What Your Patients are Hearing

Medical marijuana for autism facing good prospects in Colorado


Five years after the legalization of marijuana in Colorado, anticipated legislation in 2019 could see home delivery of cannabis and cannabis-related products, and expanded medical availability.

A marijuana leaf is displayed. skydie/ThinkStock

Governor-elect Jared Polis, who takes office in the new year, probably will take a different approach from outgoing Gov. John Hickenlooper, according to a recent article in the Denver Post. Mr. Hickenlooper vetoed previous legislation intended to increase drug’s accessibility.

I think you’re going to start to see the new-age Budweisers and Coors Lights – the bigger companies that are going to be the name and the brand that we’re all going to know,” says Albert Gutierrez, CEO of MedPharm Holdings, a cannabis research and cultivation company.

“You’re going to probably have more variety from these companies, whether they’re offering drinks or chocolate bars. But these companies are going to be the household names that people are going to come to know over the next 30, 50, 100 years,” he says.

Not everyone is on board. “We should all be able to agree that Colorado’s increasingly potent marijuana products are harmful to youth and that we have a collective responsibility to protect Colorado kids,” writes Henny Lasley, the cofounder of Smart Colorado, which was formed in opposition to the legalization of marijuana in the state.

The availability of medical marijuana for people diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders is among the vetoed initiatives that are likely to reemerge in 2019. That bill reportedly was opposed by the Colorado Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Society, the Colorado Psychiatric Society, and by Larry Wolk, MD, who recently stepped down as chief medical officer of the state’s department of public health and environment.

Adjusting to life after fires

The latest wildfires have been vanquished in California. For those affected recently and in the past several years has come the reality that the draw of living on the edge of nature means living surrounded by tinder-dry terrain. It’s a great location – until it ignites.

A year ago, the Thomas Fire devastated Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, burning more than 440 square miles. Few people died, but more than 1,000 buildings were destroyed – and hundreds of people were left homeless. A year later, in the Clearpoint neighborhood of Ventura, residential lots sit empty, their owners having abandoned the effort to rebuild. Others, like Sandra and Ed Fuller, are choosing to begin again. The beauty of the area that pulled them there years ago remains strong.

They have come to terms with losing their home to the fire. “I think it was a sort of a breaking point where there was just a flood of peace that kind of went through. It’s like there is nothing we can do about this. We know what we have to do now. We’ll just get on with it,” Ed Fuller says in an interview with NPR.

Having the Christmas season looming has been a boost to their spirits and planning. “My wife is absolutely obsessed that she’s ready for Christmas. Last Christmas we sort of lost.”


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