Grant access to medical cannabis to those diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder in Ohio.

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To whom it may concern –

I am reaching out to express support in the addition of Autism Spectrum Disorder as a qualifying condition to Ohio's existing MMCP. 

Mere decades ago an autism diagnosis was somewhat uncommon. It was also considered to be a disorder that only, or mainly affected children. Autism is now the fastest growing developmental disorder, and somehow the most underfunded. A 2008 Danish Study found that the mortality risk among those with autism was nearly twice that of the general population.

The average life expectancy for the severely impacted community is just under 40 years of age, versus the general population at 72 years old. 

Despite being prescribed a variety of antipsychotics, antidepressants, and benzodiazepines, suicide is one of the leading COD amongst kids with autism. Studies have shown that roughly 30 to 50 percent of people with autism spectrum disorders have considered suicide. 

Furthermore, aside from injury, studies also show that the three main killers of our kids include seizures, suicide, and heart-related issues. All three of these, are amongst the array side effects of the FDA approved and most commonly prescribed medications administered to those with Autism. Common black label side effects included suicidal thoughts, seizures, respiratory issues and heart complications such as arrhythmias, heart failure, and sudden death.

No pharmaceutical can safely or effectively treat the core symptoms of ASD. Antipsychotics, Risperidone & Aripiprazole (Abilify) are the only two medications that are FDA approved to treat irritability in ASD. Individuals with ASD are often prescribed a variety of antidepressants, anxiolytics, antipsychotics, benzodiazepines as well as stimulants in off-label, untested combinations to treat symptoms. These drugs have serious side effects & when given in combination, risk of harm increases significantly.

How can cannabis treat a complex condition like Autism? The key is in the endocannabinoid system, which represents a network of lipid signaling pathways. Regulating many, or all, that are dysregulated in ASD, positive for helping core symptoms. Improvements are a result of the medicinal effects of cannabis on the underlying medical conditions of autism.

Research from Stanford University shows that children with ASD have lower plasma levels of anandamide. Anandamide is the Endocannabinoid that mimics THC in the body & plays a role in learning, memory, social functioning, easing anxiety etc.

Overall, there is substantial scientific evidence that supports the utilization of whole plant cannabis as a safe, effective  and viable treatment for autism spectrum disorder. Several Ohio physicians, cannabis specialists, autism experts and scientists who concur with the evidence presented, and have provided expert testimony in support. 

Of the existing qualifying conditions in Ohio, many of them are comorbidly implicated within Autism. Including conditions such as PTSD, Tourettes, Seizures/Epilepsy, Chronic pain, TBI, Encephalopathy, IBS, Ulcerative Colitis, Chrons Disease, and other neurological conditions like Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.

Moreover, a bevy of states, including Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Texas and the territory of Puerto Rico have all permitted autism as a qualifying condition for their medical cannabis programs, pediatric patients included.


Other states such as California, Florida, Oklahoma, Oregon, Maryland, Massachusetts, and Washington DC all also recognize autism as a debilitating condition and allow doctors to recommend medical cannabis.

We need to look at what we can do to improve the quality of life for people with autism in Ohio. The cost of not doing so is at the expense of our children. We must urge those in the medical community, as well as the general population, to change how they observe and treat autism. This a very definite statement of how we treat autistic people and their families. 

With the knowledge the known neurological role of the endocannabinoid system and also the documented deficit of anandamide in those diagnosed. It seems undoubtedly feasible that cannabinoid-rich organic extracts from cannabis can be used as useful agents for targeting the pathology of Autism Spectrum Disorder, as well as many debilitating manifesting conditions associated with it. 


I conclude that families and physicians should hold the authorized right to investigate these options without fear of legal consequence or repercussion, despite one’s age or severity of Autism Spectrum diagnosis.


(your name)

Ohio State Medical Boards email addresses

 *Also call and contact Governor Mike DeWine's Office at (614) 644-4357 after 5PM to leave a voicemail, use the email script verbiage.*