The group held a news conference Tuesday morning at the Iowa statehouse, reports O. Kay Henderson at Radio Iowa. Tom Duncan, a fifth-generation farmer in Greene County and a survivor of kidney cancer, was among those speaking.
“Education has moved some of our elected officials, but we need more voices speaking to them and all the candidates, so please speak to these candidates and elected officials and tell them that you support whole plant medical cannabis access,” Duncan said.“We are asking voters to ask their candidate what they will do to help suffering Iowans who need access to this treatment option in Iowa, produced, tested, and dispensed by Iowans, for Iowans,” said Sally Gaer of West Des Moines, co-founder of Iowans 4 Medical Cannabis.
Sally’s daughter, Margaret, 25, has been taking cannabidiol (CBD) for 19 months now, but the mother wants more access than is provided under Iowa’s weak, CBD-only law passed by a timid Legislature in 2014, reports Rod Boshart at The Courier.
Iowa’s law, signed two years ago by Gov. Terry Branstad and which decriminalized the possession of up to 32 ounces of CBD oil for treatment of seizures associated with chronic epilepsy, is scheduled to expire on July 1, 2017. According to Gaer and other medical cannabis activists, the law should be expanded to include those who suffer from other conditions which can be helped by cannabinoids.“I continue to watch people with my disease in other states get healthy with medical cannabis, while I remain on chemotherapy-like drugs,” said Katie Krug of Grimes, who has ulcerative colitis. “My current medication can cause a brain infection, leading to death. Medical cannabis has no such side effects.”
Iowans under a doctor’s care who got an approved CBD registration card have to get the oil from other states. But few out-of-state producers sell to Iowa residents, which advocates said makes Iowa’s CBD law unworkable.
A bill approved by the Iowa Senate last year would have established a comprehensive medical marijuana program in the state, including authorizing the production and dispensing of cannabis, but it failed to win support in the House. Proponents say that measure had safeguards to keep it from being a mere cover for recreational legalization.Gov. Branstad has said he “would be open” to expanding Iowa’s medical marijuana law, to make it more similar to 25 other states, but he’s “concerned” about “unintended consequences” that might lead to recreational cannabis use. But And “Moose” Warywoda of Des Moines debunked that notion at Tuesday’s news conference, saying the low-dose CBD oil his daughter takes for genetic abnormality is helping her.
“It’s medicine,” Warywoda said. “It’s not recreational. It’s not weed. It’s not marijuana. It won’t get you high. Our politicians need to understand that.”“Our politicians are failing us,” Warywoda said. “They aren’t helping us out. They don’t care about families because families are suffering,” he said.
Warywoda aid he and his wife are tired of worrying they will get arrested for possessing a controlled substance that is aiding their daughter, who will be 2 years old in February.
Iowans 4 Medical Cannabis plans to post a list on its website showing which incumbent lawmakers have supported safe access to medical marijuana in the state.
“It’s time to do the right thing,” said Karrie Anderson of Grimes. “Iowa needs a comprehensive medical cannabis program. We are a great state that can, and should, do great things for our suffering citizens.
“Let’s take the best parts of the existing programs in neighboring states and create a program that is even better,” Anderson said. Let’s do it now. We are not going to give up.”