MEDICAL CANNABIS BILL INTRODUCED TO “FINISH THE JOB.”

Survey shows strong support from Iowans to pass it in this session.

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Iowans 4 Medical Cannabis (I4MC) conducted a comprehensive survey of over a thousand Iowans in December of 2015 through Quester Research showing 76% support legislation that would establish the legal production and distribution of medical cannabis for those with qualifying medical conditions.  Additionally, that support exists across Republicans (60%) Democrats (87%) and Independants (80%).

Sally Gaer representing Iowans 4 Medical Cannabis said, “Iowans across the state want the suffering to end for their family members and friends. We’ve taken some important steps forward in the last few years, but NOW is the time for comprehensive legislation to be successful so we can collectively finish the job and stop the suffering of so many Iowans.”

Iowans with serious medical conditions, their caregivers and fellow citizens are asking lawmakers for safe and legal access to medical cannabis by allowing it to be produced and distributed in Iowa when medically appropriate and approved by a physician.

“Accessibility is crucial for patients needing these therapies,” says Gaer. “In reality it means very little to someone suffering from a debilitating condition to have the legal ability to possess medical cannabis if they have to travel hundreds of miles to obtain it. It simply becomes unviable for many at that point.”     

Legislation being introduced by Representative Peter Cownie (R, West Des Moines), chair of the House Commerce Committee defines strict but accessible parameters for the production, distribution and possession of medical cannabis.

Including:

• Rigorous and strict approval process through the Department of Public Health for a limited number of producers and distributors.

• Requirement of a doctor’s recommendation for patients for which conventional therapies have failed.  

• Applicable to only a limited number of medical conditions (11) that research has shown are positively affected by using medical cannabis therapies.

• Distribution of medical cannabis provided in only non-smokable forms.

• Requirement for patients to obtain a state-issued medical cannabis card.

“We’ve had the good fortune of seeing what works and what doesn’t in the other 23 states that have passed this type of legislation,” said Cownie. “This would be one of the strictest laws in the country, so Iowans, and those who represent them, can be sure that we’ve done our due diligence to protect the public from any type of abuse. I feel strongly we are elected to help those in need. And I look forward to working with my fellow legislators on this important issue."

Iowans 4 Medical Cannabis is a broad coalition of Iowans suffering from a number of debilitating conditions as well as their caregivers, family members, physicians, and fellow Iowans. The Coalition supports a comprehensive medical cannabis program to produce and dispense medical cannabis in Iowa for qualifying medical conditions.