Iowans Outraged – Sick and Suffering Left Behind
House Republican Leadership offers a bill that does nothing to change the plight of those needing Medical Cannabis.
DES MOINES, Iowa (April 26, 2016) – Late last night, the Iowa House failed to pass a comprehensive Medical Cannabis program and in turn failed 500,000 Iowans that could have benefitted from the relief Medical Cannabis brings to those with serious illnesses.
“What is most shocking is that Iowa House Leadership broke the faith of 78% of Iowans, 95 of Iowa's most influential business leaders, over 100 local elected officials statewide, and the Catholic Bishop who spoke out loudly and consistently in support of a Comprehensive Medical Cannabis Program in Iowa,” said Steve Gaer, co-founder of the Coalition. “The best they had to offer Iowans was ‘we’re sorry, go look elsewhere. The amendment offered does nothing to help my family.’”
An amendment to the controlled substances bill was offered by Representative Zach Nunn, R-Polk Co, which expanded the conditions eligible to be in possession of Medical Cannabis oil (cannabidiol) to six, beyond intractable epilepsy, but did not allow for production or distribution of Medical Cannabis in the state or a Medical Advisory Board of physicians to oversee the program. The Nunn Amendment was offered after a bill containing a comprehensive Medical Cannabis amendment offered by House Democrats was killed outright earlier in the day.
“Representative Nunn called this a baby step, that in and of itself is an overstatement,” said Representative Kressig, D-Blackhawk Co. “This bill does absolutely nothing. As we have said from the beginning, stopping at the right to possess in Iowa is the problem, expansion of conditions means nothing without the accessibility that production and dispensing provide. My colleagues and I have to wonder if the House Republican Leadership even understand the legislation they are writing at this point.”
Although no specific state was sited in the amendment, Representative Nunn indicated there were other states Iowa could partner with to shore up those state’s Medical Cannabis programs by hypothetically striking reciprocity deals at the expense of sick Iowans accessibility.
“I’m not sure when House Republican Leadership started caring about filling the tax rolls for other states, especially at the expense of sick Iowans,” said legendary business leader and Coalition supporter Gary Kirke. “The comprehensive bill put forward at the beginning of this session capitalizes on three great Iowa qualities; compassion, innovation and entrepreneurialism. Looks like the House Leadership would like to outsource those to Minnesota or Nevada. That’s not inline with the Republican party I know.”
Iowans for Medical Cannabis is continuing to work with supporters to find other solutions to pass a comprehensive Medical Cannabis Program yet this session. “This bill has a lot of support on both sides of the aisle and they want to do what is right by Iowans,” said Kim Novy, mother of twin daughters with Dravet Syndrome. “We will not stop fighting until every option is exhausted. We simply can’t stop fighting with so many lives in the balance.”
Iowans 4 Medical Cannabis is a broad coalition of Iowans suffering from a number of debilitating conditions as well as their caregivers, family members, physicians, and fellow Iowans. The Coalition supports a comprehensive medical cannabis program to produce and dispense medical cannabis in Iowa for qualifying medical conditions. See all supporting organizations and learn more at www.iowans4medicalcannabis.org