World Autism Awareness Day is being celebrated today April 2nd. Colorado celebrated when Governor Jared Polis signed a bill today adding autism to the list of qualifying conditions for medical cannabis patients. Autism spectrum disorder affects millions globally. According to the CDC, an estimated 1 out of every 68 school-aged children is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Advocates promoting cannabis as a treatment for autism had seen success from the Colorado general assembly in the last two sessions. Sadly, Colorado’s old Governor John Hickenlooper felt he needed to veto the bill in 2018. Out with the old and in with the new.

Those who support the draconian ways of the past may find themselves becoming the past like Hickenlooper. Autism spectrum disorder currently has no cure or medication to treat it. Research and studies suggest the most effective combination to help autism spectrum disorder is behavioral therapy combined with medication.

Why Only Allow Two

The FDA only allows two drugs for the treatment of children who have an autism spectrum disorder. Risperdal and Aripiprazole (Abilify) are the only two medications approved by the FDA. When it comes to the discussion of treatments for autism the controversial antipsychotic drug Risperdal is at the center of debate surrounding unwanted and severe side effects.

Risperdal was involved in a class action lawsuit filed against Janssen Pharmaceuticals resulting in a $70 million dollar verdict against the company. Janssen Pharmaceuticals isn’t a nobody, they’re a subsidiary company of the corporate giant Johnson & Johnson.

The makers of the drug Aripiprazole (Abilify) Bristol-Myer Squibb reached a $19.5 settlement with the U.S. Justice Department in 2016, for “unlawful marketing of Abilify and its downplaying of the drug’s myriad risks.”

Some of the common side effects experienced by consumers who take Risperdal are as follows.

  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Tiredness
  • Headaches
  • Tremors
  • Twitching
  • Uncontrollable muscle movement
  • Depression
  • Feelings of restlessness
  • Anxiety
  • Agitation
  • Dry mouth
  • Constipation
  • Upset stomach
  • Diarrhea
  • Sore throat
  • Sneezing
  • Sinus congestion
  • Weight gain

Potential side effects from Aripiprazole

  • weight gain
  • blurred vision
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • changes in appetite
  • constipation
  • drooling
  • headache
  • dizziness
  • drowsiness
  • feeling tired
  • anxiety
  • feeling restless
  • sleep problems
  • congestion
  • sneezing
  • sore throat

WebMD lists some of the potential side effects of cannabis as the following.

  • dry mouth
  • red eyes
  • vomiting
  • nausea
  • heart and blood pressure problems
  • impaired mental functioning
  • lung problems
  • headaches
  • dizziness
  • panic reactions
  • numbness
  • hallucination
  • depression
  • flashbacks


Cannabis Can Help Autism

Cannabis has loads of potential benefits. Check out here to learn about 50 of them. Cannabis and autism have strong evidence supporting what many parents are saying and that is that cannabis helps autism patients. Hester-Perez is a success story of how cannabis can help with autism. Hester-Perez is not alone. People should not live in fear of treating medical conditions with cannabis.

The fact that children are removed from parents and families torn apart over this is in America is absurd. You can learn more about how cannabis may help treat autism by visiting the Autism Research Review International.

Pharmaceutical prescription drugs should not be the only option allowed for medical treatment in the United States. Freedom isn’t free unless we fight for it, and sadly we have to fight for the right to not only utilize plant medicines like cannabis in America but for creditable research to be conducted into its effectiveness and efficiency.

Thank you, Governor Jared Polis of Colorado, for setting an example for the rest of the nation to follow. Cannabis stands to help those suffering with autism and now those who live in Colorado can help show this to the rest of the world.

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