Iowa Senator: "Not a single patient has been helped" by cannabis oil policy

Feb 24, 2015

Last year's legislation that decriminalized possession of cannabis oil for treatment of chronic epilepsy has not changed much for Iowa patients hoping to use the drug for treatment.

State Senator Joe Bolkcom (D) says "not a single patient has been helped" and that Governor Terry Branstad's suggestion that Iowa patients might be able to get the product in Illinois has offered "false hope."

"We essentially passed a law that required Iowa residents to break laws in other states and under the federal laws."

On this Legislative Day edition of River to River, Ben Kieffer talks with Iowans who are having a hard time accessing the non-intoxicating oil that provides relief for certain medical conditions. Sen. Bolkcom also shares his plan for a more comprehensive medical marijuana policy in Iowa.

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Also, black people in Iowa are eight times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than white people, despite comparable usage rates. In the first half of the show, we hear about a bill being considered in the Iowa Senate that would ease penalties for some cases of first time marijuana possession.