Legal Medicinal Cannabis Bill Passes in Iowa Senate

Senate File 506 in Iowa was passed on a 45-5 vote on April 17, 2017. The act would legalize the use of medical cannabis and reclassify marijuana from a Schedule I controlled substance to a Schedule II controlled substance in the state.

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Senator Joe Bolkcom
Photo Credit: Iowa Public Radio

Every senator spoke highly of the bill, with Senator Joe Bolkcom, D-Iowa City, stating "This at the end of the day, is about people that have come here and have effectively advocated for this law." Bolkcom also shared stories of Iowans who have lobbied legislators in support of the bill. 

Although, the bill passed in the Senate, it will face a hard time in the House. Last week, House Speaker Linda Upmeyer, R-Clear Lake, told reporters that the bill is "pretty broad". Upmeyer continued by saying "I think we anticipated the bill would be a little more limited with some of the features perhaps, illnesses, content. We just have to look at it because it's a little different than what we thought it might be." 

Upmeyer is stating that the list of illnesses that would be able to use medical marijuana is too broad, so we've listed them for you. Senate File 506 would authorize the use of medical marijuana for: cancer, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy or seizure disorders, AIDS or HIV, glaucoma, hepatitis C, Crohns disease or ulcerative colitis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, post-traumatic stress disorder, Tourette's syndrome, any terminal illness with a probably life expectancy of under one year, intractable pain, Parkinson's disease, muscular dystrophy, Huntington's disease, Alzheimer's disease, complex regional pain syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, and polyarteritis nodosa. 

Although, the list is extensive, it should not be a deal-breaker for the House to pass. If anything, the bill will ensure that everyone that needs marijuana for medicinal purposes, is allowed to access it. Although, the bill seems "pretty broad" to Upmeyer, at the end of the interview she did express support for expanding the current marijuana laws in Iowa.