A bill that would allow Iowans to get a prescription to smoke pot as treatment for chronic medical conditions isn’t unlikely to become Iowa law this year, but it has cleared one, small hurdle in the state senate.
Senator Joe Bolkcom, a Democrat from Iowa City, is an advocate of so-called “medical” marijuana. “We have 17 states that have moved forward with providing medical cannabis to chronically-ill patients,” Bolkcom says. “I think Iowans are ahead of us on this. You know, the latest polling in Iowa says approximately 64 percent of Iowans believe they ought to have access to this form of medication.”
Two of the three members of a Senate subcommittee endorsed the bill Thursday afternoon, but Bolkcom doubts the bill will pass the full, 50-member Senate this year. “You know, the advocates — like any issue up here — have to talk to (legislators) from all around the state and convince them this makes sense,” Bolkcom says.
Even if the bill were to pass the Senate, it faces defeat in the Iowa House according to Representative Clel Baudler, a Republican from Greenfield who is an outspoken critic. “It’s a waste of their time and paper, because medical marijuana — not on my watch,” Baudler says. “Never.”
Baudler recently was cleared of violating House ethics rules for getting a prescription for medical marijuana in California. Baudler called it a fact-finding mission to illustrate how easy it was for people to legally smoke pot recreationally in states that have medical marijuana laws.