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Liberal Iowa Senator miffed over marijuana snub by Governor Reynolds

This news story was published on May 31, 2019.
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Senator Joe Bolkcom of Iowa City

Dear Editor,

We all make mistakes.

Governor Reynolds made a mistake when she vetoed legislation that would make essential improvements to Iowa’s medical cannabis program. She got bad advice and didn’t listen to the Iowans most directly involved.

These are our friends and neighbors who suffer every day with such debilitating, life-threatening conditions as cancer, Crohn’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and severe and chronic pain.

Even with the most advanced medical care and most powerful prescription drugs, their lives are difficult, to say the least.

These Iowans deserve better.

That is why the Governor’s veto is so heartbreaking to sick, vulnerable and, in some cases, dying Iowans.

Unfortunately, after five long years, Iowa’s medical cannabis patients have again been told by Republican politicians that they must wait even longer for the affordable medicines they need.

We can fix this problem. This week, State Representative and pharmacist John Forbes and I called on the Republican and Democratic legislators who voted for modest reforms (137 of Iowa’s 150 legislators) to take action to get medicine to Iowans who need relief.

Legislators worked together on a strong, bipartisan plan to make meaningful improvements to the program. Unfortunately, Governor Reynolds failed to do her own homework.

Instead of talking to legislators and Iowans, she relied on discredited advice from the Iowa Medical Cannabidiol Advisory Board. Their recommendation to sharply reduce THC levels would make the medicine available in Iowa ineffective for 70 percent of current patients.

The scientific data from 20 years of legal, medical cannabis programs simply do not support Iowa’s strict limits on THC levels. That’s also been the real-life experience of tens of thousands of medical cannabis patients living in the 32 states that already allow medicine with much stronger THC doses.

The Governor claims that the reforms in HF 732 would have significant unintended consequences to the health and safety of Iowans. Ironically, the opposite is true.

Since the start of this year, more than 835,000 narcotic prescriptions have been written by Iowa doctors for their patients! Fifty-four percent of those were for fentanyl and other highly addictive opioids. Iowans need protection from the drug companies and their deadly opioids, not from far safer medicines made from cannabis.

Today, 70 percent of Iowa medical cannabis patients—with an average age of 57—seek cannabis-based medicines to manage untreatable or severe and chronic pain. Patients with severe pain simply need higher levels THC to get relief.

This is also true for nine of the other ten debilitating medical conditions approved for medical cannabis under state law.

Governor Reynolds’ veto of this important legislation – House File 732 – is already resulting in more Iowans returning to opioids, the illegal market or other medical cannabis states with effective, compassionate programs. Making it harder and illegal for sick Iowans to get medicine is cruel and life threatening.

By overriding the veto, the Legislature can immediately help thousands of sick Iowans. The votes are there to correct this mistake.

Please contact your state senator and state representative today and ask them to help. Tell your legislators to stand by their votes, stand with the sick patients we all want to help and put the welfare of Iowans ahead of party, politics and drug company profits.

Joe Bolkcom
State Senator
Iowa City

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7 Responses to Liberal Iowa Senator miffed over marijuana snub by Governor Reynolds

  1. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    June 3, 2019 at 11:32 am

    anyone who doesn’t support the improvement of iowas medical marijuana law is just a useless mean horrible evil sob. you are pro pain, pro suffering, pro starving, pro death. youre a discompassionate loser and you don’t deserve to enjoy the same oxygen as the rest of us, especially those you condemn to spending their last years months weeks or days in horrible pain. you really would rather see people taking prescription drugs that break them and poison them and addict them and hurt them and eventually contribute to symptoms and death than see people getting real relief from something that isn’t poison? you people are so brainwashed, it isn’t about healthy this or that or whats right. for kim its about making her buddies from the pharma industry all the money she can so she can make under the table kickbacks. prescription drug companies makes poison for profit they don’t give the first damn about people. anyone who supports kim the Nazi and her evil plot to keep the suffering at a maximum is dumb. you support the big pharma companies and help make politicians rich all the while hurting and killing sick people. if you sleep at night and hold these anti common sense attitudes you deserve to be flayed.

  2. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    June 3, 2019 at 11:21 am

    love how you specify liberal in the title to try to take credibility away from the issue, im far from being a lefty and im calling you on your bullshit. if you could read youd understand everyone else wanted this to happen on both sides of the political isle, because smart people, smarter than the publisher of this rag, know what they are talking about. 3 percent thc is stu0pid and ineffective. thc and cbd work in a symbiosis to relieve pain and increase appetite and provide the nuanced and endless benefits of marijuana as a medicine. there are a hell of a lot of reefer madness level stupid opinions inn this thread. far to many to even begin addressing. it seems as thpough we have some seriously diseducated idiots here in northern iowa. you people need to stop repeating the idiot statements your grandparents told you in the 50’s, pot doesn’t make you last it doesn’t make you stupid it doesn’t make you anything, ASK ELON MUSK, if you think youre smarter than elon musk you really are a meth baby or retard. you need to get on the internet and use it to educate yourself not be an ignorant person. you need to step into 2019 and learn what the majority of us already know. its a plant, it can help alleviate suffering and pain it stimulates appetite for sick people, its non addictive and doesn’t poison the people who use it like every prescription drug does can and will. it is basically harmless. alcohol destroys lives everyday and gets people killed or kills them over time tobacco is a killer soda is a killer white sugar is a killer mcdonalds is a killer Chevrolet is a killer, all those things kill more than ZERO people each year, millions more. marijuana has killed exactly ZERO PEOPLE in the history of humanity. youre just I stupid person who doesn’t know how to do your own research and simply repeats the ignorant things you were lead to believe by weak minded stupid people. its an effective safe medicine and its also a recreational substance that people seem to enjoy a lot from my outside view as I don’t do any party type stuff is that id prefer if all the drunks dropped dead and we kept the pot smokers. the truth of the matter, hardly. more like biased hate speech and misinformation, youre a propaganda box. go f your own a.

  3. Avatar

    The Truth Of The Matter Reply Report comment

    June 2, 2019 at 7:45 am

    Pot weakens ambition! Makes you stupid and lazy in the head. Total esteem killer unless you are using and then you are just plain worthless.

    Cannabis oil may work but there are better ways to allow how it’s used and distribution than then carte blanche drug laws.

    Governor Reynolds did the right thing!

  4. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    June 1, 2019 at 7:43 am

    Wha, Wha, Go to your safe space.

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      June 3, 2019 at 11:26 am

      you and a few others here keep trying to make it seem as though or you yourself believe that the only people who smoke pot are liberals, guess what? google will help you shed your dumbassery, the majority of people seem to smoke pot. I don’t but simply working in a local factory can give you the experience you need to be less ignorant than you are. hard core right wingers that hate Obama and blah blah blah smoke, left wingers that want 2 Mexican immigrants in the home of each natural citizen smoke pot your grandmpther smokes pot, it is in all walks of life. stop acting like being on one political team or another absolutely defines human beings and dictates their choices. you people are so small minded and dumb.