California became the first U.S. state to legalize medical marijuana, mainly for adults with severe chronic illness such as cancer or AIDS. Since California’s decision in 1996, 24 states and the District of Columbia (Washington, D.C.) have followed, and since 2012, four states and Washington, D.C., have legalized recreational use of the drug. So far, only Pennsylvania specifically permits medical marijuana use for autism, but in the past few years, parents of children with epilepsy across the nation have adopted this approach.
Much of this enthusiasm stemmed from the widespread media coverage in 2013 of Charlotte’s Web, a marijuana strain with high levels of CBD. The strain reportedly helped its namesake, Charlotte — a young girl with a form of epilepsy called Dravet syndrome — go from having hundreds of seizures a week to being practically seizure-free. Perhaps because epilepsy frequently accompanies autism, parents soon