Iowa Legislature Expected to Consider Relaxing Medical Cannabis Laws
There’s increasing speculation that Iowa lawmakers will relax laws prohibiting the medicinal use of oil that comes from the marijuana plant in their upcoming session. Republican State Representative Clel Baudler of Greenfield, a longtime advocate of tight restrictions on marijuana, told the Des Moines Register this week that he plans to introduce a bill that would allow the production and distribution of medical cannabis oil in Iowa. State Senator Pam Jochum of Dubuque credits mothers of children who suffer from epileptic seizures with pushing for changes to current law. State Representative Abby Finkenauer agrees, saying it was heart-breaking to see children suffer, but have very little to help them. The Senate has passed bills addressing medical cannabis in past sessions, but they did not make it through the house. Jochum says the bills were very narrowly-framed. But Finkenauer says one of the reasons the bills died in the House could be that they were too restrictive and didn’t do enough to help all Iowans. The Iowa Legislature will convene their 2017 session on January 9.