Medical marijuana advocates say Iowa program too limited

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Legislature approved a medical marijuana oil program in the final hours of the session, but advocates remain skeptical the expansion of an existing program will have a large impact.

The Republican-controlled chambers approved a bill that would allow the oil to treat nine conditions, including cancer and multiple sclerosis. The expansion builds off an existing program for epilepsy patients.

Some medical marijuana advocates say a cap on the strength of the oil used is arbitrary and limits the benefit. Rep. Jared Klein, the bill’s manager, says lawmakers may consider broadening the program in future sessions if medical professionals advise it.

The program would continue to prohibit smoking, vaporizing or eating food containing marijuana.

Despite questions raised about the program, some argue that small steps are better than none.