Hopes dim for medical marijuana in Iowa

The clock could be running out this year for activists urging the Iowa Legislature to approve expanded access to medical marijuana.

Iowa Senate Majority Leader Michael Gronstal, D-Council Bluffs, told reporters Tuesday he is keeping the door open for medical cannabis legislation, but his goal is to have the Senate adjourn its 2016 session this week. He spoke one day after the Iowa House defeated a Republican-backed bill aimed at helping Iowans with debilitating diseases access cannabis oil in Minnesota and other states and bring it back to Iowa.


Failed Iowa Vote on Medical Marijuana Highlights Challenges

An attempt in the Iowa Legislature to expand medical marijuana access in the state may have reached its end this session with a failed vote in the Republican-controlled House, though some Democrats said Tuesday they would keep pushing the issue in the days before a possible adjournment.

Both Republicans and Democrats in the chamber pointed fingers at each other following a Monday night debate that ultimately shot down a plan that critics said would not have done enough to expand the state’s medical marijuana law, which allows the use of cannabis oil for certain epilepsy patients.


Iowa: Facts about medical cannabis

I am a veteran who is very concerned about the 22 veterans that are taking their own lives in this country every day and I am very sad this fact is being brushed aside by Iowa legislators.

Cannabis is very helpful in treating PTSD and pain like (TBI) traumatic brain injury.

The Nation Magazine article, “The Real Reason Pot Is Still Illegal” explains how and why “Big Pharma” and others put so much money behind groups like “Drug Free America” to stop and condemn cannabis. I have heard legislators spout the same misinformation, almost verbatim.

States with medical cannabis programs have seen no increase in teen use. (See the March issue of International Journal on Drug Policy)


Iowa Needs Medical Cannabis Law That Works

In 2014 the Iowa Legislature passed a bill allowing patients with intractable epilepsy to possess cannabis oil. This bill was a good first step, but this law will expire in June 2017 and has helped fewer than 100 individuals. Having a law that helps only 1 percent of the population it was intended for is a strong indication that the law is broken and needs fixed.


How Cannabis-Friendly Is Your State?

Ever wonder how your state stands up to the others in terms of marijuana tolerance? We don't mean how much your state can smoke, but how tolerant the locals are toward cannabis. The real-estate website Estately has the answer. 

Using specialized metrics, they put together rankings for all 50 states in their "Marijuana Enthusiasm Index." The criteria are: the percentage of monthly marijuana users, the average price of cannabis, the average number of marijuana-related Google searches, the legal status of marijuana and expressions of public interest (based on Facebook user data). 

Here are five interesting findings.


Iowans should trust science in marijuana debate

Abandoning good science has unintended consequences for Iowa's youth

Iowans may be deceived by the controversy surrounding claims of marijuana's miracle cures. This is not about possible medicines for children. The deception is that Iowa must rush to market without heed to the overwhelming advice of medical professionals warning that we should not bypass the Food and Drug Administration and good science in developing medicines.

Cannabidiol is not marijuana, and the difference is huge. CBD is one out of more than 100 compounds that can be derived from marijuana, including the dangerous psychoactive drug tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).


Iowa Poll: Medical marijuana draws 78 percent support

More than three-quarters of Iowans now favor allowing people to use marijuana as medicine, but most remain opposed to legalizing it for recreation, a new Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa Poll shows.

Iowans have steadily become more comfortable with the use of medical marijuana, which now is supported by 78 percent of the state’s adults, according to the  Iowa Poll. That is up from 58 percent in 2013.

But most Iowans continue to oppose allowing people to smoke or eat marijuana for recreational purposes. Just 34 percent of adults favor that idea, up 5 percentage points from 2013, the poll shows.

The poll’s results come as state legislators consider expanding Iowa’s tiny medical-marijuana program.


Iowa: Bigtime business leaders back medical marijuana bill

Some of Iowa's most influential business leaders are urging state legislators to pass a bill that would expand the state's medical cannabis laws.

"Now is the time to help suffering Iowans and their families get legal access to this medicine, and we hereby call on Iowa lawmakers to debate and pass Comprehensive Medical Cannabis legislation this session," a letter signed by more than 90 business leaders and sent to lawmakers reads.

Meredith Corp. CEO Steve Lacy, Principal Financial Group CEO Dan Houston, Bankers Trust CEO Suku Radia, Knapp Properties CEO Gerry Neugent, local real estate developer Bill Knapp and BelinMcCormick attorney Steve Zumbach are among the influential names attached to it.


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.


The road to legalization: Marijuana as medicine

The uses of marijuana on both a medical and industrial level exemplify the unscientific and impractical nature of cannabis prohibition. Classified as a Schedule I drug, federal law considers cannabis to have no medical use and to have a high potential for addiction. Yet, this classification seems to have no bases in reality. While marijuana remains illegal in the eyes of the federal government, 23 states have legalized marijuana for medical use, along with the District of Columbia and Guam. 


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