Parents of children with severe epilepsy went to the statehouse Tuesday to complain about a state agency’s rules for implementing the new state law that decriminalizes possession of cannabis oil.
The Iowa Department of Public Health has developed an application that parents will fill out to get a photo ID through the Iowa DOT. They’ll be able to show that ID to prove to police in Iowa that an Iowa doctor has recommended the cannabis oil as treatment for their child’s chronic epilepsy. Kim Novy of Altoona is urging officials to automate the process.
“I would appreciate the process to be as efficient and uncomplicated as it can possibly be,” Novy said today. “Free time isn’t a luxury for me.” Novy is the mother of 12-year-old twin daughters who have been diagnosed with a rare and severe form of epilepsy. She spoke to a legislative committee that reviews agency rules.
Deborah Thompson, the Iowa Department of Public Health’s policy advisor, said her agency doesn’t have the money to make the application process paperless.
“We hear that you want it to be easy and we’re trying to appease that, but some resources would be necessary to automate it further,” Thompson said.
A few accommodation has been proposed for the children who’d be taking the cannabis oil to try to reduce the frequency and severity of their seizures. The cards will be issued on an annual bases. The Iowa Department of Public Health first proposed that the child undergo a physical each year the card is renewed, but that requirement has been removed.
The agency hopes to start accepting applications by January 30. That’s about seven months after the bill legislators passed on the subject was signed into law by the governor.