Political activism can create strange bedfellows. In this case, a conservative Christian organization is teaming up with the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws to advocate for medical marijuana access for kids—and adults—with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Both Arizona NORML and Mothers Advocating Medical Marijuana for Autism are supporting state legislation to allow autism as a qualifying condition for a MMJ patient card, but due to "gatekeepers" in the Arizona Senate, a bill to make that happen has been stalled and there is no telling when the opportunity will come again.
House Bill 2154, a bipartisan bill sponsored by Rep. Diego Espinoza (D-LD19), Rep. Regina Cobb (R-LD5), Rep. Jennifer Jermaine (D-LD18) and Rep. Kevin Payne (R-LD21), seeks to add any debilitating condition of ASD to the list of qualifying conditions to the medical marijuana program.
MAMMA, founded in 2014, is an organization started in Texas by a group of Christian women who were searching for answers to ease the pain their autistic children endured as a result of the ravages of the disorder.
According to the CDC, ASD is a developmental disability that can cause significant social, communication and behavioral challenges.
"There is often nothing about how people with ASD look that sets them apart from other people, but people with ASD may communicate, interact, behave, and learn in ways that are different from most other people," states the CDC website.