Governor Branstad signs cannabis oil bill into law

Iowa Governor Terry Branstad has signed a bill into law that legalizes cannabis oil for treatment of severe epilepsy.

Governor Branstad signed the bill Friday, May 30, 2014 in Des Moines.

The Iowa House and Senate approved the bill earlier this month.

“I know in my heart of hearts, it will work. I’ve seen too many kids, heard too many testimonies,” said Tina McDermott of Davenport. Her eight-year-old son Ryan has Dravet Syndrome, a rare form of epilepsy.

He’s tried more than a dozen medications, but nothing has helped.

“We know that he’s in there, we really do. I mean we feel like he’s in there, he just can’t come out,” said McDermott.

The cannabis oil bill signed by Governor Branstad could help that. The bill allows epilepsy patients or their guardians with a prescription from a neurologist to possess up to 32 ounces of the cannabis oil.

“A small victory, a babystep, but it needs to get better,” said McDermott.

McDermott says the bill could be improved because producing the actual cannabis oil in Iowa is still illegal, so she will have to travel to a state where it is legal to get the medication.

“He’s basically signing a bill that says we can have something here to help our kids, but we can’t get it here,” she said.

McDermott also believes the bill should be expanded to those suffering other medical conditions.

“It needs to be out there to help everybody,” she said.

A fundraiser for Ryan will be held Saturday, June 7, 2014 from 12 p.m. to 2 a.m. at Circle Tap in Davenport. The money raised will help for his travel to Colorado for treatment. There will be brats and chips for $5, $10 keg beer cups, a live DJ, volleyball beer pong, donated prize raffle, and 50/50 drawing.



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