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Iowa Senate Passes Bill to Expand Marijuana Program but House Will Not Vote on it - Mushroomstocks | Mushroomstocks
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Iowa Senate Passes Bill to Expand Marijuana Program but House Will Not Vote on it

Apr 27, 2015 • 5:37 PM EDT
2 MIN READ  •  By Michael Berger
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The state of Iowa has become the center of a new medical marijuana controversy. Iowa law allows patients who suffer from epilepsy access to medical marijuana extracts. The law, however, is written in such a way that the patients who actually qualify for medical marijuana have no way to receive it or to have it transported.

Senate bill sees major pushback from Iowa House Speaker

Earlier this month, the Iowa State Senate approved legislation that expanded upon the number of conditions that would qualify patients for medicinal marijuana. The conditions included cancer, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and some other chronic conditions. The bill would allow up to four growers regulated by the state to sell marijuana through independent dispensaries.

The bill is seeing major pushback from Iowa House Speaker Kraig Paulsen. He said that he will not let the House of Representatives vote on the bill. After the Senate approved the legislation, an aide to Paulsen said that the speaker’s position has not changed. Iowa House Majority Leader Linda Upmeyer said any decision on legalizing medical marijuana should be determined by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), not state lawmakers.

Iowa polls show significant support for medical marijuana

In February, the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute found that 70% of Iowans support the legalization of medical marijuana. This finding represents an 11% increase from the poll taken during the 2014 midterm elections in Iowa.

Two weeks ago, a Quinnipiac University poll found that more than 80% of Iowans support medicinal marijuana laws.

“Voters in Colorado, Iowa and Virginia often disagree about the big issues of the day; taxes, government spending, gay marriage and abortion,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac Poll. “Yet there is one thing that they pretty much agree upon across state lines, medicinal pot.”

A growing controversy

Iowa residents are being forced to commit crimes due to the lack of action at the state government level. All that separates Iowa residents from medical marijuana is a river into Illinois. If 70%-80% of voters think that medical marijuana should be legal, then they need to get their message heard by state legislators.

These legislators have heard testimony from Iowa residents that suffer from epilepsy and are desperate for the relief they have had when they traveled out of state and tried non-intoxicating cannabinoid extracts. The legislators have also heard from Iowa residents who are smoking marijuana to relieve the pain associated with cancer and many other disorders. These are not potheads trying to pull a fast one on the system; these are people who are ill and need help. 

The patients are ready. Polls say Iowa residents are ready. But unlike their neighbors to the east, Iowa residents are waiting for their lawmakers to figure it out.

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Authored By

Michael Berger

Michael Berger is Managing Partner of StoneBridge Partners, LLC and Founder of Mushroomstocks.com. Prior to entering the cannabis industry, Michael was an Equity Research Analyst at Raymond James Financial covering the Energy Sector. Michael has been featured in publications such as The Street, Bloomberg, US Money News, and hosts various cannabis events across North America.


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