A Republican-led committee in the Iowa House has overwhelmingly approved a bill that would let patients with “intractable” epilepsy go out-of-state and come back with 32 ounces of cannabis oil as a treatment for their condition.
Republican Representative Clel Baudler of Greenfield has been a long-time opponent of legalizing marijuana for general medical purposes, but he urged the committee to pass this bill. The bill passed the House Public Safety Committee on a 13 to five vote and Baudler was one of the “yes” votes.
Representative Jarad Klein, a Republican from Washington, says this bill sends a “good message” to Iowans that the two political parties can “work together” to address problems.
Representative John Forbes, a Democrat from Urbandale who is a pharmacist, estimates about 100 patients in Iowa who are currently taking powerful prescription drugs that, ultimately, reduce their lifespan, will be able to get a recommendation from a neurologist for cannabis oil.
Karen Sales of Ankeny has an 11-year-old son with a chromosome abnormality that has caused his intractable epilepsy. William takes three different prescription drugs each day for his epilepsy.
The House committee has proposed a few changes in the legislation, changes which must be considered by the full House when the bill comes up for debate. The bill’s leading champion in the senate does not anticipate major controversy over the changes, but he wants more clarification about one change that would force the University of Iowa to conduct a study about the effectiveness of cannabis oil as a treatment for intractable epilepsy.