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Iowa Senator To Pursue Medical Marijuana In 2014


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Iowa Senator to Pursue Medical Marijuana in 2014


Iowa Senator Joe Bolkcom has announced that he will pursue medical marijuana legislation in the 2014 session.


Iowa lawmakers have resisted medical marijuana in the past but it is becoming more readily accepted in Midwest states.  Medical marijuana was legalized in Illinois just this year.


“I think we’re a cautious state, we have some conservative views on this issue,” Bolkcom said. “I think what has been missing in Iowa is the compelling stories and recently, people are courageously coming forward and are sharing stories about not getting the care they need.”


Bolkcom will present two bills.  The first would reclassify marijuana as a drug with medical benefits.   Even if it were to pass, this piece of legislation would not change the fact that the federal government still classifies marijuana as a Schedule I substance, meaning that legally it has no medical benefit. 


The second bill would create a medical marijuana system similar to New Mexico’s, with patients being able to receive their medicine from state-approved dispensaries.


A poll conducted in 2010 showed that 64% of Iowa residents favored medical marijuana legalization. 


However, many lawmakers are not on board.  Governor Terry Branstad has made it clear that he does not support legalizing medical marijuana, though he has not expressly said that he would veto medical marijuana legislation if it made it to his desk.





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