Autistic Children in Georgia Get New Hope with Weed Program

Autism condition has raised so many questions that are yet to get answered. The condition affects people from all over the world despite their economic background, culture, or religion. Autism cases in the US are alarming as well as in other parts of the world.

Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) did research that revealed that one child out of 68 children has autism spectrum disorder (ASD). CDC did that research in 2010 in 11 States and involved 300,000 of 8 years old. The states that research was done in include Missouri, Georgia, Maryland, Colorado, Alabama, Arkansas, Utah, New Jersey, Wisconsin, and North Carolina. The prevalence has a wide variation depending on the state.

The latest study by CDC involving more states came with other figures that are more alarming; one child in every 45 children has autism. These latest findings could be the reason why the government is seriously looking for a way to contain the condition. Some strict laws have been operating but not favoring all people who have conditions like autism that need to be contained.

Each state in the US has bills that govern its operations. There are many similarities in the bills. Georgia is one of the states that is still struggling to put its house in order as far as Medicare is concerned. The latest development in the Georgia legislative house comes as a relief to those who have children who have autism. It is good news that Georgia is soon making marijuana medical programs available to people living with autism and others who have related conditions.

The Georgia legislative House amended a law that will make marijuana medication accessed by people living with autism and people who are suffering from other disorders, which qualify for the same. The state is offering marijuana medication, but people with debilitating conditions that did not qualify for the medication are being barred from receiving it. The house moved a motion on Wednesday to amend that particular state law. The qualifying patients are currently given cannabis oil containing an average of 5 percent THC; it is a psychoactive compound, which is found in marijuana responsible for keeping the smoker high.

Caregivers who use marijuana testify that it helps children who suffer from severe autism conditions particularly those who get self-injury and portray violent outbursts. Marijuana has worked for a Texas father who publicly claimed that he used marijuana to contain the condition of his daughter who was experiencing compulsive self-harming; this was after trying all avenues but in vain.

The legislation will give people with autism, Alzheimer’s disease, epidermolysis bullosa, autoimmune disease, Tourette’s syndrome, and human immunodeficiency virus among other conditions to have access to weed medication. The definition of already covered conditions will also be amended with qualifying terms like ‘severe” and “end-stage” proposed to be entirely removed.

The bill was introduced by Allen Peake, a Republican state representative and he hopes that marijuana medical programs can also be used to help people who are suffering from addictions, especially to prescribed painkillers. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s statistics shows that 33,000 people died in America in 2015 due to an overdose of an opioid. “The use of opioids has become epidemic and to contain it we must pass a sound medical cannabis legislation, ” Allen Peake said in the hearing of the bill.

Allen also said that those states that have decreased the use of opioids have on the other hand recorded low cases of opioid abuse and deaths resulting from it. That action step has led to such states saving on the cost of Medicaid and Medicare. Georgia is not the only state that is pushing to make opioid addiction one of the qualifying conditions for medical marijuana programs. Almost all states in the US are for the same opinion. A study, which was done in February, revealed that patients who have mental health conditions and severe pain would prefer to use marijuana as opposed to the addictive drugs that they have been using if they are allowed to make a choice.

The study also revealed that nearly 63 percent of those who participated abandoned their prescription drugs to use marijuana before the study ended. Researchers from the University of Victoria and the University of British Columbia who carried out the research found out that patients settled for marijuana because it is less addictive compared to the prescribed painkillers. Most patients said that using weed helps them to manage the symptoms much better and it gives the desired results.