Statewide cannabis oil public forums


KIMT News 3 – Decriminalizing cannabis oil was just the start, now residents are taking the opportunity to share their thoughts on a bill they hope to broaden.

A forum, organized by the Iowa Department of Public Health to hear feedback from the community was attended by family members, care-takers and medical professionals from six different locations across the state.

“Due to the narrow scope of this bill, I am getting foreclosed on and leaving the state, so that I can get medical help,” said one member who suffers from Bell’s Palsy that was in attendance.

For some it could be Multiple Sclerosis and for others it could be chronic pain. Either way, the hope is to make the oil available for all suffering with serious conditions.

“My doctor, and my neurologist for the state of Iowa, both have advocated my use of medical marijuana. they have advised me to move, which I did,” said one member suffering from M.S.

Iowa’s new bill specifies that only recipients who qualify, will avoid legal trouble for having the oil in the state, after consulting a neurologist.

“When we’re talking about medical cannabis, it opens the door to a lot of changes that makes people nervous,” said State Sen. Amanda Ragan, (D) Mason City, IA.

The forum which gathers feedback, will share the information with local representatives like State Senator, Amanda Ragan.

In her work as a lawmaker, Ragan has spoken with many families affected by epileptic seizures. As a parent, she knows other parents would give anything to find a solution for their loved ones.

“With that feedback, which we are looking forward to hearing, will give us some opportunities to see if there needs to be tweaks, or if there needs to be adjustments,” said Ragan.

Many in attendance struggle with the idea of having to leave the state to buy the cannabis oil substance.

A move that would not be feasible for families already struggling to meet medical expenses.

“For a bill that was designed to help the most fragile people in our society, it is unacceptable to force families to break state and federal laws in order to obtain an oil that can, without exaggeration, save lives,” said one Des Moines native.

The hearing today was 90 minutes in duration, but there is still an opportunity for people to make their comments known by writing to the Iowa Department of Public Health.

In Minnesota, the governor also signed a medical marijuana bill into law this year.

It will allow patients to buy medical marijuana in pill or liquid form. They will have to have certain medical conditions to legally own the substance.

The new law will take effect in July of 2015.

All comments can be submitted in writing and sent to the address below:

Deborah Thompson, Iowa Department of Public Health
Lucas State Office Building
321 E. 12th Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50319-0075

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