At a legislative forum in Davenport Friday, February 27, 2015, several Iowa lawmakers discussed bills they are working on in their committees. The bills need to be approved by the committees by the end of next week to continue on in the session. One issue not mentioned was medical marijuana.
"I do not have any bills on the House side in regards to medical marijuana," said State Representative Linda Miller.
A bill will be introduced on the Senate side on Tuesday, March 3, 2015, from State Senator Joe Bolkcom. The bill expands the use of cannabis oil and possibly other types of marijuana to more patients. It would also allow some companies to produce and distribute it. Patients would need doctor certification stating that they have a qualifying condition. The bill also establishes a medical advisory board to oversee the program.
Currently in Iowa, only patients with severe forms of epilepsy can use cannabis oil, but they can't get it in Iowa.
"We passed a law last year that had great intentions. We're trying to help these people with varying physical ailments that would be helped by the use of medical marijuana and so we thought there was great gains there but it's obvious that that bill is really not helping anyone," said State Senator Rita Hart.
"The Governor is trying to see how it's going to be implemented. He's made some comments in regards to the parents, especially that feel like they can't get access to it so I think that they're working on that issue," said Miller.
Including the possibility that Iowans would be able to get medical marijuana in Illinois, where it is currently only available for Illinois residents.
"I know there's some problems that we may need to take a look at it, maybe next year, it may be this year," said State Senator Roby Smith.
According to the bill's explanation, reclassifying marijuana as a schedule II drug would allow a physician to issue a prescription for marijuana under state law. However, federal regulations could prohibit such prescriptions.