MASON CITY – Representative Sharon Steckman says lawmakers in Des Moines plan to introduce another bill next year to expand the use of medical cannabis.
According to a newsletter she released this weekend:
With over 70% of Iowans supporting expanding medical cannabis, a group of lawmakers is planning to introduce a bill next year to make it available to Iowans suffering from illnesses such as cancer, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis. The same group introduced legislation last session and it was blocked by the House Majority.
Iowa’s current Medical Cannabidiol Act allows patients diagnosed with intractable epilepsy and caregivers to possess cannabidiol. However, the medicine can only be purchased out-of-state and brought across state lines into Iowa, which is prohibited by federal law. The oil contains just a trace amount of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which means it does not have the same effect as marijuana.
Recent studies have shown that medical cannabidiol can improve the quality of life for patients with cancer, Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, or multiple sclerosis. Many are near the end of life and have no other medical options available.
There are various ways Iowa’s Medical Cannabidiol law can be improved. The focus of this group of legislators is expanding who can obtain the medication by creating a professional advisory board to determine which medical conditions should be allowed to obtain and possess the medication.
In addition, the issue of access must be addressed so that the law is more workable for Iowans, this means legalizing the selling of medical cannabidiol products within Iowa for medical use. Finally, the state could authorize and regulate the production of marijuana for medical use in Iowa to ensure that the medicine is safe and within the limits of current law.