Iowa: Medical Marijuana Bill Passes Senate 45-5

Iowa: Medical Marijuana Bill Passes Senate 45-5 - Weed Finder NewsA wide-ranging bill authorizing the use of medical marijuana for ailments from cancer to post-traumatic stress disorder was passed Monday night by the Iowa Senate, although it’s unlikely to win approval in the Iowa House.

Senate File 506 was passed on a 45-5 vote. It would allow for patients with a range of medical conditions to obtain a medical cannabis registration card after receiving written approval from a doctor. The card would enable a patient to obtain medical marijuana from a dispensary in Iowa. It would legalize the production and distribution of medical marijuana in Iowa and would legally reclassify marijuana under state law.

Sen. Thomas Greene, R-Burlington, a pharmacist who was the bill’s floor manager, urged support for the measure. He said many ailing Iowans now face the choice of obtaining marijuana illegally or moving to another state. An estimated 12,555 Iowans have medical conditions that could benefit from medical marijuana, he said.

“We want Iowans to know we care about them here,” Greene remarked.

Sen. Joe Bolkcom, D-Iowa City, recounted heartbreaking stories of Iowans — some now dead — who have lobbied legislators in support of the bill. He was joined in support by Sen. Charles Schneider, R-West Des Moines, who said it would be ideal if the federal government legalized medical marijuana. But in the absence of federal action, 28 states have enacted patchwork of laws to address the issue, he added.

“In the end, I think this bill strikes the right balance,” Schneider said.

Smoking medical marijuana would not be allowed, nor would people be allowed to buy plant material that can be taken home and smoked. But the legislation establishes a framework that should encourage investment by businesses, Schneider said.

No lawmakers spoke against legalizing medical marijuana during the Senate floor debate.

Medical conditions eligible for medical marijuana would include: cancer, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, AIDS or HIV, hepatitis C, glaucoma, Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, post-traumatic stress disorder, Tourette’s syndrome, any terminal illness subject to certain conditions, intractable pain, Parkinson’s disease, muscular dystrophy, Huntington’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, complex regional pain syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, and any other chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or its medical treatment approved by state officials.

(Iowa: Medical Marijuana Bill Passes Senate 45-5 – Weed Finder® News  |  Article Credit: De Moines Register / Video Credit: KCGR)