New medical marijuana cards draw trickle of applicants

This is a mock-up of new marijuana-oil cards that Iowa has started issuing to people with severe epilepsy. The cards allow possession of the oil, but critics say they don’t offer a legal way to obtain the medication.(Photo: Iowa Department of Public Health)

Just nine patients have applied for permission to possess marijuana extract in the month since the Iowa Department of Public Health started accepting applications, administrators reported this week.

The state has started issuing special cards allowing people with severe epilepsy to possess a type of marijuana oil that has little of the chemical that makes recreational users high. Proponents say the oil can help control seizures.

The cards are being issued under a limited medical-marijuana law the Legislature passed last spring. Critics say the law is useless, because it doesn't offer a way for people to obtain the medication.

The health department administrator...

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