This week, Gov. John Hickenlooper split on the issue of medicinal cannabis, signing one bill while vetoing another. The signed bill will allow school officials to administer medicinal cannabis to qualified students. The rejected bill would have added autism to the list of conditions for which cannabis can be prescribed...
The bill which Gov. Hickenlooper signed, House Bill 1286, will allow school nurses to administer non-smokable medicinal cannabis to students for whom it has been prescribed and whose parents have given permission for school officials to do so. As quoted in the piece below, the Governor stated he signed the bill because he was confident the legislation had laid out guidelines ensuring that medicinal cannabis would not “end up in the hands of other students.” The piece also notes that he "he consulted parents whose children receive medical marijuana and found their 'reasoning and advocacy very compelling.'”
The second piece of legislation, HB 1263, which the Gov. vetoed, would have added autism to the current list of conditions and diseases for which medicinal cannabis can be given. Hickenlooper argued that “If we sign that bill we end up, without question, in some way encouraging more young people to look at this as an antidote for their problems.” Mothers and children, trying to influence Hickenlooper to sign the bill, had set up outside of the Governor's door while awaiting news of his decision. The State legislature is out of session already so there is no way for lawmakers to overturn the veto.
While it's a positive development that the Gov. will allow children to be given the medicine they've been prescribed, such advances are overshadowed by moves which prevent other children from getting the medication their physicians believe they require.
When lawmakers are the ones making medical decisions, rather than the doctors responsible for patient care, the people hurt most are the patients. Notably, however, while Colorado's governor rejected this bill, Louisiana's Governor, Bel Edwards, signed a similar bill last week. Hopefully more states will follow Louisiana's lead, thus establishing evidence and case studies supporting the efficacy of medicinal cannabis.