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Politics and Government

With 63-0 vote, a bill allowing medical marijuana to treat autism passes the Colorado House

House Bill 1028 is expected to sail through the Colorado Senate, as well, and onto Gov. Jared Polis desk

Cannabis plants grow inside RiNo Supply's cultivation facility near Lafayette on Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018. (Andy Colwell, Special to The Colorado Sun)

The Colorado House of Representatives has passed a bill allowing medical marijuana use to treat autism spectrum disorders.

The legislation had strong bipartisan support, passing 63-0 on Thursday.

The bill now heads to the Senate where lawmakers in that chamber are expected to clear the measure, too. Gov. Jared Polis has pledged to sign the legislation if it makes it to his desk.

Autism spectrum disorders include autism, Asperger syndrome and other developmental disorders whose symptoms range from mild to severe.

Current law allows medical marijuana use for cancer, glaucoma, HIV, PTSD, seizures and severe pain.

The legislation, House Bill 1028, streamlines procedures for minors to be added to Colorado’s medical marijuana registry. It also encourages state research into ovarian cancer, dementia and other medical conditions.

Then-Gov. John Hickenlooper vetoed a similar bill last year, angering the policy’s supporters — including state lawmakers. He cited a need for more research into marijuana’s benefits for patients with an autism spectrum disorder.

Lawmakers this year are also weighing a bill that would allow doctors to prescribe medical marijuana for acute pain instead of opioids.

Colorado Sun staff writer Jesse Paul contributed to this report.

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