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Iowa Democrats Move Ahead to Broaden State’s Medical Marijuana Law

Senate Democrats moved ahead Thursday with their plan to broaden Iowa’s medical marijuana law, even though House Republicans reiterated their lack of interest in the subject.

The Senate Ways and Means Committee approved a bill that would allow Iowans to obtain marijuana if a health care provider certified they had one of a range of health problems, such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease and post-traumatic stress disorder. Senate Study Bill 1243 also would allow up to four producers to grow marijuana in Iowa, with oversight from state officials, and it would allow independent dispensaries to sell the drug.

The Legislature last spring passed a limited medical marijuana bill that would allow possession of a special extract by people with serious epilepsy. But that law doesn’t allow other uses, and it doesn’t provide a legal method to obtain the medicine.

Sen. Joe Bolkcom, an Iowa City Democrat, said the current bill includes many of the best ideas from the 23 states that have more extensive medical-marijuana programs. “There’s no need for Iowa to reinvent the wheel,” he told his colleagues. [Read more at the Des Moines Register]

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