Medical-marijuanaA group of Iowans with severe medical problems vows to lobby legislators to pass a bill that would allow marijuana to be prescribed as medicine for a variety of chronic conditions.

Katie Krug of Grimes suffers from colitis and is taking prescription medicine that could cause a fatal brain infection, but she was at the statehouse today.

“I have good days and bad days,” Krug says, “so the good days that I have, I try to be up here. My goal is to be up here at least once a week and speaking with legislators.”

Krug says cannabis oil has proven an effective treatment for patients in other states who have been diagnosed with the same condition. Jon Custis of Anamosa has been diagnosed with post traumatic stress and he says medical marijuana would be a godsend for him and other veterans who suffer from the condition. Custis was at the statehouse today to make that case.

“I’ve tried to get other veterans, especially the ones with PTSD, and they don’t want to come. It’s too hard for them,” Custis says. “They can’t do that. I’m kind of an odd duck. I like a good fight, so I’ll be here as much as I can.”

A handful of Democratic senators have introduced legislation that would allow Iowans to buy marijuana products as treatment for eight specific chronic diseases. Last year Iowa legislators voted to decriminalize possession of cannabis oil as treatment for chronic epilepsy, but advocates say the law isn’t helping because cannabis oil cannot be sold here.

The bill that’s just been introduced in the senate would set up a state licensing process to designate who can grow and who can sell marijuana as medicine. In addition to chronic epilepsy, the bill would allow marijuana to be grown and sold as treatment for post traumatic stress, plus it could be used to treat the fatigue, pain and nausea associated with Hepatitis C, Crohn’s Disease, ALS, multiple sclerosis, AIDS, glaucoma, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and cancer.