Sorry Iowa, but medical marijuana won't be legal in your near future. A bill that would have given patients the right to choose natural medicine died last night in a sub-committee dominated by ignorant lawmakers.
Iowa patients sadly won't be seeing this anytime soon.
House File 22 would have removed civil and criminal penalties for medical marijuana patients possessing 2 ½ ounces of marijuana or less and created a state-regulated medical marijuana dispensary system. Patients would have been allowed limited cultivation of up to six plants, and - importantly - would have protected patients against being denied any state rights or being penalized by their place of business.
According to the WCF Courier, the bill was shot down in a three-person House sub-committee by two republican representatives, one of whom is a former Iowa State Patrol officer. "This bill will not advance any further," said Rep. Clel Baudler at the committee meeting.
Iowa Rep. Clel Baudler.
His argument? That there are prescription drugs that can provide the same relief as marijuana can for patients. The courier article also quotes "critics" who say that legalizing medical marijuana would make it easier for children who "already have a high treatment incidence for the addictive drug."
This is despite a 2010 suggestion from the Iowa Board of Pharmacy that urged lawmakers to establish medical marijuana laws and a distribution system to help patients legally use the alternative medicine. As one Iowa state representative pointed out: those doctors on the Board of Pharmacy know a lot more about the efficacy of medical marijuana than a bunch of old farmers- and lawyers-turned-politicians.
Shutting down HF 22 wasn't the only way the legislature is fighting medical marijuana cannabis. Another bill floating currently would remove any mention of the Board of Pharmacy's ruling from the law books - essentially removing any hope for patients with doctor recommendations to ever bring up medical necessity in court.
HF 22 sponsor Rep. Bruce Hunter.
"These aren't just some stoners looking for their next high," said the bill's sponsor, Bruce Hunter, a democrat from Des Moines. "They are real people looking for real relief for real pain."
The Courier also quoted several disappointed supporters of the bill who were suffering from a variety of things from multiple sclerosis to a Marine suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.
More on Iowa medical marijuana from the Toke of the Town archives: "79-Year-Old Iowa State Senator Drafts Medical Marijuana Bill"; "Iowa Board Of Pharmacy Reclassifies Marijuana As Medicine"