June 11, 2018, Colorado
Even though Colorado is known all across the country as the most progressive cannabis state, but it is not quite true as it is said that the devil is in the details. John Hickenlooper, the state governor, who is soon to leave the office, has vetoed another cannabis legalization bill. Hickenlooper is infamous for killing many cannabis bills of late.
In his latest vetoing activity, he disallowed the house bill 1263. The bill was intended to allow the therapeutic use of cannabis for the minor and adult autism patients of the state. While adults over 21 can adjust their medical doses by obtaining adult-use cannabis, the main affectees of the rejection of this bill will be the child patients.
Experts had already indicated that Hickenlooper would veto the bill 1263. For this reason, Colorado chapter of Mothers Advocating Medical Marijuana for Autism (MAMMA) started a campaign to convince the governor to sign the bill in advance. They even carried out a rally to plead the governor to keep in mind the troubles of families with children suffering from autism. However, to no avail, the governor rejected the bill. It is important to know that Hickenlooper has rejected eight bills this year so far.
Overwhelming Support From Legislator Proved to be Insufficient
In 29 states and DC where medical marijuana is legal, only 5 MMJ programs have autism as a qualifying condition. When the bill 1263 bill got an overwhelming support from both chambers of the state legislature, it looked imminent that Colorado would become the sixth territory to have autism spectrum disorder as a qualifying medical condition in its MMJ program.
Colorado’s House of Representative passed the bill with a big margin of 54-7. The state Senate also followed in the footsteps of the lower house and endorsed the bill by 32-3. However, all this overwhelming support from lawmakers added up to nothing. It is worth mentioning that the bill got the support from both sides of the aisle.
Hickenlooper has also made certain points in his defense. According to him, incomplete data on the subject has become the chief reason to veto the bill. He says that he hasn’t got recommendations from any certified pediatrician regarding the therapeutic benefits of cannabis products for underage autism patients. The impartial stance of autism activists and supporters other than MAMMA has also played in the favor of Hickenlooper.
He thinks that silence from other autism activists is indicative of the fact that no substantial evidence is there to prove therapeutic benefits of medical cannabis for minor autism patients.
Aside from vetoing HB 1263, the governor also vetoed house bill 1011. The bill would have allowed the public traded ventures to make investments in the legal cannabis industry of the state. However, the state attorney general repeatedly advised the governor against such investment proposals in the past. So, Hickenlooper has used the recommendations of attorney general office as the ground to veto house bill 1011.