Iowans not happy with CBD-only medical cannabis program, want laws expanded


Toke of the Town 2014.

The Iowa legislature this past session approved a bill legalizing high-CBD oil for children with chronic siezure conditions. The law was approved but the roll-out hasn’t happened yet, and families are still waiting on the green light to buy the oil out-of-state and bring it home.
It’s a program that some are saying is already a failure due to being so limited, and several groups say they want the program expanded to include the use of all medical cannabis – including the bill’s sponsor.

Iowa state Sen. Joe Bolkcom says he wants his bill to be the “first step” towards loosening medical cannabis laws in the state and plans to introduce a bill that would do just that in 2015.
Members that supported the effort have gotten a lot of positive feedback from Iowans about this,” Bolkcom tells the Des Moines Register. “People are more informed about it because of this year.”
27-year-old Marine vet Logan Edwards, says the program should be open to people like him who are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Edwards says he’s moving from Iowa to Colorado so that he can have access to cannabis legally.
“The bill didn’t decriminalize it. I don’t sell or grow marijuana, but if I get caught with it, they don’t care that I have a medical reason,” said Edwards, who has been living in Davenport and said he hopes to return to Iowa. “I have a 3-year-old daughter here. I’d much rather stay here.”
Even families who supported the CBD-only bill say it isn’t enough. Sally Gaer lobbied on behalf of her 24-year-old daughter who suffers from severe epilepsy. She says the program is too restrictive, and doesn’t give parents who want to try the oil enough opportunities. It makes it very hard to even get the oil, she points out.
“It’s one more burden on families. We have a hard enough life,” Gaer said. “In my mind, it’s, ‘Yeah, you can possess it, but good luck getting it.'”
But the problem with the CBD bill passing is that it gives lawmakers new excuses not to move forward with more expansive cannabis laws. Those who say they thought the CBD bill was a “slippery slope” to outright legalization will point to that and claim anyone wanting to expand the program was being disingenuous about their initial intent. Others will simply say that they’ve already approved medical cannabis and that there isn’t a need to revisit the issue. People like Iowa Rep. Walt Rogers, for example. He says he isn’t going to support any other pot laws in the foreseeable future because he’s sure it will get teens addicted to marijuana.
“I am afraid of the slippery slope,” Rogers said.