Iowa Governor Terry Branstad said that next week he will sign a bill legalizing the use of oil derived from marijuana to treat chronic epilepsy. This comes after the bill passed the Iowa legislature at the last moments of the session.
According to The Des Moines Register:
“The legislation requires patients with chronic epilepsy and their caregivers to acquire a registration card through Iowa’s Department of Public Health, per a written recommendation from a neurologist. The oil would have to be obtained in another state that produces it. The bill limits the amount of oil that can be in a patient or caregiver’s possession at any given time.
“Branstad said he supports the measure because of its narrow focus and applicability to a small number of people in need. He said that families with children suffering from severe epileptic seizures convinced him of the bill’s importance and that he believes the oil can help them.”
The bill is so narrowly focused that even Iowa’s anti-cannabis crusader Clel Baudler supported it. “I refuse to call it medical marijuana. It’s hemp oil. I hope it works,” he said. “Right here, right now, we have the opportunity to do something that is very good.”
Even if the further legalization of other forms of medical marijuana doesn’t take root here in Iowa, as it has in other states, at least this bill will provide some relief for some very sick children and their families now.