We blogged a while back about a recent patient-led push to legalize medical cannabis in Iowa, noting that though some of its lawmakers were finally showing interest in the issue, legalization in any form still seemed a ways off. But news from the Iowa Senate last week suggests legislators may be dipping their toes into the legalization pool.
The Iowa City Press-Citizen reports that Senate File 2360, a bill to permit chronic seizure sufferers to use cannabidiol, passed that chamber by a vote of 36-12 (with several Republican supporters). Democratic senator Joe Bolkom correctly described the measure as “compassionate,” though several others voiced concern about unintended consequences and the message that would be sent to Iowa youth if the General Assembly were to legalize “marijuana oil.”
SF 2360 leaves some things to be desired: children with epilepsy do not qualify and patients would have to obtain CBD from other states where medical cannabis is legal, which could raise trafficking concerns. Still, the measure is a step in the right direction and proves that persistence pays off — many assumed nothing would get done on MMJ in Iowa this year. Next up, SF 2360 goes to the Iowa House, where Republicans hold a slight 53-47 majority. Bolkom, the bill’s sponsor, is optimistic the bill will get to Governor Branstad’s desk, and ultimately, his signature.
Even Iowa (my home state) is starting to realize that cannabis has its benefits.