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Local mother skeptical Ohio Medical Board will add autism on approved list of conditions for medical marijuana use

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Posted at 2:23 PM, Feb 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-11 14:23:30-05

CLEVELAND — For the third year in a row, the Ohio Medical Board is considering whether to approve a list of conditions for treatment with medical marijuana. After dropping autism spectrum disorder from the list twice before, the condition advanced to phase two Wednesday.

But after years of advocating for approval, Tiffany Carwile says she's not counting on the board alone to push this through. Carwile, a mother and president of Autism Alliance Ohio, has petitioned the board at least three times, but has not had any luck.

“Honestly it seems to be more of a formality at this point,” she said. “So this is the third time it's advanced into what would be considered phase two.”

Carwile says she has found ample evidence medical marijuana will help her five-year-old son, who was diagnosed with severe low-functioning autism. She says he was taking as many as 300 prescription pills a month.

“He became lethargic. He was just not himself. He was sad all the time. He never played. He regressed heavily,” Carwile explained.

Now, Carwile’s backup plan to help her son is House Bill 60.

“I took it upon myself to reach out to every single entity in the legislative body.”

The legislation was re-introduced in the house by bipartisan sponsors and 15 bipartisan co-sponsors after being tabled for a year because of the pandemic. Carwile says she couldn't keep waiting for the Ohio Medical Board's approval..

“When our children have a life expectancy of just under thirty six years old. We as parents do not have this kind of time that they are wanting to take. We are literally on borrowed time with our children,” she said. “This is never just been about my son at all. I look at my son and I see thousands of stories in his eyes.”

The public comment period for the Ohio Medical Board's review process starts today and runs through February 26. Carwile plans to testify before the house health committee on HB 60.

RELATED: Ohio Medical Board still considering 7 additional conditions for Medical Marijuana program