PUEBLO WEST – Big changes are on the horizon for treating autism spectrum disorder.
On Thursday, the Colorado House of Representatives voted unanimously to pass a bill that allows medical marijuana use as a treatment option.
The position of some BCBA’s, or Board Certified Behavior Analysts, is that there’s no scientific evidence that supports the benefits of medical marijuana for people with autism. In fact, former Governor John Hickenlooper vetoed similar legislation last year for those same reasons. However, some families impacted by this disorder said cannabis is helping their children thrive.
Jamie Kropp’s 11-year-old son, Kolt, was diagnosed with autism when he was two years old. At the time, the family was living in Arizona.
Kropp said, “Kolt was completely non-verbal…we deal with Kolt not being able to regulate his emotions.”
She said after going through early intervention and major therapies she decided to move to Colorado and treat Kolt with cannabis. He was able to get a card, but not because of his autism.
“Kolt has mastocytosis, gastroparesis, and GIRD, and those are his qualifying conditions…little did I know he would start to talk and be able to today…be in school eight hours a day…medical cannabis has given Kolt the ability to get out into the community. He’s able to participate.”
It’s why she now wants the same opportunity for other people with autism.
After hearing that Colorado’s House passed a bill that would allow medical marijuana use as a treatment option Kropp said she was “in complete awe, major excitement. I get goose bumps. I feel it in my bones that we’re getting there.”
The bill still has to go to the Senate and it’s expected it will pass. Governor Jared Polis has also pledged to sign it.