Iowa lawmakers still stumped on medicinal marijuana

Once again, our community’s state line perch provides valuable insight into governance.

On this issue of marijuana, we see side-by-side state legislators acting differently.

Iowa law allows only one form of medicinal marijuana, a non-intoxicating extract found to be effective for a form of epilepsy. But the law approved in 2014 is written so that the handful of eligible patients have no way to get or transport it.

The Iowa Senate earlier this month approved legislation expanding medicinal marijuana for several other conditions, including cancer, multiple sclerosis, Crohn's disease, post-traumatic stress disorder and some other chronic conditions. The bill would permit up to four growers to be regulated by the state to sell marijuana through independent dispensaries.

But House Speaker Kraig Paulsen, R-Hiawatha, said he will not permit a House vote on the bill, effectively leaving Iowa as a state with medicinal marijuana in name only.

Across the river in...

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