Summary: A Safe And Secure Iowa Medical Cannabis Program

medical marijuanasenate.iowa.gov/democrats/

SSB 1243:
A safe and secure Iowa medical cannabis program

Why?

A responsible, compassionate response to suffering:

Establishing an Iowa medical cannabis program is the most responsible, compassionate alternative to continuing to tell Iowans to either (1) suffer in silence, (2) use legal but ineffective or dangerous medicines, (3) break the law by obtaining medical cannabis illegally, or, (4) leave their homes and move to a different state.

Equal access for Iowans:

Iowans strongly believe that their friends and neighbors with debilitating conditions deserve the same access to medicines already legally available to more than half of all Americans, including the residents of Minnesota and Illinois.

A medical approach instead of political posturing:

Political gridlock prevents the federal government from regulating medical cannabis in a manner similar to other medicines. In response to the federal government’s failure to act, 23 states have created regulated systems to provide their citizens with access to medical cannabis.

Instead of reinventing the wheel, Iowa can draw from the best of these state-level programs. Iowans can be provided access to medical cannabis in a way similar to other, federally approved medicines, medicines that are often inherently more dangerous and addictive than medicines made from cannabis.

How would Iowa’s medical cannabis program work?

The diseases covered by Iowa’s existing medical cannabis law would be expanded from intractable epilepsy to include cancer, multiple sclerosis, AIDS/HIV, glaucoma, Hepatitis C, Crohn’s Disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and chronic pain resulting from an underlying medical condition.

The diseases covered by Iowa’s existing medical cannabis law would be expanded from intractable epilepsy to include cancer, multiple sclerosis, AIDS/HIV, glaucoma, Hepatitis C, Crohn’s Disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and chronic pain resulting from an underlying medical condition.

The Iowa Department of Health would have overall responsibility for the program. A Medical Advisory Board would oversee the program and decide on future proposed medical conditions.
An individual’s certification for medical cannabis would be based on Minnesota’s approach: a written certification from a licensed health care practitioner that the patient suffers from one of the eligible medical conditions.

To address the main reason for the failure of last year’s medical cannabis law, SSB 1243 calls for licensing of four Iowa-based medical cannabis manufacturers and 12 dispensaries. Manufacturers and dispensaries are subject to inspections and strict security requirements.

The Iowa Department of Health would determine the form and quantity of medical cannabis available to patients. Smoking of medical cannabis is prohibited.

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