Iowa State Senate Advances Medical Marijuana Reform Bill

Would the considered bill actually help patients though?
Iowa State Senate Advances Medical Marijuana Reform Bill

Iowa lawmakers passed a bill this week to tweak the state’s medical marijuana program, and now the measure now awaits the governor’s signature.

State senators passed the measure late Wednesday, according to local television station KCCI. In March, the Iowa House of Representatives passed the reform measure by a vote of 52 to 46, though amendments have subsequently been tacked on to the measure. 

If the bill were to become law, it would change the THC cap to 4.5 grams per patient over a 90-day period—a provision that drew pushback from some Democratic lawmakers. 

“I’ve had a couple of patients tell me if we pass legislation that limits it to the 50 milligrams per day, which is the 4.5 grams per 90 days, they will probably drop off the program — and they’ll have to have something for pain relief, so they’ll go back on their opioid medications,” Democratic state House Rep. John Forbes said in March. 

But the measure would also permit physicians to disregard the cap for patients who are terminally ill. Additionally, the legislation would broaden the authority for physicians to prescribe medical cannabis to patients by adding the likes of post-traumatic stress disorder to the list of qualifying conditions, while also changing “chronic” pain to “untreatable” pain on the list of qualifying conditions.

Whether or not Iowa’s Republican governor, Kim Reynolds, signs off on the bill remains to be seen—though recent history may suggest that the measure’s prospects aren’t too bright. Last year, Reynolds vetoed a bill that passed the legislature that also aimed to expand the medical marijuana program.

Polling indicates that Reynolds may be out of step with her constituents on this particular issue. A survey from the Des Moines Register in March found that a majority of 53 percent of Iowans support legalizing recreational marijuana use. The same poll showed that 81 percent were in favor of expanding the state’s medical marijuana program.

  1. Leave it to Iowa lawmakers to come up with some cockamamie legislation.Their current law has caused all but a couple of dispensaries to go out of business in the first year. With Illinois, and soon to be legal states of Minnesota and Missouri, Iowa patients will be flocking out of state to spend their dollars on products that actually work. There are already bus excursions to Illinois advertised for medical patients and Iowa’s much needed tax dollars are going into both other states coffers or feeding the unregulated black market.

  2. I have unfortunately lived in Iowa the majority of my 50 years on this planet. I’ve never liked any of our governors. Reynolds is no exception. I agree that more than likely the bill won’t pass. Reynolds is indeed very out of touch in regards to this topic. I honestly feel Iowa will probably be the very last state in the union to legalize recreational marijuana. The conservative nature of this state is just smothering. I mean 4.5 grams for three months! And the fact that basically you have to be on your death bed to qualify. Insanity. I am currently taking care of my elderly parents so for that reason I have to stay here. But once they move on from this world. I’ll be moving on from this state.

  3. Kim Reynolds is an abject failure when it comes to cannabis reform. She admitted that her own personal struggles with alcohol and subsequent DUIs play a factor in her choice to take a tough stance on a mostly harmless plant. As an Iowa resident who has a successful career, and is veteran who uses cannabis to treat anxiety and depression, it is frustrating to have to live a double life and constantly break the law. I would gladly purchase legal medicine from Iowa even if the prices were slightly higher,to avoid putting my family at risk but most of what I end up purchasing comes from medical supplies in CO and MI. I wont take pharmaceuticals like xanax, vallium, lithium, and zoloft, to keep a quality of life.

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