Iowa: Cannabis bill falls short again

Sadly, we’ve seen this one before. 

Iowans suffering from chronic, painful medical conditions, their families and friends troop to the Statehouse to urge state lawmakers to give them legal access to medical cannabis. Lawmakers listen, express deep sympathy and then move ahead at a glacial pace with woefully inadequate legislation. 

It’s really the best they can do, they insist.

Last week, House members took up what was once a promising study bill filed by Rep. Peter Cownie, R-West Des Moines, that would have allowed doctors to prescribe cannabis derivatives to treat a list of 15 conditions, including terminal illnesses, intractable pain, HIV/AIDS, epilepsy and multiple sclerosis. It was similar to a bill that cleared the Iowa Senate in 2015 but stalled in the House.

Unfortunately, Republicans, with little explanation, amended the bill behind the scenes, limiting patient use to one derivative, cannabidiol, and allowing treatment only for three conditions, intractable epilepsy,...

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