Stalled medical marijuana bill causes acrimony at Iowa Capitol

A debate over medical marijuana legislation is getting acrimonious at the Iowa Capitol, and is even spilling over into a fight over anti-abortion legislation.

Sen. Joe Bolkcom, D-Iowa City, opened the bidding on Monday by declaring that House Republican legislative leaders have a “moral obligation” to permit a vote on Senate File 484, which was approved earlier this session by the Senate.

The bill would allow Iowans with a range of health problems to obtain medical marijuana. Those conditions could include cancer, multiple sclerosis, Crohn's disease, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other chronic and debilitating ailments.

House Speaker Kraig Paulsen, R-Hiawatha, responded Tuesday by saying he doesn’t expect the House to debate the bill this year, which means the legislation is dead. “The way I understand this bill, it's basically couched in medical terms, but it's virtually a recreational use bill," he added.

Bolkcom fired back Thursday on the Senate floor,...

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