KIMT News 3 – After a Senate decision to move forward with legalizing cannabis oil, some are concerned over the wrong people may be making the decision.
The Iowa Senate has agreed to pass a bill allowing cannabis oil or cannabidiol, for those suffering from seizures.
The term medical marijuana raises concerns by legislators who feel a new form of legal cannabis will create a loophole for abusers, but not everyone feels that way. Including Jay Pedelty of Prairie Ridge Treatment Services.
“When we put those terms medicine and marijuana together that’s confusing to the general public. It gives them an unrealistic perception of risk,” said Pedelty.
Iowa families with children suffering from seizures have pushed for its passage at the statehouse. Although this affects a small minority of the population, politicians like State Rep. Sharon Steckman say this could be the answer parents are looking for.
“The problem is that for the parents that came to us, they found that this is the only thing that gives their child relief. If they gave it to their child, they’re risking very severe penalties in this state. This helps them help their child without fear of going to jail for it,” said Steckman.
The legislators in favor of its passage, are hoping to decriminalize the use of the oil in state lines, but Pedalty believes this is a matter best left to the medical professionals.
“I think as a culture, we want to be able to be confident that our drugs are effective and safe and the food and drug administration is in place to do that, not legislators,” said Pedelty.
According to the legislation, patients would have to get a written recommendation from a neurologist which would then give them permission to apply for a state-issued identification card allowing them to possess and use the oil in the state.
They would still have to purchase the oil out of state and bring it back into Iowa but this law would make it so no one would be prosecuted for doing so.
20 other states have already legalized medical cannabis oil, those same states already have legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes.