Iowa committee backs legalizing medical marijuana

News

September 12th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A legislative committee narrowly recommended allowing medical marijuana to be grown and sold in Iowa. The 10-member committee was formed to look at problems with a new law that was supposed to allow some epilepsy patients to get marijuana extract. On Thursday, the committee also backed changing state law to reclassify marijuana so it would be easier to get as medication, The Des Moines Register reported.

In May, lawmakers vote to allow people to possess marijuana extract, an oil that doesn’t contain the chemical that makes people high, to treat seizures. But the law didn’t provide any way for people to make or distribute the extract in Iowa.

Parents who pushed for the bill have said in the months since that it’s basically unworkable. Most states where medical marijuana is legal don’t allow people from other states to buy it. And people from Iowa would have to break the law to bring it back home.

State Sen. Bill Dotzler, D-Waterloo, said he saw the original law as a giant step for families, but now it’s clear that it needs to be fixed. He and five other lawmakers voted to recommend the closely regulated production and distribution of medical marijuana for approved patients. It did not say what type of marijuana but did say it should not be taxed.

The committee voted 9-1 on a measure to recommend reclassifying marijuana in a way that would be a step toward making it legal for medical purposes.