressed that he’s interested in taking it one step further. Lieu believes the DEA’s marijuana budget should be completely abolished by next year, saying that for the feds to spend “one penny on marijuana criminalization or enforcement is a ridiculous waste of taxpayer dollars.”
In May, the Senate approved a bill that would allow the Veterans Administration to recommend medical marijuana to veterans. Medical marijuana’s popularity continues to grow — 23 states allow it. Just 15 years ago, an anti-medical marijuana bill passed 311-94 in the House. Now, “Medical marijuana holds promise,” says Sen. Lindsay Graham, R-S.C., who’s seeking the GOP’s presidential nomination.