The Rhode Island Department of Health approved a petition from parents Tuesday which would allow them to use medical marijuana to treat children with autism.

A petition was filed to allow doctors to prescribe medical marijuana for patients with autism back in April.

At a hearing in August, one parent argued that autism qualifies as a debilitating medical condition.

In a letter sent to parents, the health department said that effective Tuesday, doctors will be able to prescribe medical marijuana for autistic patients, putting Rhode Island on a short list of states to do so.

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Sarah Doiron ~ WPRI.com