Iowa medical marijuana bill likely going nowhere because of election year politics


An Iowa state senator has introduced a medical marijuana bill to the state legislature, but says advancing the bill any further would be a long shot.
Sen. Joe Bolkcom of Iowa City says he doesn’t have the bipartisan support in both the state House and Senate whatsoever for Senate File 79, which would allow for qualifying patients to cultivate and possess up to 2.5 ounces of herb at a time as well as create state-regulated medical cannabis dispensaries.

Under the proposed language, cardholders would be able to cultivate up to six plants in their homes or have a caregiver do it for them. Conditions that would be considered would be chronic nausea, cancer, HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C, Crohn’s disease and any “chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition” deemed appropriate by a licensed physician.
The bill would also allow for the creation of nonprofit dispensaries in the state. Essentially, it’s a pretty tight system in line with what other states have had for some time. Laws that have allowed access to medical marijuana for children like Quincy LaFranze who suffers from a severe seizure disorder. Quincy’s mother, Maria, lobbied on behalf of her son Tuesday at the Iowa state house.
“Sick Iowans do not know that they need medical cannabis until it is too late, until their lives are already destroyed,” LaFranze said at the press conference, tearing up at times. “People in other states have had great success with medical cannabis.”
Other parents echoed Maria LaFranze’s sentiments to lawmakers.
“I’m very disappointed in everybody in this building who is afraid they may not be reelected for doing what’s right for the citizens who are fragile and medically ill in Iowa,” said Sally Gaer, another parent watching her child suffer while politicians needlessly posture of such a beneficial plant.
As one Iowa lawmaker put it:
“You know medicine and politics d6on’t mix and that’s what the problem is here,” State Sen. Tom Courtney told “It’s an election year and everybody’s nervous.”